The Mathematics of God;

and of one of His adoring Idiots.


The probability of the God who is there, being there, is in the order of one. That is, it is as one is to infinity minus one.

Over recent centuries belief in the improbability of God has markedly increased compared with previous times. An ever present reason is man’s propensity to escape scrutiny and censure, but the chief assistance in aiding its conceptual attainment has come from Darwinism, or more recently from Neo-Darwinism.

Darwin was however illiterate and uninformed in a biological sense. He knew nothing of the composition or function of the biological cell, and nor did anyone else at that time, and this ignorance was bliss when contemplating random natural selection as a creative force.

Not being a mathematician nor a biologist, but an unashamed and avowed idiot as the headline attests, I can hypothesize at will and leave it to my intelligent peers to dismantle my contention.

Firstly, the probability of God is the converse of the improbability of  life as we know it, being arrived at wholly through randomly undirected events. At the very beginning a single protein necessary to life would have to “happen”.

A protein of modest length is a string of 150 amino acids constructed from a selection of 20 different ones in an absolutely precise order. If any one of these is an incorrect one or is out of the precise necessary order, the protein will not fold and function in the service of life. Leaving aside the dearth of amino acids in a wholly inorganic world, and granting an improbable abundance of same, we can begin to calculate the correct assembly of our first necessary protein.

Since there are 20 amino acids to select from, and leaving aside the improbability of them all being present to select from, there is a 20 to 1 chance that the first one will be incorrect. If it is correct then the chance of getting the second one to be also correct, is also 20 to 1 against. The chance of getting the first 2 correct is therefore 400 to 1 against, that is 20 x 20 to 1. To get the third also correct is then 8,000 to one against, and the forth 160,000 to one against. We would have to do the assembling by chance 3.2 million times to get the first 5 right.

By the time we get the 150 right the chances are one in 10 to the 70 power. Since the atoms in our galaxy number only 10 to the 40 power, the chances are approximately equal to selecting the right one atom in approximately 2 galaxies; a considerable order of difficulty.

A string of hydrogen atoms one inch long contains 25.4 billion atoms. One cubic inch of hydrogen contains 25.4 billion x 25.4 billion x 25.4 billion atoms or 16,387 billion quintillion atoms. There are 31 billion seconds in a year so if you are picking out one to see if it the one you need every second, you will get through one cubic inch of hydrogen atoms in only 528 quintillion years. A quintillion is a billion x billion. One cubic mile of hydrogen atoms contains 254,358 billion cubic inches so if we multiply that by 528 quintillion years we have rather a long time. It is actually 134 million billion quintillion years, and that to sort through just one cubic mile of matter. Since we are told that the universe is only 13.8 billion years old we will have to hurry to get our one protein molecule. Hydrogen atoms are smaller than most, so you can discount down the 134 billion quintillion years if you wish

Of course thus far we have only just begun. The next difficulty is that the simplest life forms usually require about 300 different proteins as a minimum. To get all those is 300 times more unlikely and time consuming. The numbers are now way out of control. 300 times 134 million billion quintillion years is 40,200 of them. Enough!

The next difficulty is that these 300 proteins have to happen in close proximity to each other. If they are not adjacent to each other they are of no use in forming a living cell. The order of difficulty in this happening is probably greater than the accidental formation of the proteins themselves. Multiply the previous numbers by themselves to approximate the unlikelyhood.

The next improbability is that when amino acids are available, proteins can string together automatically and quite quickly. This brings us to a difficulty with timing. If a correctly arranged protein continues to add further amino acids its functionality for life is destroyed. The enormous improbability of one forming, and then 300, and these all in proximity, has also to coincide with their precisely needed stage in development all being correct simultaneously. If one protein adds one too many amino acids, the combination of the correct proteins is again unavailable. This timing difficulty is probably greater again than all the previous fortuitously necessary events. The product of multiplying 40 thousand million billion by itself?

So now we have some of the components for building our “life vehicle” in situ and available. Now we need the Construction Manual. This is encoded information in the form of a helical complexity called DNA. This first DNA must also appear by pure accident at the right time and place. Carsonella ruddii, which lives off sap-feeding insects, has taken the record for smallest genome with just 159,662 'letters' (or base pairs) of DNA. There are 4 “letters” in the DNA code. The correct one of four pairs must happen and self-assemble 159,662 times without a mistake.

We now have many of the components of our vehicle in place and the manual to assemble them. But that won’t build the car. We now need the spontaneous appearance of the assemblage mechanism which is called RNA.

Wikipedia tells us that “Ribonucleic acid ( RNA ) is a polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes.  RNA  is nucleic acids, and, along with lipids, proteins and carbohydrates constitute the four major macromolecules essential for all known forms of life.”

There are known to be other regulatory mechanism in a living cell and the necessary proteins, DNA and RNA are not enough in themselves alone, for life. Going beyond this point is all out of focus as of yet, to current known science.

Molecules come in right and left handed types. Life only uses left handed ones, so if chance includes just one right handed one, it is fatal.

There is much more complexity in constructing carbohydrates correctly than in DNA. For example the hexamer of the carbohydrate D-pyranose has over one trillion ways in which it can be assembled. Getting it right would be worse than a jigsaw puzzle the size of 100 football fields without a photo to follow.

Then there are the interactomes. An interactome is the set of interactions in a particular cell. Quoting Peter Tompa and George D Rose at John Hopkins University in “Protein Science”, the interactomes in just a single yeast cell is estimated at 10 to the 79,000,000,000 power. Considering that there are 10 to the 90 power of elemental particles in the universe, getting them right would be the equivalent of picking a correct single elemental particle from 87 million universes the size of our own.

Of course none of the above would be of any use if it did not happen in a “Goldilocks” environment. For life to exist it must not be too hot or too cold. The likes of gravity and electromagnetism must neither be too much nor too little. Carbon is the basic ingredient of life but if its resonance level were other than it is in our universe, there would be no carbon. If the “big bang” was one trillionth greater or smaller all matter would have either sped away without forming planets or galaxies, or fallen back in upon itself.

Relax. There is no proof that God exists. Perhaps this is as well for nobody can love a standover merchant. Yet every time we gain a little knowledge it conspires against His improbability. The chances are already way beyond any thinkable numbers; and every time we take another draft from the cup of knowledge it gets worse. Having established my credentials as an idiot who cannot handle mathematics, I can abandon the huge numbers and pronounce them as infinity. There certainly is one chance in infinity that it is all an accident, but would you take those odds on the stock market?

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