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Level Four Tornado Through Kentucky Junk Yard Self Assembles Lime Green Hummer.

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Big Jim Sumpter

Galapagos Now, that's a real front page headline for Nature -- ID disproved! [NOT] For those who don't know the context, here is a classic cite from Dawkins, in turn citing the late great Sir Fred Hoyle's analogy of a tornado in a junkyard assembling a 747 by chance. This, reportedly, from The Blind Watchmaker (1987), p. 8:
Hitting upon the lucky number that opens the bank's safe [NB: cf. here the case in Brown's The Da Vinci Code] is the equivalent, in our analogy, of hurling scrap metal around at random and happening to assemble a Boeing 747. [NB: originally, this imagery is due to Sir Fred Hoyle, who used it to argue that life on earth bears characteristics that strongly suggest design. His suggestion: panspermia -- i.e. life drifted here, or else was planted here.] Of all the millions of unique and, with hindsight equally improbable, positions of the combination lock, only one opens the lock. Similarly, of all the millions of unique and, with hindsight equally improbable, arrangements of a heap of junk, only one (or very few) will fly. The uniqueness of the arrangement that flies, or that opens the safe, has nothing to do with hindsight. It is specified in advance. [Parenthetical note added, in tribute to the late great Sir Fred Hoyle.]
In short, Q: is it reasonable to expect chance plus natural regularities acting with out intelligent direction to assemble complex, fine-tuned wholes based on many co-adapted components, even if the components are actually available in teh immediate vicinity? ANS: No, on excellent statistical thermodynamics grounds having to do with the accessibility of islands of functionality within the configuration space as a whole. If you want a bit more on this, have a look at my discussion in my always linked, Appendix 1, section 6. GEM of TKI kairosfocus

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