Herald Journal Columns
June 23, 2003 Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Leaving it to chance is just monkeying around

By Rev. Robert Hellmann, St. Paul's and Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Montrose

If a million monkeys typed at a million computers for a million years, they will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare.

At least, that's what someone once said.

Researchers at Plymouth University in England recently tried the idea out. They put a computer in the monkey enclosure at Paignton Zoo and let the monkeys do their thing.

The monkeys managed to produce five pages of text, composed mostly of the letter S with a few occurrences of the letters A, J, L, and M. The end result was that they attacked the machine and failed to produce a single word.

But if the million monkeys at a million computers were given a long enough time, wouldn't they be able to do a lot better?

Let's take a look at it. What would the odds be of the monkeys typing "Ber: Who's There?" (the first line of the play Hamlet)? The odds are approximately one out of the number 129 followed by 23 zeros. This number is so huge that odds are virtually zero of even such a simple phrase being typed at random by the million monkeys.

Alright, but so what?

The point is that some say that the world came into being by itself by chance over eons of time. They claim that matter somehow clumped together to form stars, planets, and other celestial bodies.

They claim that matter, somehow by chance, came together to become a living cell. They claim this cell multiplied and against all odds somehow gradually developed into all the forms of life that we see today. This idea is called the theory of evolution.

What are the odds that such a thing might happen? The odds of that happening are so huge, so immense, that it would be a miracle if it did happen.

But miracles are entirely God's department. God used his almighty power and unlimited wisdom to design and create the world in six days. For, in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. (Exodus 20:11; see also Genesis 1-2)

God's wise design is clearly and easily seen in the world around us. The sun rises and sets in regular patterns. Seasons come and go with complete predictability. The earth is at just the right distance from the sun for life to flourish.

Most of all we see God's wise design in ourselves ­ that is, in the human body. The human body was not haphazardly put together.

We don't have a hand coming out of the back of our head, or an eye on the bottom of our foot. Instead, the human body is so marvelous, so complex, so intricate ­ and it all works ­ that it could not have been put together by chance.

"For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. " (Hebrews 3:4)

So don't monkey around. Leave chance to the mathematicians and the gamblers. And leave the miracle of creation to God.

But, do praise and thank him for creating the world and for the wonderful way in which the Triune God ­ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ­ has made us.


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