Oxford mathematician John Lennox on the chances of life developing without a supermind to guide it
|May 6, 2011||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics|
Here at MercatorNet, William West asks, “Has science buried God?” and answers, “No, far from it, an Oxford professor insists” (5 May 2011). He is reviewing the work of serious Christian Oxford mathematician and ID sympathizer John Lennox.
Lennox goes through all the theories put forward to give credence to the idea that all of this could have happened by chance and, as a mathematician, indicates that such scenarios are basically laughable. He says that the conclusion that a super intellect is at work in the creation of life may not be verified by scientific “induction” or experiment, but it is a valid inference to the best explanation (“abduction”).
He points out that the probability of a purely random origin for any sequence of even the most basic biological significance is “so small as to be negligible”: “It could therefore be argued that the molecular biology of the cell shows the same order of fine-tuning that we saw in connection with physics and cosmology.”
He also warns against any attempt to try to write off the clear implications of a mind behind the design of living things as an analogy from something like a watch. “We are not arguing from analogy, but we are making an inference to the best explanation,” he notes.
Lennox points out that the obvious conclusion that arises from reflecting on the reality that sciences like physics and biology have uncovered is that “information and intelligence are fundamental to the existence of the universe and life and, far from being the end products of an unguided natural process starting with energy and matter, they are involved from the very beginning”. In other words, the whole universe has the unmistakeable signature of monumental design about it.
So, what if you take all of the probabilities unearthed by science together? What are the chances of life developing without a super-mind to guide it? The answer, clearly, is as close to zero as anyone could imagine. In fact, the figures involved are so profound, so enormous, that no human mind could possibly imagine them in any real sense.
Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose