I tend to believe (based on math) that the existence of DNA is about as solid of proof as any scientist needs since it is virtually a mathematical impossibility for such a long string of WORKING information to form by random interactions of A,G,C,and Ts nucleotides in a primordial pool. ... If one can show using basic math that DNA can’t form by random from the evolutionists pools of A,G,C,and T, then I have just punched a hole in the legitimacy of your whole hypothesis.
I like you BlueBee. You are clearly intelligent and thoughtful, but moreover, you are inquisitive and, I suspect, open-minded, less attached to a particular outcome than you are to a meaningful process. You are just the sort of person I hoped to engage by posting here. Thanks! But enough of the love-in, let's talk shop.
You have arrived at your Mount Improbable (ala Dawkins). For Darwin, it was the eye. For you, DNA. You are standing at the base of the precipice looking straight up and trying to imagine a way to ascend in a single bound. But you cannot, because of course you are right: it is essentially impossible. You win! :roll:
But wait! :-D
You have made one absolute error and one 'error of perspective' that are preventing you from finding the truth that I think you seek.
As I said to you a couple pages back, you have to get over your notion that the process is random because nothing could be further from the truth. The formation of any individual mutation is largely random (what did we say, 100+ for each human kid?). In nature, however, mutations are immediately acted upon by selection, which is not random at all
. If a mutation lowers fitness, it will be punished! Imagine that a litter of jackrabbits is born, and one has a mutation for albinism...is there anything random about which one of the rabbits the coyotes will chase for lunch? Survival of the fittest quickly and effectively weeds out unfit genetic combinations, leaving and cumulatively building upon the fit ones. It is brutal, 'red in tooth and claw.' Likewise, any genetic combination that improves survival and reproduction will be favored by selection and better represented in subsequent generations. Again, nothing random about it. Until you accept the non-random nature of selection, you will be frustrated at the base of your Mt Improbable and resorting to the supernatural to explain a perfectly natural process.
Which, by the way, I have to ask: if you are struggling to accept the probability that something as relatively simple as proto-bacterial DNA evolved from chemical reactions among inorganic components because it is too complex for you to wrap your head around, then what is the mathematical probability that an all-knowing, all-powerful god either appeared from nowhere or has existed for all time?
Isn't that immeasurably and inconceivably more complex and unlikely? So why do you go there? And to make matters more difficult to discuss, your explanation is automatically by definition (faith) impossible for anyone to observe, validate, or meaningfully discuss. It's just faith, end of discussion. I don't see how that contributes to our understanding of the world at all. To me, it seems like a copout, giving up on thinking because it got too challenging. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but that is exactly how you presented your case: I cannot conceive the probability of DNA, therefore god must exist.
Please, try harder! I don't know how my car keys got under the couch. It is possible but hard to imagine a sequence of unlikely events (hole in my pocket, keys falling as I am walking to the couch to sit down, keys bouncing under couch without my hearing, seeing, or feeling). Or I could claim that an invisible gnome took them from my pocket during the night and put them under the couch, and even though no one can possibly validate my explanation because it is faith-based, I choose this less likely unprovable option because it is easy. No thanks, I'll not give up so easily and stick instead to what I can see and measure, even when it is difficult. Especially when it is difficult! A healthy brain does enjoy a challenge...crossword puzzles, mystery movies, or science, whatever floats your boat.
Oops, sorry for the tangent. Point 1 was that selection is brutally non-random. Point 2 is regarding perspective, and also reinforces point 1. You are trying to conceive 3.5 billion years in a single bound. That's just not easy to do, for anyone. Let's go back to the dog example, because it is something that you know is real (it absolutely happened) and it occurred over a time scale that is more easily conceivable. When you ask about the probability of human DNA randomly forming in a primordial pool, it is akin to asking what is the probability of a wolf birthing a chihuahua (but times a million). We both know that, randomly, it is near impossible. But, we also know that selection is not random at all. Any pup that had the slightest attitude of a wolf--dead. Any pup that was slightly submissive--kept, coddled, and bred. Any pup that kept any aspect of its cute pup features--kept, coddled, and bred. Any pup that displayed behaviors amusing or useful to its keepers--kept, coddled, and bred. While each individual mutation might have been random, there was absolutely nothing random about the selection that followed: the undesirables were dead or at least unbred. What are the chances of a wolf birthing a chihuahua? Practically impossible, essentially silly to even consider, as you have rightly already concluded! But what are the chances of a wolf giving rise to chihuahua by mutation and intensive selection over a few hundred generations? More than possible...more than probable...so easy in fact that a naked ape was able to do it in a matter of mere centuries. Are you with me? There is no denying that, right? We turned a wolf into a chihuahua with a non-random
process called selection! So instead of going A directly to Z, try to envision the countless intermediates that took place in between, each with some small but measurable variation that affects survival and reproduction, and then put that in the context of 3.5 billion years
. Rather than ascending the mountain in a single bound, nature is going up the gradual slope on the backside of the mountain, where each step is a functional intermediate favored by selection (gotta read your Dawkins!). New mutations occur, nature selects for those most fit, and another step is taken towards the top, although of course nature is not working 'towards' any specific target, and there really is no top, just another point in time. Humans today are a snapshot on an evolving line of Homo sapiens, different than we were a few generations ago, and surely different than we will be in generations to come. Our line will continue, or it won't, but what we are at any given moment is not so much the top of a mountain as it is the end of a branch that will grow or die, just like every other species. The mountain is just a metaphor to conceptualize the process, whether it is regarding the eye, DNA, or whatever evolutionary feat tickles your brain. DNA is complex in some ways, but it is not that complex. Look at the mountain from the other side and consider the gradual slope and inconceivable time...
Food for thought amigo!