Most scientists believe that “something other than God did it,” referring to origins, and they believe that “something” is CHANCE.
R.C. Sproul has the following to say in his book titled, Not a Chance:
- We begin by asking the simple but critically important question, What is chance? Because this question is so critical, however, I think it important to first to explain why the definition of chance is so crucial.
Words are capable of more than one meaning in their usage. Such words are highly susceptible to the unconscious or unintentional commissions of the fallacy of equivocation. Equivocation occurs when a word changes its meaning (usually subtly) in the course of an argument. We illustrate via the classic “cat with nine tails” argument.
Premise A. No cat has eight tails.
Premise B. One cat has one more tail than no cat.
Conclusion: One cat has nine tails.
We see in this “syllogism” that the word cat subtly changes its meaning. In Premise A “no cat” signifies a negation about cats. It is a universal negative. In Premise B “no cat” is suddenly given a positive status as if it represented a group of comparative realities. Premise B assumes already that cats have one tail per cat. If we had two boxes, with one box empty and the second containing a single cat, we would expect to find one more cat in that box than in the empty one. If cats normally have one tail, we would expect one more cat’s tail in one box than the other.
The conclusion of this syllogism rests on the shift from negative to positive in the phrase no cat. The conclusion rests upon equivocation in the first premise. “No cat” is understood to mean a class of cats (positively) that actually possesses eight tails.
Such equivocation frequently occurs with the use of the word chance. We find this in the writings of philosophers, theologians, scientists – indeed pervasively. Here’s how it works.
On the one hand the word chance refers to mathematical possibilities. Here chance is merely a formal word with no material content. It is a pure abstraction. For example, if we calculate the odds of a coin-flip, we speak of the chances of the coin’s being turned up heads or tails. Given that the coin doesn’t stand on its edge, what are the chances that it will turn up heads or tails? The answer, of course, is 100%. There are only two options: heads and tails. It is 100% certain that one of the two will prevail. This is a bona fide either/or situation, with no tertium quid possible.
If we state the question in a different manner, we get different odds or chances. If we ask, “What are the chances that the coin will turn heads?” then our answer will be “Fifty-fifty.”
Suppose we complicate the matter by including a series of circumstances and ask, “What are the odds that the coin will turn up heads ten times in a row?” The mathematicians and odds-makers can figure that out. In the unlikely event that the coin turns up heads nine consecutive times, what are the odds that it will turn up heads the tenth time? In terms of the series, I don’t know. [1 in 1024 attempts of 10 consecutive flips] In terms of the single event, however, the odds are still fifty-fifty.
Our next question is crucial. How much influence or effect does chance have on the coin’s turning up heads? My answer is categorically, “None whatsoever.” I say that emphatically because there is no possibility, real or imagined, that chance can have any influence on the outcome of the coin-toss.
Why not? Because chance has no power to do anything. It is cosmically, totally, consummately impotent. Again, I must justify my dogmatism on this point. I say that chance has no power to do anything because it simply is not anything. It has no power because it has no being.
I’ve just ventured into the realm of ontology, into metaphysics, if you please. Chance is not an entity. It is not a thing that has power to affect other things. It is not a thing that has power to affect other things. It is no thing. To be more precise, it is nothing. Nothing cannot do something. Nothing is not. It has no “is-ness.” I was technically incorrect even to say that chance is nothing. Better to say that chance is not.
What are the chances that chance can do anything? Not a chance. It has no more chance to do something than nothing has to do something.
You have a completely empty room, there is NOTHING in it. What are the chances that in a room with nothing in it, there is a pair of dice showing seven? Okay, so you will concede, for whatever reason, that the room is not completely empty (how it is empty and not-empty at the same time or how it got that way doesn’t matter for the sake of argument you say) and it has an infinite number of monkeys in it, but it is empty you say. You will also concede, for whatever reason, that this empty room that is full of monkeys has been that way from all eternity. Furthermore, you concede that those monkeys have been rolling spotless dice that entire time. Even after all those illogical concessions (which Christians have been apt to make) the possibility of ever rolling a seven with dice that have no dots is still zero and becomes even more absurd with each unreasonable concession that is removed.
Why have we allowed the world to push us to such absurd limits? Why have Christians allowed the world, modern science, to bully us into such absurd leaps of illogic and abandonment of common sense? It all makes about as much sense as throwing dice without dots and expecting to get seven dots showing.
To the whole ridiculous absurdity I say, “No Dice!” Obviously, when scientist make the claim that “chance did it”, what they are really saying is that “Nothing did it!” Next “something” please…