Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Lethbridge Herald of Lethbridge, in the Canadian province of Alberta. It’s titled From amoeba to human; what are the odds?, and the newspaper has a comments feature.
Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote her by using her full name. Her first name is Esther. Excerpts from her letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
I would like to respond to the letter by Tony and Patricia Pargeter that says “facts, reasoning should be the basis of our education system,” as well as their statement, “obviously we are all human, but not all believers.”
We can’t find that earlier letter, but it doesn’t matter. Esther says:
I, too, agree that facts and reasoning – truthful reasoning, and actual facts, that is – should be the basis of our education system.
Aha — Esther is smart. She insists on truthful reasoning and actual facts. Then she gets right to the point:
When I went to public school, I was taught that an amoeba crawled out of the water and began dividing and eventually became everything we see today – a giraffe, elephant, horse, cow, lizard, eagle, monkey, etc., and eventually a human. Is this a scientific fact?
Brilliant question! She continues:
All you lottery folks out there – do you know what the probabilities of winning the 6/49 lottery are?
We’re not familiar with the 6/49 lottery, but Esther explains how to figure the odds. We’ll skip that until she says:
The final answer of choosing six correct numbers out of a possible 49 numbers is one chance in 13,983,816.
Maybe she’s right; maybe she’s wrong. It doesn’t matter. What does it have to do with her amoeba question? Let’s read on:
Now the amoeba has no brain and not very much intelligence and very little DNA.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The amoeba may not be very intelligent, but as we wrote in Consider the Divine Amoeba, the genome of the amoeba has 100 times more base pairs than ours.
Esther then asks a powerful question:
Are there any math teachers out there capable of figuring out what the probabilities are that a human brain, eyes, nose, ears, spinal cord, bones, lungs, kidney, liver, heart, pancreas, vascular system, digestive system, reproductive system, etc. were able to develop from the amoeba, one division at a time, and work simultaneously?
Wowie! You don’t have an answer, do you, dear reader? Fortunately, Esther doesn’t torment you. She quickly ends her letter with this:
We all believe – some in the “amoeba,” and some in God.
Right. You can believe that you evolved from some amoeba if you want to, but Esther has just demonstrated that only an idiot would believe such a thing.
ADDENDUM: Someone named Nightingale pointed out the size of the amoeba genome to Esther, and she responded with a brief letter: Counter evidence only strengthens writer’s position, saying: “From my way of thinking, Mr. Nightingale’s evidence merely serves to strengthen my position rather than refute it.”
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