A single cell, the smallest living unit, according to Nobelist Lynus Pauling, is “more complicated than New York City.” “The ‘simplest’ self-sufficient cell has the capacity to produce thousands of different proteins and other molecules, at different times and under variable conditions. Synthesis, degradation, energy generation, replication, maintenance of cell architecture, mobility, regulation, repair, communication—all of these functions take place in virtually every cell, and each function itself requires the interaction of numerous parts….” If any part of this incredibly complex biochemical machinery is not functioning properly the cell will die. Behe provides just one example:
“A single flaw in the cell’s labyrinthine protein-transport pathway is fatal. Unless the entire system were immediately in place, our ancestors would have [died]…. Attempts at a gradual evolution of the protein transport system are a recipe for extinction….
“At some point this complex machine had to come into existence, and it could not have done so in step-by-step fashion…as Darwinian evolution would have it.”
The cell doesn’t merely “give the appearance of having been designed,” it could only be designed! Dawkins admits that every cell, either of a plant or an animal, contains in its nucleus “a digitally coded database larger, in information content, than all 30 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together.” Try to imagine the odds of chance creating a 30-volume encyclopedia! Even if that impossibility somehow occurred, only one cell would have been produced, and there are trillions of cells in the human body, and thousands of different kinds, each working in unbelievably complex relationships with the others!
The mathematical odds against life beginning and developing by chance (even with unlimited time) are so astronomical as to render it logically impossible. Consider some examples. The combinations of just the 26 letters in the alphabet in blocks of 26 is expressed mathematically as 26!, which simply means 26 times 25 times 24 times 23 times 22 times 21 times 20…on down to 2. Thus there are more than 400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 combinations of 26 letters together. Yet instead of a mere 26, there could be as many as 3000 proteins strung together in a particular sequence within one cell. Chance could never put them all together in the right order! Furthermore, each protein is itself a long chain of up to 3000 chemically joined amino acid residues folded into precise structures. Try to imagine the odds of having these meticulous sequences happen by chance!
If everything isn’t in perfect order it won’t work. Thus it would be impossible to “evolve” toward the right combination. The perfect structure must be there to begin with, which could only happen by design. Forget superficial similarities and fossils; evolution can’t even get started at the biochemical and cellular level. As Michael Behe reminds us:
“The cumulative [evidence] shows with piercing clarity that life is based on machines—machines made of molecules…[which are] enormously complex…. The complexity of life’s foundation has paralyzed science’s attempt to account for it….
“Faced with such complexity beneath even simple phenomena, Darwinian theory falls silent.”
Sir Fred Hoyle calculated that the odds of producing just the basic enzymes of life by chance are 1 in 1 with 40,000 zeroes after it. In comparison, the odds of randomly plucking a particular electron out of the universe are 1 in 1 with 80 zeroes after make another universe out of every electron, and the odds of plucking a particular electron out of all those universes by chance are 1 in 1 with 160 zeroes after it. Hoyle comments:
This situation [mathematical impossibility] is well known to geneticists and yet nobody seems to blow the whistle decisively on this theory…. Most scientists still cling to Darwinism because of its grip on the educational system…. You either have to believe the concepts, or…be branded a heretic.”