Monkey Typewriters, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, August 31, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

The year 1860 was a very interesting year for many people. Here in the United States, Abraham Lincoln was preparing to be the 16th president right before the U.S. Civil War was to begin. However, across the Atlantic Ocean in Oxford, another debate took place, one with as much if not more notoriety than the Scopes Trial of 1925: The debate between Thomas Huxley, known as “Darwin’s Bulldog,” and Samuel Wilberforce, son of the great orator and statesman, William Wilberforce. The topic: Was Darwin right about Evolution?

On the Origins of Species had been released only about seven months prior and both wrote extensive reviews about it. Huxley promoted Darwin’s idea extensively. He got the name “Darwin’s Bulldog” for a reason because he often spoke with brute force, seeking to silence the opposition by intimidation. Wilberforce was a professor of mathematics at Oxford and one of the top scholars and orators to defend Biblical truth at the time. Wilberforce wrote a detailed review pointing out many of the issues of speculation in the book with the most up-to-date scientific knowledge they had at the time. Darwin himself was impressed with the review, but obviously it did not change his mind.

Many people debate about who won the debate. Huxley considered himself the most popular man in Oxford for the next 24 hours thinking he won. Yet interestingly, it is reported that Wilberforce never again spoke on the Creation/Evolution issue after this debate. One Creationist, the late A.E. Wilder-Smith, who had 3 earned doctorates in chemistry, gave an interesting analysis on this debate. While other issues are more noted in this debate, I want to dwell on one particular point these two argued over. Wilder-Smith believed Huxley won the debate because Wilberforce could not come up with an answer to an often-used argument, still around today.

This argument is the classic “Infinite Monkey Theorem.” It goes like this: Give us six typewriters that never break, six apes that never die, infinite amounts of paper and ink, and infinite time, eventually we will find a paper that can produce the 23rd Psalm or the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Huxley then used one of the mathematical laws which Wilberforce knew quite well: The Probability Formula. It states that if time is infinite, then the probability of an event A happening is 1 (or fully certain). Therefore, chance alone is able to do what man can do if given enough time.

When Huxley told Wilberforce this ‘fact,’ according to Wilder-Smith this was the moment when Wilberforce lost the debate. Because Wilder-Smith pointed out that Wilberforce could not give a reasonable answer to this argument. Wilder-Smith then said he struggled with how to answer this argument for about 35 years. Keep in mind that he earned 3 doctorates in chemistry, with 70+ published papers. He was no spring chicken. And I’ll be honest, if I were in Wilberforce’s hot-seat at the moment, I am not sure I’d be able to come up with the answer right off unless I had prepared for the argument prior to the debate. Before any skeptic laughs at me for that, I can safely say the vast majority of said skeptics would flounder at any debate where Google is not at their fingertips (they often do WITH Google at their fingertips as is), because I’ve watched them do so.

So what is the answer? I’ll give Wilder-Smith’s answer here and over the next few weeks, I’ll look deeper into this argument. The typewriter analogy is akin to DNA and the information in the molecule for building a living creature. Wilder-Smith is an excellent resource on understanding how information and DNA works. He makes a very interesting point regarding DNA and living creatures. It requires enzymes to work ,and enzymes require the chemical reactions to be reversible. This is a critical thing missing in every Evolutionary argument for the origin of life.

Wilder-Smith likens this to solving a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces can “slot-in” and create the picture. It is possible to shake a box of puzzle pieces for a given amount of time and expect to find some pieces will end up connecting together, however there will only be a few of them, because if it gets too big, it will fall apart again. So Wilder-Smith indicates there will be some kind of equilibrium. The Miller-Urey Experiment showed some of this. They were able to generate some amino acids, however they were racemic (meaning mixed between right-hand oriented and left-hand oriented) and only a few of them amidst a bunch of sludge. Evolutionists have proclaimed this to be success about the origins of life, but is it really?

The problem with jigsaw puzzles and reversible chemical reactions is that there is just as much of a chance, if not more, of two connected pieces coming apart than there is of two pieces coming together. This brings the typewriter analogy to a catastrophic fault. The typewriter types a letter and that letter is stored on the paper. Then another letter is stored. Then another. Under such circumstances, if given enough time, there certainly can be a paper from these monkeys which reproduces the 23rd Psalm. However, if the typewriter were to accurately mimic living chemistry, it would be able to “un-type” just as well as type. That means at any point, any of those letters typed onto the paper could suddenly disappear. The jigsaw puzzle pieces would not merely fit together to some extent, they would also separate. Under that circumstance, the Probability Formula suddenly seems to be inapplicable to the situation because no matter how much time you give it, it will only produce up to an equilibrium level.

The only way the Monkey-Typewriter Theory is even possible is because the letters are permanently stored and locked into place. Yet in actual chemistry, this never happens UNLESS there is an already established, in-place mechanism to do this. We know that is the case because that is how we never get any D-(right) oriented amino acids, in which just one would be extremely detrimental, if not fatal. I have still yet to see a single argument from a single Evolutionist even attempt to address how this mechanism would be established WITHOUT a designer.

There are more issues with the Monkey-Typewriter Theory, but that will have to wait for next week.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.