But sanctify the Lord God in your heart and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.

Posted By saintbenaiah

Monkey Typing
(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Second, what rules define which rules in the program get used and when?  The universe is constructed based on laws, or programming rules, which determine if - then relationships.  But why were these laws used?  In other words, why is the universe as it is instead of some other type of universe?  Dawkins says because this is what was produced.  If it did not produce us we would not be here to ask "Why us."  But this is exactly the type of answer the evolutionists condemn creationists for making.  It is a statement of faith.

Third, there are many factors that would affect a mutation in a population.  A mutation most likely would either hurt the organism or have no effect on it all.  (See the article "Mutation" in the Christian Apologist.)  Apply this simulation to the production of a simple computer program.  (Let us set aside the problems mentioned earlier about the origination of the machinery needed to produce such character strings, and let us set aside the problem of determining which sets of character strings are the governing ones.) For instance, take the simple BASIC command: PRINT "Howdy."  If any character of the string in the simple command "PRINT" were either transposed or replaced, the command would not work.  It would return an error.  In real life, an organism that returns an error dies or fails to survive.  In addition, not only would the program return an error if altered, but if any character of the output string "Howdy" were either transposed or replaced, the meaning would be nonsensical, depending on the situation.

But if an organism is not viable, it does not live long enough to pass the trait on and that trait ends there.   So regardless of how many small steps are taken (and the smallest trait change in the character string "PRINT" would be a one letter change), a single step change would completely render the program useless.  In biology, a single point mutation may not render the organism useless but it may cause it harm.  A popular example of a harmful single point mutation would be sickle-cell disease.  While that mutation may yield a temporary environmental advantage, it provides no new genomic information.  There just simply is no evidence that mutations add information to the genome in the way that evolutionists need it to do.

When actual monkeys are used, the result is somewhat different from what is found in thought experiments.  In 2003, the BBC reported an experiment by the University of Plymouth in which a single typewriter was placed in a cage with six monkeys.  After a month of the monkeys destroying the computer using it as a lavatory, all that was produced was a series of letters consisting mostly of the letter "s."  Here is the actual document in .pdf format.  Dr. Amy Plowman, the scientific officer of the Paignton Zoo, where the experiment was held, said "The work was interesting but had little scientific value, except to show that the 'infinite monkey' theory is flawed."  However, Mike Phillips, the director of the university's Institute of Digital Arts and Technology "denied the project was a disaster and said they had learned 'an awful lot.'"

Eric L. Padgett

Posted By saintbenaiah

Monkey Typing

(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

A software developer by the name of Jesse Anderson is running a simulation in which he is using millions of monkeys to randomly rewrite the complete works of Shakespeare.  His monkeys, however, are not real monkeys they are computer programs.  This story was reported by Discovery.com with the headline "Monkeys are Rewriting Shakespeare."  It also garnered enough interest to by reported by the BBC.

The developer says that he is testing the theory that "a million monkeys sitting at a million typewriters will eventually produce Shakespeare."  This theory, in one of its different forms involving monkeys, dates to the turn of the last century, but the mathematical/philosophical concept (minus the typewriter) may go back to the times of Aristotle.  The ultimate purpose of any such argumentation is to show that random, chance events may produce organization and information.  It is an attempt to get around design and the need for a Designer.  In other words, you and I, indeed, the universe and everything in it, are here by chance. 

Trying to bolster the evolution hypothesis, Richard Dawkins used the concept to argue that the change from a single-celled organism to a 50+ trillion celled organism can be accomplished through randomly selected, single-stepped mutations.  It is all just a matter of time and chance, we are told.  Similarly, Daniel Dennett proposed the Library of Mendel, an imaginary library where all possible genomes exist.  It is confidently asserted that with this infinite library of all genetic combinations, both viable and unviable, we can get from nothing to us without any problems of which to speak.

The problem with this or any such simulation, and the problem with this view being applied to the evolution of life, is that this simulation is goal driven.  There is a target phrase to be reached, whether it is a single line like "Methinks it is like a weasel," or it is the complete works of Shakespeare.  The characters are apparently randomly generated, but they are kept only when they correspond to an intelligently preselected string of characters.  However, evolution is--must be--purposeless.  There is no pattern to be followed.  There is no goal to be reached.  But this simulation requires just such a target or goal.

Furthermore, serious problems arise when this concept is applied to evolution and the origin of life.  First, a perplexing paradox arises.  How do you get a character generating machine in the first place when the character generating machine is based on the rules produced by a character generating machine?  How are these strings of characters generated in the first place?  Where does the character generating machine originate?  How does the character string define the creation and operation of the program which produces the character string itself?  Try this simulation without any materials to start with whatsoever and see how far the simulation proceeds.

Eric L. Padgett




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