How long would it take one million monkeys to accidentally type the first 10 words of the Bible?

Question: How long would it take one million monkeys typing away day and night on one million typewriters for just one monkey to accidentally type out the first ten words in the Bible: (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”)

Answer: Consider a rock which reached from the earth to the nearest star (some twenty-six trillion miles away). Once every million years a tiny bird flies to the massive rock and removes the smallest grain of sand from it. When four rocks this size have been completely carried away, the one of those monkeys will have accidentally typed out Genesis 1:1.

But this accomplishment would be absolutely nothing as compared to the probabilities that a living cell would by random processes be formed. Consider the following: Dr. Harold Morowitz of Yale estimated the theoretical limits for the smallest free-living thing which could duplicate itself. It would require 239 individual protein molecules. What are the chances that the first protein molecule would form all their amino acids into left handed chains? (For some unknown reason all life consists only of these left handed protein molecule chains). Well, the minimal number of amino acids in a protein is 410. This then would be like flipping a coin 410 times and coming up with heads every time! The answer is one chance in 10 to the 123rd power (10 followed by 123 zeros).But then even if this occurred in one protein, it would have to be repeated in at least 238 other proteins also. The chances are now one in 10 followed by 29345 zeros. this would be about twenty 8.5″ x 11″ pages of typed zeros! How big is this number? Consider the following:

  • There are (10 followed by 18 zeros) seconds in 15 billion years.
  • The known universe weighs 7 x (10 followed by 41 zeros) pounds.
  • The universe contains 5 x (10 followed by 78 zeros) atoms.
  • The universe contains (10 followed by 130 zeros) electrons.

Conclusion: Suppose each atom could expand until it was the size of the present universe. There would then be 3 x (10 followed by 157 zeros) atoms in the universe. By comparison, the odds against a single protein forming by chance in the earth’s entire history is 4000 times larger than the number of atoms in the super-universe. Imagine an amoeba traveling a line stretched across our known universe, some fifteen billion light years in length. Its speed is one inch per year. It has one task, to carry one atom across and come back for another. Each trip takes 2 x (1 followed by 28 zeros) years. The time it would take to carry all the atoms across the entire diameter of the known universe is the expected time it would take for one protein to form by chance. Suppose the amoeba has only traveled one inch since the universe has existed (fifteen million years to cover one inch). He could still carry 6 x (10 followed by 53 zeros) universes while one protein is forming.

Exerpt from:  Willmington’s Guide to the Bible  Page 17.

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