Over the last 25 years I have encountered some astonishingly stupid arguments for creationism but this one may take the cake. It’s from a woman named Margaret Hunter and it purports to prove mathematically that the Genesis account is true. You might not want to drink anything while you read this or you might ruin a keyboard.
There are twelve events in the Biblical account of creation that science has confirmed are correct and in the correct order. So I ask myself, what are the chances of just guessing the correct order.
Here are the events
1. Light separated from darkness
2. Creation of the earth covered in water
3. The separation of the dry land from the seas
4 – 6. The creation of plants in a particular order – grasses, plants with seeds and fruit bearing trees
7. The placing of the heavenly bodies in relationship to the earth. This is often explained as the clearing of the atmosphere (from one composed mostly of water vapor and carbon dioxide to one with more oxygen due to plant photsynthesis) enough to see these creations.
8-11 The creation of animal life in a particular order – fish, birds, modern land animals, live stock
12. The creation of man
Think of the problem like this. Take a deck of cards. Keep just one suit -let’s say hearts. Toss out the ace. Hand the remaining twelve cards to a one year old child. Ask him/her to hand you the cards one at a time. In order. What are the chances said toddler will start with the two and give them all to you in order right up to the king? It’s a basic probability question (no, come back! forget I said anything about math.) I’ll just tell you the answer. It’s one chance in 479,001,600. (If you want the formula it’s below) In other words Moses had less than one chance in 479 million of just correctly guessing.
Let’s start with her faulty analogy. A deck of cards *has* to be in a particular order. That’s why it’d be very impressive for a toddler to get it right. But Moses (let’s assume for a moment that he existed and wrote Genesis, both of which I doubt) wasn’t randomly guessing at this order. Of course you have to create the earth (#1) before you create animals that live on it (#8-12). Of course you have to have water (#2) before you can separate dry land from it (#3). Of course you have to create plants (#4-6) before you can create animals (#8-11).
This isn’t some shuffled deck of cards that Moses randomly guessed correctly. This is a linear jigsaw puzzle where only one piece fits into the slot in front of it.
But there’s so much more that is wrong here. Like the fact that the Genesis story has light being created on the first day before there is a source for light (either the sun or other stars, which were created on the 4th day). There is no day and night without the sun, yet the first three “days” have a day and night before the sun was created. That’s about as blatantly out of order as it could be.
And the order of the animals is wrong too. It doesn’t say that God created “fish” before birds and land animals, it says “Let the water teem with living creatures,” which would included marine mammals that evolved long after land animals. And birds did not evolve until tens of millions of years after the first land animals crawled out of the ocean. So no, the order is not even close to being correct, which makes the entire basis for this exercise in irrationality false from the start.