Creationism, Odds, Biology And Games

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Pablo Edronkin

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Many people without education in mathematics find it hard to understand how odds and probabilities shape our world, and how it is that seemingly impossible things happen.

On the other hand, sometimes it is difficult to see what are the real chances for some event to really happen: air crashes and casino winnings are prime examples of this: we know that they do happen, but the question is that we are quite uncertain about whether they will happen to us or not; nevertheless, we shape our whole reality in relation to them. Just look at how airlines provide passengers with life vests under each seat, for survival reasons.

And this 'ignorance' of mathematics has led humanity to a lot of mistakes and the concoction of alleged hypotheses destined to explain our world, which may seem plausible to the uneducated, but really cannot stand any philosophical or scientific scrutiny.

Such is the case of creationism; the creationist hypothesis of the origin of life sustains - with the pretence of equal standing as a scientific hypothesis - that since life is so terribly complicated, as are living organisms, it is impossible that they sprout out of the mud by coincidence. Creationists say that it was not nature, but an intelligent being the designer and creator of life because it is impossible that something as complex could have appeared randomly.

We would like to ask why not? Especially considering that nature has been at work on this issue for about 3.500 million years, and we can even answer that question with another one: isn't life so complicated that no entity could have designed it? After all, we see that rocks and clouds are too complicated to reproduce in a lab, aren't they?

Disbelief in the fact that nature can really come up with something as life is just to reveal lack of knowledge of mathematics: In the time it took nature to make us evolve until our present shape, if playing at a casino, it would have won all the prizes.

Any adventure or project is in itself a gamble against odds, so betting and gambling in a casino or parlour has nothing bad and it is a perfectly acceptable practice. There are indeed folks who say that this is not so, but facing the facts is clear that playing and gambling are as old as humankind itself and thus, cannot be as bad as some pretended moralists say.

Within the scientific community, the theory of natural selection and evolution, firstly advanced by Charles Darwin during the nineteenth century is considered as accepted; some may say that it is also a dogma, but currently no other theory has been found to supplant it.

There is alas, a doctrine called 'creationism,' which essentially states that being nature such a complex thing, it could not have evolved just by chance and thus, should be the design and construction of an intelligent being, be it whatever it is. Epistemologically speaking, this belief does not qualify as a theory, because theories are hypotheses that have survived a series of tests designed to find flaws in them.

Creationism has never passed any such tests simply because it cannot be even called a hypothesis, in logical terms; the whole construction lacks a lot of essential elements that constitute a coherent, scientific idea.

However, as a belief is acceptable, like any religious or spiritual idea. Thus, whether you believe in evolution or creationism, you face the same facts: gambling and playing are part of our human nature for some purpose. Be it that a creator has given us the ability to play, or that nature has made us so.

Intelligent design?
Intelligent design?

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