Friday, November 1, 2013

GAPS


Last year I wrote a post about a hypothesis of mine.  I went back and re-wrote the post about 4 or 5 times and still wasn’t satisfied.  So I will start over and try to explain it here in better form. 

The name of my hypothesis:  Gain Application Probability Supposition (GAPS).

If you have a fair coin and toss it, you have an equal chance for it to land heads or tails.  If you are in a situation where you toss a coin for a type of prize, such as for choice of starting position at the beginning of a football game, the result comes with a certain gain or loss.  When you win and associate the outcome with gain, you have Gain Application Probability (GAP).

If you are going to toss a coin one time and I tell you I will give you a prize, say $100, if you get heads, you will perceive the difference in the outcome even though heads and tails are of equal chance. (This example isn’t gambling because you don't lose your own money if you don’t win the prize.)

If I give you a prize for one toss of a dice if it comes out as a 5 and no other number, you will feel a difference if the 5 comes up.  But before you tossed, you only had one chance in six to get that prize, whereas with the coin it was one in two.

If I say I will give you $100 if you draw an Ace of Diamonds off the top of a regular, fairly shuffled deck of cards, you know that your chances of the prize are getting smaller (1 in 52) from the coin and dice tosses.  Which situation would you choose to take the chance for the prize?

Some regard the probabilities in dealt card hands no different if you have a good hand or bad.  But if you have cards that can win in a game (if played well), you may win a pot of money.  So I would call the good hand a gain.

Then there are situations based on probability where you lose. If your football team loses the toss, you have a Loss Application Probability, or LAP.  And there are many probability outcomes that don’t affect us much one way or the other, such when we toss coins just to see what comes up.  I call these Neutral Application Probabilities (NAP).

And, I suppose, zero times GAP is ZAP.

Now say I offered to let you choose between two possibilities.  I will give you a prize of $1,000 if you pick the Ace of Diamonds off the top of a fairly shuffled deck of cards or $100 if you get heads from a fairly tossed coin.  You might think about that for a while. With the cards the prize is bigger, but the chance of winning is smaller. According to my theory, the GAP increases when the gain of an event is larger and the probability is smaller.

Scientists have discovered (Axe, BIO-Complexity, 2010) that the proportion of biologically functional proteins is extremely tiny.  Proteins are the molecules (made of atoms) which do the work in all living cells, from single-celled bacteria to trillions-celled humans.  Proteins consist of smaller molecules called “amino acids” which as sub-units attach to each other to make long strings.  The twenty different kinds of biological amino acids have to line up in close to exact sequence so they can form into folds.  They have cross-connections that hold the protein together and the resulting shape and position of charges can perform specialized activities.  There is little leeway in the combinations.  Think if you had a list of business deliveries with addresses and phone numbers.  How many random changes to that list would make it impossible to complete all the deliveries in the required time?

The average protein consists of about 300 amino acids, but often has many more. There can be over 1000 in one specific protein.  In evolution theory (neo-Darwinism), random mutations of the DNA molecule during reproduction are supposed to provide the changes in proteins, since it is from DNA code that they are made.  Even natural selection (survival of the fittest), which is the other part of neo-Darwinism, depends on these DNA changes to provide the improved proteins so the organism has something to give it an advantage for reproduction and thereby be selected for the next generation.  Therefore we can say that totally materialistic evolution is theorized to happen entirely by chance.  For a smaller than average-sized protein, it has been experimentally found that about one in 10^77 of the amino acid combinations is fully functional, which is a 1 with 77 zeroes after it (10 to the power of 77).  Compare this to the number of atoms in our galaxy: 10^65.  Though this probability is so minuscule, the gain for us is great.  Without functional proteins, we would not have life at all.  And humans have thousands and thousands of proteins. 

In my experience, people have trouble comprehending really big or small numbers.  My husband worked out a probability problem for me a while ago.  He used an example with one million monkeys with one million typewriters with the target sentence: “It was a dark and stormy night.”  They would be typing continuously (24/7/365), 60 words per minute, with 5 letters per word.  The probability for each unit was 1 in 28 (26 letters, a space and a period).  He didn’t worry about a capital for the first letter.  How much time do you think the monkeys would need to type out that exact sentence by chance?  On average, it takes them about 7 thousand trillion trillion trillion years.

A trillion (10^12) is a thousand times a billion (10^9) and the number above is trillions of times more than a trillion.  Yet we have been told by experts that 3 billion years are long enough to form humans by random movement of molecules, starting with small organisms which changed in kind through reproduction.  Though our Earth contains a great number of atoms to work with, there are still limits.  It would take a very long time indeed for random combinations to form the specialized molecules necessary for life and the ever-increasing complexity of evolution. 

By now you may have realized that my hypothesis “GAPS” is a play on the common criticism concerning Creationists.  Many say Christians don’t really want to think about science, but resort to “God of the Gaps.”  In other words, if Creationists can’t figure something out we say, “God did it.”  It is true that we believe God made life.  Then when we learn the emerging facts about biology, our reason combines with our faith.  We use judgment to conclude that the presence and diversity of living beings is not by chance but by God’s direct formation in some way. 

In our culture, many people think science either does or will explain everything. Critics often insist that if we say God made Creation then we must give exact details of how He did it, preferably in a scientific formula. But they are putting the demands in their own terms.  The supernatural realm is different from this one, and God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than we can imagine above our thoughts (cf. Isaiah 55:8-10 NABRE).
 
As for the GAP of biological life, it is immeasurable because the gain is priceless.

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