Origins 13(2):59-61 (1986).
Brief summaries of the main conclusions of the leading presentations are given below for those who may find the complete articles too long or technical.
SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT GEOCHRONOLOGY
The presently accepted geochronological time scale for the earth
proposes an age of about 4600 Ma (4600 million years). Sedimentary layers found on the
continents of the earth contain evidences of past life (fossils) dated from very recent to
several thousand million years. Evolution of life is assumed to have taken place during
that time. This scenario contrasts dramatically with the biblical creation account which
proposes that life on earth has existed for only a few thousand years.
The geochronological time scale of thousands of millions of years is based mainly on radiometric dating a dating system which has both strengths and weaknesses. On the other hand, some other time-dependent processes change at rates which challenge generally accepted geochronology. Examples include:
It appears that quite a number of independent factors disagree with
the presently accepted view of 4600 million years for the development of the present earth
system and the life contained therein. While the factors noted (except Factor 6) do not
point to a few thousand years as indicated by the Bible, it is significant that the
worldwide flood described in Genesis has the potential to cause Factors 1-5 to change more
rapidly than at present and thus fit into the context of a few thousand years since
creation. Creation itself has the potential to resolve any difficulty over the time
required for evolutionary development (Factor 7).
All extrapolations of present phenomena into the past must be approached with caution. A number of explanations have been proposed in the scientific literature for reconciliation of the discrepancies noted above with standard geochronology. These explanations propose that present geologic processes do not represent long-term averages. While this may be true in some instances, it is difficult to accept that all these various rates would be wrong. It appears that standard geochronological interpretations face some significant unresolved problems.
PROBABILITY AND ITS APPLICATION TO THE ORIGIN OF LIFE
Probability theory has been developed and verified using physical
devices such as coins or cards that meet the assumptions of fairness and independence
inherent in probability theory. Because these assumptions may not apply to steps
postulated in a scenario for the origin of life and because some of the steps may be
nearly unique, probabilistic arguments regarding the origin of life do not seem to be
applicable except as gross generalizations.
In this article the author quotes non-creationist scientists who suggest that time, space, and raw materials in the universe may be too limited to permit the origin of life by chance alone.
Probability is a mathematical construct that can be demonstrated to model well-behaved non-deterministic phenomena such as coin tosses, and is accepted as being useful in modeling and analyzing masses of data from well-designed scientific studies of less well-behaved random processes. The application of probability analysis to events which may be nearly unique and happen so seldom as to be rarely observed seems questionable from a practical viewpoint.
Probability is essential in comparing or predicting the outcome of events based on a particular model. In the case of the origin of life suitable models amenable to scientific investigations have not yet been proposed or evaluated.
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