The Impossibility of Creating DNA By Random Chance

**Summary:** The probability of making the foundational DNA of any simple organism, by chance, with all ingredients available, is 1/10 with 60 million zeros following. For comparison's sake, the probability of picking out one specific grain of sand from the sea is estimated as 1/10 with 15 zeros following. Even a billion chemical reactions per second, extended over billions of years, would only provide 1/10-with-158-zeros chance variations.

**Detail: ** DNA is impossible to make by chance -- __and__ it must be made before replication can occur.

**A.** How many tries would it take to make DNA of the simplest algae, insect or plant? **10 ^{60,199,991 }tries**. How do we know that?...

1) DNA is composed of 2 strands hooked together. Each strand consists of alternating building blocks, called bases, which connect one after the other. We will call them A, B, C, & D, since in DNA there are a minimum of 4 choices of base types. Standard probability indicates that, on average, getting the desired building block to begin the chain would take 4 tries.

2) The number of tries it would take for two bases to line up in exactly the order we want can be figured out by multiplying 4 X 4. Ex: If a strand of DNA must start out with AB, to get that combination would take 4 X 4, or 16, tries.

3) Most chemical reactions in the body travel either forward or backward. For these purposes, let's assume that they can only go forward, to give the benefit of doubt to the possibility of making DNA by chance.

4) Let's assume that once we have one chain of the DNA (RNA) it will automatically be converted into a double chain (DNA).

5) In Zubay’s textbook of biochemistry (Zubay, Geoffrey L. Biochemistry 4th Edition, 1998, William C. Brown, Dubuque, Iowa), the number of pairs of bases in the DNA of the simplest plant, insect or algae is 100,000,000. Therefore, one single strand of DNA (RNA) will have 100,000,000 single bases.

6) In order to pair up 100,000,000 bases in a row in a specific way, by chance, it would take 4^{100,000,000} tries. Converting this to a power of 10 results in: 10^{60,200,000}.

7) Let's make a generous assumption and assume that no organisms are more complex than simple algae, and that there are a billion ways to order the DNA to make an organism. This means that it takes a billion less tries to make the simplest DNA. This still means that it would take 10^{60,199,991} tries to make DNA of any organism.

**B.** How many tries are available in all of time in all the universe to make just one organism? **10 ^{158}**

1. Assume that bases, instead of being large compounds, are all the size of electrons.

2. Assume they can react a billion times a second.

3. Assume the universe is 10 billion light years wide. This has been estimated to hold 10^{130} electrons if the electrons were packed together without space.

4. Assume 100 billion years of time.

5. The number of tries or events in all of time in all the universe by these generous assumptions would be 10^{130} electrons X 10^{9} reactions per second X 10^{11} years X 31,536,000 seconds in a year = 3.1536 X10^{130}^{+9+11+7} = 3.2 X 10^{157}.

**C.** Considering all the tries available in all time (Section B, above) divided by the number of tries needed to make one organism (Section A, above), what is the probability over all time in all the universe to make the DNA of a living organism by chance? **1 / 10 ^{60,199,733}**

1. Number of tries available/number of tries needed = 10158/10^{60,199,991}

2. This equals a probability of 1 in 10^{60,199,991-158} = 1 / 10^{60,199,733}

**D.** The probability of choosing one specific insect randomly if all the insects in the whole world were gathered in one place, assuming 100 trillion insects, would be 1 in 10^{12}.

Picking one specific grain of sand out of the sea, assuming 100 quadrillion grains of sand, would be 1 in 10^{15}.

Yet we are talking about a probability of 1 in 10^{60,199,733}.

**E.** According to standard mathematics of probability, if the likelihood of an event happening is less than 1 out of all the tries available it is considered impossible. Therefore, if it would take 1 X 10^{158} tries for something to occur, and there were 10^{158} tries available, it would be considered possible, but if it took more than that many tries it would be considered impossible. Remember that, according to reasonable calculations, it would take 10^{60,199,991} tries; it is safe to say, then, that by any means of trial and error, the chances of making functioning DNA by time and chance are unequivocally impossible.

**F. ** Note that the same type of statistical calculation can be used to demonstrate that the protein necessary to replicate DNA could not have been produced by chance, etc.