+quot;Taxi!+quot; by David Rice One of the many arguments Creationists make against evolut

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"Taxi!" by David Rice One of the many arguments Creationists make against evolution is the idea that the advent of life on Earth is so improbable, it must have been created. They often state that if one "assumes" the earth is 4.5 billion years old, that still does not provide enough time for life to arise "by chance." They very often produce an actual figure on just how improbable "life by chance" is, generated by some Creationist authority: they often fail to answer HOW said figure was calculated. Such an argument demonstrates one fundamental misunderstanding that Creationists have about evolution. Evolutionary theory does not concern itself with how life started--- it only describes how contemporary life forms evolved from previous life forms, and that they continue to do so. "Biogenesis" is not generally a topic covered by evolution. Still, when one points out this fact, Creationists see that answer as avoiding the question. How does one answer the "Odds Against" question? Always, the burden of proof rests squarely on the shoulders of the individual making the claim. Usually the Creationist will hand you a number, such as "Forty billion billion to one against," and then expect you to prove her or him wrong. While some might consider such behavior amusing, others invariably feel frustrated at the fact that the claimants try to shift the burden of DIS-proof on you--- if you spend time and effort and prove them wrong, most of the time you will be ignored or hotly contested, while other times the Creationist just comes up with yet another unsupported assertion, and the process repeats. Ask a Creationists, who asserts the "Odds Against" theory, what the odds are for the following: There are 20,000 taxi cabs in the city. What is the odds of getting cab number 12,345? Is the odds any different for getting cab 4,286? Or cab 11,111? Cab 666? As evolution scientists know, the question isn't that simple. There would be a great many additional variables one would have to know before a reliable figure would represent the correct odds. Some of the variables in the taxi cab question: Are all the cabs working? How many are in the shop being repaired? How many cabs already have fares, and are thus not available? How many cabs are being refueled at the moment, and are thus not available? How many cabbies are on lunch break, dinner break, being mugged, and are thus unavailable? Which cabs service which areas? If you are downtown and want cab 7, but cab 7 only works uptown, the odds of getting that cab are zero. Conversely, if you are on 45Th. street and only cab 8,542 works that street, the odds of getting cab 8,542 are 100% (providing you're willing to wait). You can probably think of more reasons why the odds of getting one particular cab out of 20,000 is different than 20,000:1. Now, Creationists who make the "Odds Against" claim are telling us that they know ALL POSSIBLE EVENTS so well that they can calculate the odds of life arising by chance! I submit that they cannot even calculate the much simpler odds of getting a particular taxi cab, let alone how probable life is.


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