Babu “Proves” that Reality is Impossible!

It’s been more than a month since we’ve discussed an article by Babu G. Ranganathan. He’s a graduate of Bob Jones University, with a major in Bible and a minor in Biology. Our last post about him was here: Babu and Pravda: Creationism’s Missing Link.

Babu’s writing is frequently found at the website of Pravda On-Line (or just “Pravda”). As Wikipedia’s article on Pravda tells us, after “Boris Yeltsin shut down the Communist Party and seized all of its property, including Pravda,” many of its journalists and editors launched Pravda Online.

It’s a great embarrassment to the allegedly conservative Discovery Institute in Seattle, but whether they’re in Seattle or in Moscow, creationism’s advocates and apologists are all the same. The only thing they care about is power, and to achieve that they’ll use any tactic and tell any lie. See Creationism, Socialism, and Intelligent Design.

That understood, we present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from Atheism mathematically impossible, which appears in Pravda, a major supporter of creationism.

Observe Babu’s title. As you’ll see, it falsely equates “atheists” with scientists. That’s standard creationist propaganda, and although it’s crude, there’s no device too sleazy for creationism. Okay, you know what to expect. Here it comes, with bold font added by us:

The scientific method cannot be used to prove events which occurred outside of human observation. No one observed the origin of the universe by either chance or design, but scientific evidence via mathematical probability can be used to support either a chance or design origins for the universe.

That’s not the most fouled-up paragraph we’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely a contender. Let’s read on:

Mathematicians have said that any event with odds of 10 to the 50th power or over is impossible even within the entire time frame of the supposed billions of years popularly assigned for the age of the universe. The odds of an average protein molecule coming into existence by chance is 10 to the 65th power. That’s just one protein molecule! Even the simplest cell is composed of millions of them.

That’s even dumber than the earlier paragraph. Hey, Babu: There are 52 playing cards in a deck. The odds against the sequence resulting from a good shuffle are — as the mathematicians say — 52 factorial. You know … the chance for the first card’s being something in particular is one in 52, the chance for second is one in 51, for the next it’s one in 50, etc. To figure out the odds a against any specific shuffle you need to multiply 52 x 51 x 50, etc. Keep going until you get to the last card. That’s what factorial means. Fifty-two factorial is a big number. Guess what, Babu? It works out to be 8.06581752 × 1067. That’s 8 (and a tad more) times 10 to the 67th power.

So according to Babu and his unnamed “mathematicians,” any sequence of a deck of cards is mathematically impossible. But there are decks of cards all over the place — each of them arranged in an impossible sequence. In other words, what Babu is babbling is worthless. We continue:

The great and well-known British scientist Frederick Hoyle showed that the probability of the simplest form of life coming into being by chance is 10 to the 40,000th power. You don’t have to be a theologian to respect such numbers!

Right — that’s known as Hoyle’s fallacy. It’s true, one needn’t be a theologian to “respect” such numbers. But one would have to be a flaming creationist imbecile to imagine that there’s anything of any scientific substance in Babu’s little essay.

Click over to Pravda to read the whole mess — if you like that sort of thing. It’s mostly recycled stuff from Babu’s earlier articles. He never has anything new to say, but he’s always good for a laugh.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Babu “Proves” that Reality is Impossible!

  1. I’m always slightly confused when creationists cite Hoyle. Certainly, he was brilliant, but he also thought life came from comet tails and that viruses traveled from outer space to earth in raindrops which dried out before they hit the ground. OK, so I’m oversimplifying…but not by much. What has that to do with creationism?

  2. Mathematicians have said that any event with odds of 10 to the 50th power or over is impossible even within the entire time frame of the supposed billions of years popularly assigned for the age of the universe.

    Actually that’s Dembski, who must have a mouse in his pocket. The very same ones that Christine O’Donnell said had a fully functional human brain, no doubt.

    SC, that’s a good example, the deck of cards.

  3. Gabriel Hanna says: “SC, that’s a good example, the deck of cards.”

    The one benefit from my misspent youth.

  4. What has that to do with creationism?

    Any stick to beat Darwin with. It’s not about presenting a scientifically compelling alternative, that simply isn’t possible–it’s about sowing enough confusion and doubt that people feel entitled to believe whatever they want. As Ken Miller said, it’s a postmodernist project.

  5. Ellie: “What has that to do with creationism?”

    Any sound bite that promotes unreasonable doubt of evolution to the general public sells, even if it contradicts another such sound bite. Most people just remember the “it can’t happen by chance” part. Most never notice the bait-and-switch between abiogenesis and speciation, etc. And almost no one, even critics like us who know better, asks: “OK, if evolution is wrong, what exactly happened instead, and when, and what evidence do you have other than long-refuted ‘weaknesses’ of ‘Darwinism’?”

  6. by either chance or design

    Oh the eternal false dichotomy. Why oh why does it have to be either some god or abject randomness?

    Perhaps forgetting alternatives, like a universe with natural laws, allows them to have the illusion of having some point? Nah. Theirs is pure and shameless propaganda.

  7. 10^67th is nothing compared to a Creationist waving 1^720th ….

  8. Longie is referring to a crazed creationist (pardon the redundancy) on another website who insisted that 1^720th was a really huge number.

  9. Another example using a deck of cards is this.

    Imagine shuffling a deck of cards and it coming out sorted, first the ace of hearts the the deuce of hearts etc, then spades, diamonds and clubs in that order.

    This is how the creationists imagine evolution works – it would be strange to get that sequence as the chance of that is 8.06581752 × 1067.

    But evolution works like this.

    Shuffle the deck of cards, turn over the top one, if it is not the ace of hearts then return the card and shuffle again and repeat until you get the ace of hearts.

    Turn the next card if it is not the deuce of hearts return it to the deck and reshuffle.

    continue like this until you the cards in the sequence described above.

    How many times do you have to shuffle the deck to reach this sequence, which we know have the likelihood of 8.06581752 × 1067 ?

    On average about 1400 times. No easy task, but ultimately doable. This is the power of selection.

    Disclaimer: it is not how evolution works, since evolution does not have a predetermined goal in mind.

  10. SOREN says: “Another example using a deck of cards is this.”

    Yes. I posted something like that a while back: The Inevitability of Evolution (Part III).

  11. Soren: Disclaimer: it is not how evolution works, since evolution does not have a predetermined goal in mind.

    It also locks, which people like Dembski go ape about. But never mind.

    Gabriel: SC, that’s a good example, the deck of cards.

    Any time you see an improbability number listed as a power of ten, you can also multiply that number by 1.3 to get the number of 6-sided dice you’d have to roll to create an event less probable.

  12. Mathematicians have said that any event with odds of 10 to the 50th power or over is impossible

    I’m pretty sure that’s a quote-mine from Armand Borel, referring to the Borel limit. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/borelfaq.html