Writer Profile for Michael Cremo
Books
Cremo, M. A., and Thompson, R.
L. (1993) Forbidden Archeology. San Diego:
Bhaktivedanta
Institute. [Over 200,000
copies sold in 13 languages]
Cremo, M. A., and Thompson, R.
L. (1994) The Hidden History of the Human Race.
Badger:
Govardhan Hill. Popular edition
of Forbidden Archeology. (Spanish, Italian, Japanese,
Hungarian, and Russian rights
sold, other translation rights under negotiation).
Cremo, M. A., and Goswami, M.
(1995) Divine Nature: A Spiritual Perspective
on the
Environmental Crisis.
Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (released on Earth Day, April
22; 100,000 copies in print).
Cremo, M. A. (1998) Forbidden Archeology's Impact: Papers, Reviews, Letters,
and Interviews.
Los Angeles, BBT Science.
Cremo, M. A., and Thompson, R. L. (1999) The Hidden History of the Human Race. Los Angeles,
BBT Science.
Cremo, M. A. (2003) Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative
to Darwin's Theory. Los Angeles, BBT Science.
Michael Cremo has published over 280 articles and
editorials in magazines such as Origins, Back to Godhead and Atlantis Rising
He has written video scripts on a variety of subjects,
from vegetarianism to human evolution.
He has contributed chapters to popular spiritual
classics like Chant and Be Happy that have sold millions
of copies worldwide.
He continues to write philosophical papers for the
scholarly community on various aspects of science, spirituality, and history.
A Poem
"Could Life Arise by Chance?"
By Michael Cremo, with Richard
L. Thompson
To give
some idea of what exactly is involved in supposing that life could have
emerged by random combination of chemicals in a primordial soup, let us imagine
that this soup covered the entire surface of the earth to a depth of one
mile. We shall divide this volume into tiny cubes measuring one angstrom
unit on each side. (An angstrom unit is about the size of a single
hydrogen atom.) Let's also assume that the soup is extremely concentrated,
so that reactions are taking place within each of the cubes within the soup.
Now, in the expectation of obtaining
the simplest possible self-reproducing organism, let the reactions take
place abillion times per second in each cube. And let's further
assume that the reactions have been going on for 4.5 billion years, the
estimated age of the earth.
As we have seen in the acompanying
article, scientists Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe have estimated
that the chance of obtaining the simplest self-reproducing system by random
combination of molecules is at best somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 in
10^{40,000} attempts. But if out of extreme generosity we
reduce the required number of proteins from 2,000 to only 100, then the
probability is still 1 in 10^{2,000}.
Now, if you add up all the possible
attempted billion-per-second combinations in our hypothetical promordial
soup, you wind up with only 10^{74} throws of the chemical dice.
That means the odds of getting the required self-reproducing system out of
our soup would be in 1 in 10^{1,926}. We wouldn't expect that
to happen in the entire course of the earth's history!
Of course, a diehard gambler might
say it's highly unlikely but it just could happen by chance.
But this is a completely meaningless use of the word chance. In
order for a statement about an event with a nonzero probability of happening
to be meaningful, we would have to observe enough repetitions of the event
to establish a statistical pattern. Only this would allow us to say,
"This event has probability p of happening."
For example, we say that when we toss
a coin there is one chance in two that it will turn up heads. This
probability is established by examining the behavior of the coin over several
hundred trials. Now, if you have an event with a probability of one
ina million, it would take hundreds of millions of trials to establish this.
And if the event has an estimated probability of 1 in 10^{2,000},
you would need many times that number of trials. The basic point is
this: What is meant by a probability of 1 out of 10^{2,000} is that
a certain statistical pattern corresponding to this figure will be observed
over the required vast number of trials. If there is no possibility
of performing these trials (as is certainly the case here), then there is
no meaning to saying an event happens with that very small probability.
On this planet, as we have seen, you
can only have a maximum of 10^{74} trials. Now, we can be
extremely generous and grant the chemical evolutionists that the trials
can be taking place in primordial soups on as many planets as there are
atoms in the entire universe - about 10^{80}. Then you get
a grand total of 10^{154} trials - still an infinitesimal number
compared to 10^{20,000}. The conclusion is simple. It's
meaningless to talk about the origin of life in terms of chance. To
say it happened by chance is just the same as saying it happened, and we
already know that. In that case, all we can say is that life is a
unique event.
This article was originally published
in Origins: Higher Dimensions in Science, a publication of the Bhaktivedanta
Institute (pp. 34-35) .
Copyright 1984 BBT.
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