Proteins Challenge Chance
Proteins are giant molecules consisting of smaller units called “amino acids” that are arranged in a particular sequence in certain quantities and structures. These molecules constitute the building blocks of a living cell. The simplest is composed of 50 amino acids, but there are some proteins that are composed of thousands of amino acids. Evolution fails in explaining these building blocks of a cell. The formation, under natural conditions, of but a single protein out of the thousands of complex protein molecules making up the cell is not possible.
The crucial point is: the absence, addition, or replacement of a single amino acid in the structure of a protein causes the protein to become a useless molecular heap. Every amino acid has to be at the right place and in the right order. The theory of evolution, which claims that life emerged as a result of chance, despairs in the face of this order since it is too wondrous to be explained by coincidence.
The fact that the functional structure of proteins can absolutely not come about by chance can easily be observed even by simple probability calculations that anybody can understand.
An average-sized protein molecule is composed of 288 amino acids of which there are twelve different types. These can be arranged in 10300 different ways. Of all these possible sequences, only one forms the desired protein molecule. The rest of them are amino-acid chains that are either totally useless or else potentially harmful to living things.
In other words, the probability of the formation of only one protein molecule is “1 out of 10300”. The probability of this “1” to occur is practically impossible. (In mathematics, probabilities smaller than 1 over 1050 are accepted as “zero probability”). Furthermore, a protein molecule of 288 amino acids is rather a modest one compared with some giant protein molecules consisting of thousands of amino acids. When we apply similar probability calculations to these giant protein molecules, we see that even the word “impossible” becomes inadequate.
When we proceed one step further in the development scheme of life, we observe that one protein alone means nothing by itself. One of the smallest bacteria ever discovered, Mycoplasma Hominis H39, contains 600 “types” of proteins. In this case, we would have to repeat the probability calculations we have made above for one protein for each of these 600 different types of proteins. The result beggars even the concept of impossibility.
Some of the people who have so far accepted the theory of evolution as a scientific explanation may suspect that these numbers are exaggerated and do not reflect the facts. That is not the case: these are definite and concrete facts. No evolutionist can have an objection to these numbers. They accept that the probability of the coincidental formation of a single protein is “as unlikely as the possibility of a monkey writing the history of humanity on a typewriter without making any mistakes”.1 However, instead of accepting the other explanation, which is creation, they go on defending this impossibility.
Many evolutionists confess the same fact. For example, Harold F. Blum, a famous evolutionist scientist states that “the spontaneous formation of a polypeptide of the size of the smallest known proteins seems beyond all probability.”2
Evolutionists claim that molecular evolution took place within a very long period of time and that this long period made the impossible possible. Nevertheless, no matter how long the given period may be, it is not possible for amino acids to form proteins by chance. William Stokes, an American geologist, admits this fact in his book Essentials of Earth History writing that this chance is so small “that it (protein) would not occur during billions of years on billions of planets, each covered by a blanket of concentrated watery solution of the necessary amino acids.”3
So what does all this mean? Perry Reeves, a professor of chemistry, answers this question:
“When one examines the vast number of possible structures that could result from a simple random combination of amino acids in an evaporating primordial pond, it is mind-boggling to believe that life could have originated in this way. It is more plausible that a Great Builder with a master plan would be required for such a task.” 4
If the coincidental formation of even one of these proteins is impossible, it is billions of times more impossible for about one million of those proteins to come together properly by chance and make up a complete human cell. What is more, a cell is at no time composed of a mere protein heap. In addition to the proteins, a cell also includes nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, and many other chemicals like electrolytes arranged in a specific proportion, harmony, and design in terms of both structure and function. Each of them functions as a building block or co-molecule in various organelles.
Sir Fred Hoyle comments on this issue:
“Indeed, such a theory (that life was assembled by an intelligence) is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific.”5
The reason Hoyle used the term “psychological” is the self-conditioning of evolutionists not to accept that life could have been created. These people have determined the rejection of God’s existence as their main target. For this reason alone, they go on defending unreasonable scenarios that they also acknowledge to be impossible.
The correct sequence of proper amino acids is not simply enough for the formation of a protein molecule. Besides this, each of the 20 different types of amino acids present in the composition of proteins must be left-handed. There are two different types of amino acids called “left-handed” and “right-handed”. The difference between them is the mirror-symmetry between their three dimensional structures, which is similar to that of a person’s right and left hands.
Amino acids of either of these two types can easily bond with one another. An astonishing fact has been revealed through research: all the proteins in plants and animals, from the simplest organism to the most profound, are made up of left-handed amino acids. If even a single right-handed amino acid gets attached to the structure of a protein, the protein is rendered useless. Interestingly enough, in some experiments the bacteria that were given right-handed amino acids immediately destroyed those amino acids and in some cases they formed left-handed amino acids from the fractured components so they could use them.
Let us for an instant suppose that life came into existence by chance as evolutionists claim it did. In this case, the right and left-handed amino acids that were generated by chance should be present in roughly equal amounts in nature. Therefore, all living things should have both right and left-handed amino acids in their constitution because chemically it is possible for amino acids of both types to combine with each other. The fact is, however, that proteins existing in all living organisms are made up only of left-handed amino acids.
The question of how proteins can pick out only the left-handed ones from among all amino acids and how not even a single right-handed amino acid becomes involved in the life process is something that still confronts evolutionists. There is no way for them to account for such a specific and conscious selection.
Moreover, this characteristic of proteins intensifies the confusion of the “coincidence” impasse of evolutionists. In order for a “meaningful” protein to be generated, it is not enough for the amino acids to be in a certain number, in a perfect sequence, and to be combined together with the right 3-dimensional design. Additionally, all these amino acids have to be selected from the left-handed ones and not even one right-handed amino acid may exist among them. Yet there is no natural selection mechanism to identify that a right-handed amino acid has been added to the sequence and to recognize that this is erroneous and must therefore be removed from the chain. This situation once more eliminates the possibilities of coincidence and chance for good.
As a conclusion, it is definitely proven by the probabilities we have been examining so far that the source of life cannot be explained by chance. If we attempt to calculate the probability of an average-sized protein composed of 400 amino acids being selected only from left-handed amino acids, we come up with a probability of 1 out of 2400, that is 10120. Just for a comparison, let us remember that the number of electrons in the universe is estimated at 1079, which is much smaller than this number. The probability of these amino acids forming the required sequence and functional form would generate much larger numbers. If we adjoin these probabilities and if we expand the subject to the formation of a higher number and type of proteins, the calculations become inconceivable.
1. Ali Demirsoy, Kal?t?m ve Evrim (Inheritance and Evolution), Ankara: Meteksan Publishing Co., 1984, p. 64.
2. W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Co., 1991, p. 304.
3. W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Co., 1991, p. 305.
4. J. D. Thomas, Evolution and Faith, Abilene, TX, ACU Press, 1988, pp. 81-82.
5. Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1984, p. 130.