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Q: Big Bang? Scientist? ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Big Bang? Scientist?
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: spacehog371-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 26 Sep 2005 17:20 PDT
Expires: 26 Oct 2005 17:20 PDT
Question ID: 573041
The big bang? Is life to complex to support this theory? A major
scientist conceded on his death bed that the the complexity of life is
so far out of the realm of chance that only an intelligent designer
could have created earth...what was his name and what was his

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 26 Sep 2005 17:35 PDT

Even as a first time visitor to Google Answers, you're certainly not
shy about stirring up some controversy!

I'm interested in addressing your question, but I want to make sure I
understand what you're asking.

Is your question focusing ONLY on the death-bed assertion of a major
scientist regarding the complexity of life and intelligent design? 
Who it was, what was said, and what led them to say it?

I'm asking for clarification because your question also mentions the
Big Bang.  To my mind, this is something rather distinct from the
emergence of complex life on earth, and the theories about how that
came about.  Life emerged billions of years AFTER the Big Bang was
supposed to have taken place, and though there's obviously a
connection, they are also very different realms of science.

Let me know a bit more clearly what your interest is here, and what
the scope of your question is, and I'll see if I can assist you.



Clarification of Question by spacehog371-ga on 26 Sep 2005 18:22 PDT
Originally I was going to ask the question using evolution instead of
the big bang. This would pit creationism vs. evolution in a way I do
not want to answer. There are certainly good arguements for both sides
of whether or not things evolve, but this does not really answer the
question of creationism vs. evolution, as created life forms could
have evolved. This also gives the connotation of the christian
religion, meaning God created adam and eve and everything else.
Instead, if you answer the question of whether the earth was created
by way of intelligent design, or -- the other popular theory -- big
bang. I guess my question really asks if the big bang is really 
reasonable theory, considering that so many things controlled by
chance had to go exactly right in order for it to happen. That is
mainly what the question is asking? Secondly, I know that this
scientist was a stauch supporter of one of the alternative
theories...and if I remember correctly it was the big bang...but while
he was close to dying, he admitted that life was so unbelievably
complex, that it was not possible for it to have happened by chance.
Does that help?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 26 Sep 2005 18:36 PDT
Yes, that does help quite a bit.

I'm going to take some time to mull things over, and see if I can come
up with an answer that makes sense (to me and hopefully to you) and
that covers the wealth of territory that your question implies.

It may take a few days before you hear back from me.  But if I
surrender, I'll unlock this question so that another researcher can
take a crack at it.

Stay tuned....


Clarification of Question by spacehog371-ga on 26 Sep 2005 20:30 PDT
Take as long as you need...this question cannot be answered in any
real short period of time.

Request for Question Clarification by nancylynn-ga on 27 Sep 2005 16:57 PDT
I believe the scientist you're thinking of is Darwin. (However, the
stories of his deathbed refutation of evolution have been disputed.)

I can't be 100% certain the scientist you're thinking of is Darwin --
do you think possibly you're thinking of a more recent scientist who
refuted evolution while on his deathbed?

Also, are you interested in specifically in the story of why Darwin
(or whichever scientist it was, if not Darwin) allegedly rejected the
theory of evolution? Or are you more interested in the larger
discussion of evolution/big bang vs. intelligent design?

Request for Question Clarification by nancylynn-ga on 27 Sep 2005 18:36 PDT
Could the person you're thinking of be Antony Flew? 

Flew is an 81-year-old professor of philosophy and had been a
world-renowned atheist for decades. (He's written quite a few famous
papers on atheism.)

Just recently, Flew stunned fellow atheists when he announced he now
believes it's likely God does exist.

According to ABC News, Flew appears in the new documentary "Has
Science Discovered God?", in which Flew states that DNA research "has
shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which
are needed to produce [life], that intelligence must have been

While Flew hasn't completely refuted Darwinism, he believes what is
now being called intelligent design is also valid.

If Flew is the person you're thinking of, I will try to find as much
information as I can for you about his evolving (sorry -- I couldn't
resist the pun) theories.

Best Regards,
Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by spacehog371-ga on 27 Sep 2005 22:10 PDT
That last one sounds about right... So I guess a good place to start
would be his research. I do not really want any detailed information
about evolution though, as I'm not interested in that. I guess I just
want to know what backs up his belief that life is so complex it could
not have happened by chance.

Request for Question Clarification by nancylynn-ga on 28 Sep 2005 07:41 PDT
Please take a look at "Comment" to read brix24-ga's superb information
about Fred Hoyle, the scientist who coined the phrase "The Big Bang."

If you believe Hoyle is the scientist you were thinking of, and you
are satisfied with the information provided by brix24-ga, I will
consider the matter closed.

I will wait to hear from you before researching Antony Flew. (I can
also research Darwin's purported deathbed recantation of evolution.)

But if Hoyle sounds like the person you meant, then I think you have your answer!

Google Answers Researcher

Request for Question Clarification by nancylynn-ga on 29 Sep 2005 11:39 PDT
Since I haven't heard back from you, I'm going to go ahead and
research Flew; and look for other scientists who challenged the Big
Bang theory and/or evolution, and the basis of their arguments or
qualms re: those theories.

Again, please review the information provided by brix24-ga concerning Hoyle.

If you feel that information is just what you were looking for, and
that that information is sufficient for you, just post a message to
that effect and I will stop my research and you can close this

Google Answers Researcher
Subject: Re: Big Bang? Scientist?
Answered By: nancylynn-ga on 29 Sep 2005 22:57 PDT
All of my research has led me to the aforementioned Antony Flew, who
recently attracted considerable media attention when he renounced
atheism and further acknowledged he was warming to the theory of
intelligent design.

As far as I can tell, Flew is the person you're seeking. (Though,
again, it may well be Fred Hoyle, whose work and beliefs were summed
up in brix24-ga's excellent "Comment".)


Flew is an 82-year-old philosopher (now professor emeritus at Reading
University), and has been a world-renowned, highly influential atheist
since 1950.

He may well be the person you're thinking of, as he made headlines
late last year when he revealed he now believes it is likely God does
exist; and that evolution alone cannot account for the creation of

It's important to note that in researching Flew, one constantly
encounters this 2001 statement from Flew: "Sorry to Disappoint, but
I'm Still an Atheist!"

You can read the essay at Butterflies & Wheels: 

Here's a key passage:

"We negative atheists are bound to see the Big Bang cosmology as
requiring a physical explanation; and that one which, in the nature of
the case, may nevertheless be forever inaccessible to human beings.
But believers may, equally reasonably, welcome the Big Bang cosmology
as tending to confirm their prior belief that 'in the beginning' the
Universe was created by God."

But in 2004, Flew made a dramatic announcement: he'd concluded God may
well exist; and that evolution alone cannot account for the creation
of life.

On December 9, 2004, several major news organizations, including:

Posted AP reporter Richard Ostling's story concerning a new
documentary "Has Science Discovered God?" in which Flew stated that
DNA research "has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the
arrangements which are needed to produce [life], that intelligence
must have been involved."

Flew's startling conversion even earned a mention in Jay Leno's
monologue: "Of course he believes in God now. He's 81 years old."
(Christianity Today, April 2005.)

While Flew hasn't completely refuted Darwinism, he believes what is
now being called intelligent design is also valid.

(Just to clarify: though Flew now believes God exists -- or that He
*may* exist -- Flew is a self-described deist; that is, he believes
God is a "minimal God": a grand but distant architect who doesn't
influence or interfere in daily life. Flew also continues to maintain
there isn't any such thing as life after death.)

Here are some articles and interviews about Flew's surprising,
late-in-life conversion:

"Thinking Straighter. Why the world's most famous atheist now believes
in God," by James A. Beverley (a former student of Flew's).
Christianity Today. April 8, 2005:
"Flew's U-turn on God lies in a far more significant reality. It is
about evidence. 'Since the beginning of my philosophical life I have
followed the policy of Plato's Socrates: We must follow the argument
wherever it leads.'

" . . . The Impact of Evangelical Scholars
Actually, Flew has been rethinking the arguments for a Designer for
several years. When I saw him in London in the spring of 2003, he told
me he was still an atheist but was impressed by Intelligent Design
theorists. By early 2004 he had made the move to deism. Surprisingly,
he gives first place to Aristotle in having the most significant
impact on him. 'I was not a specialist on Aristotle, so I was reading
parts of his philosophy for the first time.' He was aided in this by
"The Rediscovery of Wisdom," a work on Aristotle by David Conway, one
of Flew's former students.

"Flew also cites the influence of Gerald Schroeder, an Israeli
physicist, and Roy Abraham Varghese, author of The Wonder of the World
and an Eastern Rite Catholic. Flew appeared with both scientists at a
New York symposium last May where he acknowledged his changed
conviction about the necessity for a Creator. In the broader picture,
both Varghese and Schroeder, author of The Hidden Face of God, argue
from the fine-tuning of the universe that it is impossible to explain
the origin of life without God. This forms the substance of what led
Flew to move away from Darwinian naturalism."

"Famed atheist sees evidence for God, cites recent discoveries," by
David Roach of BP News, posted at the Christian Examiner. (May 2005.)

?'I think that the most impressive arguments for God?s existence are
those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries,? Flew said.
?. . . I think the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously
stronger than it was when I first met it.?

"Although many atheists appeal to naturalistic evolution as a method
by which the world could have come into existence apart from God,
Charles Darwin himself acknowledged that the process of evolution
requires a creator to start the process, Flew said."

Much of the Christian Examiner story is based on Flew's extensive
interview with Dr. Gary R. Habermas, which was published in the Winter
2004 edition of the journal Philosophia Christi, posted at this Biola
University site:

"FLEW: ". . . Darwin himself, in the fourteenth chapter of  "The
Origin of Species," pointed out that his whole argument began with a
being which already possessed reproductive powers. This is the
creature the evolution of which a truly comprehensive theory of
evolution must give some account. Darwin himself was well aware that
he had not produced such an account. It now seems to me that the
findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided
materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.' "

More of Flew's Thoughts on Darwin:

"Letter from Antony Flew on Darwinism and Theology," published in the
"Letters To the Editor" section of Philosophy Now, Issue 47,
August/September 2004:

Flew wrote his letter in response to the article "The Alleged
Fallacies of Evolutionary Theory," by Massimo Pigliucci, published in
Issue 46 of Philosophy Now.

Flew wrote: "Probably Darwin himself believed that life was
miraculously breathed into that primordial form of not always
consistently reproducing life by God, though not the revealed God of
then contemporary Christianity, who had predestined so many of
Darwin?s friends and family to an eternity of extreme torture.

"But the evidential situation of natural (as opposed to revealed)
theology has been transformed in the more than fifty years since
Watson and Crick won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the double
helix structure of DNA. It has become inordinately difficult even to
begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the
evolution of that first reproducing organism.
". . . Anyone who should happen to want to know what I myself now
believe will have to wait until the publication, promised for early
2005, by Prometheus of Amherst, NY of the final edition of my 'God and
Philosophy.' "

Flew expanded on his changed views in this December 19, 2004,
interview with the Sunday Times of London:

"In the beginning there was something. His atheist chums aren?t happy,
but Antony Flew tells Stuart Wavell why he now thinks there was a
higher power at work in the creation of the universe":,,2092-1408276_1,00.html   

From page 2: " . . . Flew?s recent enlightenment [wasn't]
philosophical but scientific. His doubts began when he read the last
chapter of Darwin?s "Origin of Species," which suggests all organic
beings on Earth had descended from one 'primordial' form. 'Darwin saw
that there was a problem with the origin of life,' [Flew] says. 'It
had to begin with a creature capable of producing creatures that are
not always identical to their parents. It is simply out of the
question that the first living matter evolved out of dead matter and
then developed into an extraordinary, complicated creature of which we
have no examples. There must have been some intelligence.' ?

"The clincher that persuaded Flew there may be a God is the elegance
and complexity of DNA. He was impressed with the arguments of Gerard
Schroeder, a Jewish theologian, physicist and author of The Hidden
Face of God: How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth. 'He pointed out
the improbable statistics involved and the pure chances that have to
occur. It?s simply not on to think this could occur simply by
chance,'[Flew] asserts."

You may be interested in Schroeder's "The Hidden Face of God."
(Publisher: Free Press April 30, 2002.)  You can read a synopsis,
reviews, and (after you register) even read excerpts from the book at

Yet Another "U-Turn"?

Secular Web's maintains an index of some of Flew's most notable works:

The site also catalogues private correspondence between Flew and one
of his former students, Richard Carrier. In this conversation, Flew
expands on his new beliefs:

Flew tells Carrier "'My one and only piece of relevant evidence [for
an Aristotelian God] is the apparent impossibility of providing a
naturalistic theory of the origin from DNA of the first reproducing
species ... [In fact] the only reason which I have for beginning to
think of believing in a First Cause god is the impossibility of
providing a naturalistic account of the origin of the first
reproducing organisms.

Carrier notes: "[Flew] cites, in fact, the improbability arguments of
Schroeder, which I have refuted online, and the entire argument to the
impossibility of natural biogenesis I have refuted in Biology &

Scroll down to "Update (January 2005)."  Here, Carrier reports yet
another twist in Flew's thinking, as Flew's continued correspondence
with Carrier suddenly suggests Flew seems to be doubling back:

Flew: "'I now realize that I have made a fool of myself by believing
that there were no presentable theories of the development of
inanimate matter up to the first living creature capable of

"[Flew] blames his error on being 'misled' by Richard Dawkins
[renowned evolutionary biologist] because Dawkins 'has never been
reported as referring to any promising work on the production of a
theory of the development of living matter,' even though this is false
(e.g., Richard Dawkins and L. D. Hurst, "Evolutionary Chemistry: Life
in a Test Tube," Nature 357: pp. 198-199, 21 May 1992 . . . ."

Carrier also reports: "Flew also makes another admission that suggests
he is recanting his new stance: 'I have been mistaught (sic) by Gerald
Schroeder.' He says 'it was precisely because he appeared to be so
well qualified as a physicist (which I am not) that I was never
inclined to question what he said about physics.' Apart from his
unreasonable plan of trusting a physicist on the subject of
biochemistry (after all, the relevant field is biochemistry, not
physics--yet it would seem Flew does not recognize the difference),
this attitude seems to pervade Flew's method of truthseeking, of
looking to a single author for authoritative information and never
checking their claims . . . ."

Flew is a philosopher, not a scientist, which is what makes him so
vulnerable to attack. (If you run the query "Antony Flew," you'll find
many articles and comments -- including the critical comments I just
cited from Flew's devotee Richard Carrier -- assailing Flew on the
basis of his -- allegedly -- poor grasp of science.)

Flew's recent comments to Carrier, suggesting he now has doubts about
the material on which he based his revised version of "God and
Philosophy," will no doubt lead to even more criticism.

What's truly bizarre is that Flew made critical comments about
Schroeder to Carrier on December 29, 2004; a mere ten days after
Flew's interview with the Sunday Times of London Review, in which he'd
praised Schroeder.

Here is Flew's biography at Wikipedia:

Scroll down the page to "Works" to see a full listing of Flew's books
and landmark essays.


In my first post to you, I'd mentioned that I was finding frequent
references to Darwin's renunciation of his own theory while on his

The legend that Darwin renounced his own theory while on his deathbed
is almost certainly false.

"Did Darwin recant?" by Russell M. Grigg, first published in Creation,
Dec. 1995 (Volume 18, Issue 1), and now posted at Answers In Genesis.

Grigg's article provides solid, footnoted evidence of the probable
(and highly dubious) source of this apparently phony legend:

Search Strings

scientist renounced evolution on deathbed
scientist AND challenged OR renounced AND evolution OR Big Bang
scientist recants Big Bang

I hope my research is of help to you. If you need help navigating any
of the above links, or if have any further questions, please post a
"Request For Clarification," and I will assist you.

Best Regards,
Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Answer by nancylynn-ga on 30 Sep 2005 05:46 PDT
To clarify: I stated that Richard Carrier is a former student of
Flew's, but believe I made an error.

I can't find any reference to Carrier having studied with Flew, and Carrier's bio:
doesn't mention anything about Carrier having been a student of Flew's.

Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Answer by nancylynn-ga on 30 Sep 2005 09:26 PDT
I'm sorry to post yet another clarification, but I just found an
article that does an excellent job of spelling out Flew's argument. I
had found this link last night but it wasn't working. It is working
now, so let's hope it works for you.

The article is "Entertaining the notion of a place of wonder," written
by Jonathan Witt of Discovery Institute's Center for Science &
Culture, Seattle.

Witt's column defending Flew's new argument in favor of Intelligent
Design  was published in the Seattle Times on December 20, 2004.

Witt provides excellent context for Flew's new theories, while
simultaneously bolstering Flew's argument.

" . . . Flew points out that even if Charles Darwin's theory of random
variation and natural selection can explain how organisms evolved, the
theory does not explain one crucial question: Where did a living,
self-reproducing organism come from in the first place?

"Flew insists that the scientific establishment has simply failed to
answer this question persuasively, Flew points out that even if
Charles Darwin's theory of random variation and natural selection can
explain how organisms evolved, the theory does not explain one crucial
question: Where did a living, self-reproducing organism come from in
the first place?

"Those eager to expunge God's fingerprints from nature weren't
concerned by this shortcoming in Darwin's material explanation for
life, because Darwin and his contemporaries thought a single cell was
a simple blob of protoplasm. How hard could it be for nature to
randomly produce something so simple?

"In those days the cell was a black box, a mystery. But in the 20th
century, scientists were able to open that black box and peek inside.
There they found not a simple blob, but a world of complex circuits,
miniaturized motors and digital code."

Another article that's extremely helpful to understanding Flew's
theory is "A change of mind for Antony Flew," written by philosopher
Peter Williams, posted at Culture Watch (dated 2005.)

"While Flew restricts the design argument to situations where no
'satisfactory naturalistic explanation has been developed' (something
that not all design argument advocates, let alone all theists, would
agree with), it is significant to find Flew arguing against Dawkins
that natural selection does not explain the existence of life,
affirming that there is today no satisfactory naturalistic explanation
for the first emergence of living from non-living matter, or for the
capacity of life to reproduce itself genetically, and observing that
there isn't even any sign of such an explanation on the horizon 'if
indeed there ever could be.'

"In a recording of the 2004 symposium 'Has Science Discovered God',
organised by The Institute for Metascientific Research, Professor Flew
says: 'What I think the DNA material has done is show that
intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily
diverse elements together . . . The enormous complexity by which the
results were achieved look to me like the work of intelligence.'[23]

"Together with an increasing number of scholars, Flew believes that
the prospects of a satisfactory naturalistic explanation for certain
facets of biological reality are dim ('It has become inordinately
difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic
theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism' . . . ."

Another great thing about this article is that the footnotes are
hyperlinked, so you can link your way to even more information.

I hope this additional information is helpful.

Google Answers Researcher
Subject: Re: Big Bang? Scientist?
From: brix24-ga on 28 Sep 2005 07:16 PDT
The person you are thinking of could be the British astrophycisist Fred Hoyle.

Major scientific accomplishment: 

He, along with others, showed that elements could be synthesized from
the simplest element, hydrogen, during the burning and the death of
stars. (I presume this means over billions of years.)

Major astrophysical controversy:

He did not accept the "big bang" theory but believed in a steady-state
universe where matter was continually being created. He coined the
term "big bang" in an attempt to make fun of the theory, but the name
was so descriptive that everyone adopted it. Eventually, the "big
bang" theory became the accepted theory by almost everyone because
scientists were able to detect the cosmic microwave background
radiation the was predicted by the big bang theory and that was a sign
of its occurrence in the remote past.

Current science knows nothing about what happened before the big bang
nor where it originally came from. There was a time when some
scientists thought the universe might stop expanding, then collapse
again; however, I believe that the latest data indicates that the
universe may keep on expanding forever.


The Fred Hoyle obituaries I read don't mention any death-bed
statements, but Hoyle was not a believer in evolution, believing that
living organisms were too complex to occur by chance. He published his
beliefs about 20 years before his death.

He published an argument that there were too many possibilities for
chance to produce the enzymes needed for by a cell (see quote below).
I did not investigate any rebuttal to his argument, but from what I
see below, it looks like he may have ignored incremental change: that
is, all the atoms in a protein or enzyme molecule don't have to
randomly come together at one time; rather, first amino acids might be
formed (I believe that this has been shown to occur in experiments)
then these could be combined into some small useful peptide (union of
amino acids), that the useful peptide would increase due to some
advantage. This would give a large population of this peptide on which
further random changes could occur to (sometimes) produce related
useful peptide.

Instead of evolution, Hoyle believed that life was left on this planet
by other living organisms.

Apparently, he thought new strains of influenza were acquired when the
earth passed through meteor streams (see quote below).

Here is some information I found:
From Fred Hoyle?s obituary on the BBC site:

?The English astronomer who coined the term "Big Bang" to describe an
academic theory on the creation of the cosmos, has died at the age of

 Despite popularising the theory by giving it a name, Professor Sir
Fred Hoyle challenged the belief that the cosmos was caused by a huge
explosion 12,000 million years ago.

 He advocated the "steady state" theory - that the cosmos had no
beginning but new galaxies were formed as others moved apart.

Sir Fred also rejected Darwin's theory of evolution, putting forward
the so-called Panspermia Theory, which suggests that life, or the
building blocks of life, could be carried to planets by comets or
drifting interstellar dust particles.

 He believed it had all been arranged by a super-intelligent
civilisation who wished to seed our planet.?

From Fred Hoyle?s obituary in The Guardian:,3604,540961,00.html

?Soon after the end of the second world war he became widely known
both by scientists and the public as one of the originators of a new
theory of the universe. He was a fluent writer and speaker and became
the main expositor of this new theory of the steady state, or
continuous creation, according to which the universe had existed for
an infinite past time and would continue infinitely into the future,
as opposed to what Hoyle styled the "big bang" theory.?

?Although Hoyle was most widely known for this cosmological theory,
there is little doubt that his most lasting and significant
contribution to science concerns the origin of the elements. This
theory of nucleogenesis (the build-up of the elements in the hot
interiors of stars) was an outstanding scientific landmark of the
1950s. In the development of this theory Hoyle collaborated with WA
Fowler of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and with
Geoffrey and Margaret Burbidge.

Hitherto, the general belief was that all the elements must have been
produced in the hot primordial universe. The new paper, on the
contrary, showed that the elements could be produced from the
primordial hydrogen by nucleo-synthesis in the hot interior of stars.
The theory gave a satisfactory account of the relative abundances of
the elements, provided an explanation of the direction of stellar
evolution and gave an objective basis for calculation of the internal
constitution of stars.

The theory also confirmed a prediction of Hoyle's that there must be
an excited state of the carbon twelve isotope - at the energy he had
predicted from a consideration of the evolution of red giant stars.
This, incidentally, was agreeably consistent with the steady state
cosmological theory, since there was no necessity for an initial hot
condition of a primordial universe.

The paper, published in an American journal in 1957, has been
described as monumental, and the theory has had a cardinal influence
on astrophysics. Although there were four authors, it is widely known
that the Burbidges contributed the data from their stellar
observations and that the core and essence of the paper was the work
of Fowler and Hoyle.

Fowler was awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 1983, and why Hoyle
was not included in this award remains a mystery hidden in the
confidential documents of the Royal Swedish Academy. The editor of the
scientific journal Nature suggested that the academy did not wish to
be associated with any endorsement of another idea then being
promulgated by Hoyle. This was linked to Hoyle's belief that life must
be of frequent occurrence in the universe. He argued that the primeval
molecules from which life evolved on Earth had been transported from
elsewhere in the universe. In itself this idea would not necessarily
be rejected as absurd by the scientific community, but Hoyle had
publicised a further argument that influenza epidemics were associated
with the passage of the Earth through certain meteor streams, the
particles of which conveyed the virus to Earth.

This was dismissed as fictional by nearly all members of the
biological and physical scientific disciplines. Indeed, the idea
belonged more to Hoyle's activity as a writer of science fiction for
over three decades.?

From Wikipedia:

?Rejection of the big bang
While having no argument with the discovery of the expansion of the
universe by Edwin Hubble, he disagreed on its interpretation: Hoyle
(with Thomas Gold and Hermann Bondi, who he had worked with on radar
in World War II) argued for the universe being in a "steady state",
with the continuous creation of new matter driving the expansion of
the universe, rather than the universe beginning and expanding
explosively in a "Big Bang". Ironically, he is responsible for
actually coining the term "Big Bang" in a BBC radio programme, The
Nature of Things while criticising the theory; the text was published
in 1950. Continuous creation offered no explanation for the appearance
of new matter, other than postulating the existence of some sort of
"creation field", but in itself was no more inexplicable than the
appearance of the entire universe from nothing; in the end the
discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation led to the
nearly unanimous acceptance by astronomers (Hoyle being one exception)
of the Big Bang theory.?


?Rejection of chemical evolution
In his later years, Hoyle became a staunch critic of theories of
chemical evolution to explain the naturalistic Origin of life. With
Chandra Wickramasinghe, Hoyle promoted the theory that life evolved in
space, spreading through the universe via panspermia, and that
evolution on earth is driven by a steady influx of viruses arriving
via comets.
In his 1981/4 book Evolution from Space (co-authored with Chandra
Wickramasinghe), he calculated that the chance of obtaining the
required set of enzymes for even the simplest living cell was one in
1040,000. [I think that 10 to the 40,000 power is meant.] Since the
number of atoms in the known universe is infinitesimally tiny by
comparison (1080) [I think that Wikipedia means 10 to the 80th power
here], he argued that even a whole universe full of primordial soup
wouldn?t have a chance. He claimed:
The notion that not only the biopolymer but the operating program of a
living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup
here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.
Hoyle infamously compared the random emergence of even the simplest
cell to the likelihood that "a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard
might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein." Hoyle also
compared the chance of obtaining even a single functioning protein by
chance combination of amino acids to a solar system full of blind men
solving Rubik's Cube simultaneously.?
Subject: Re: Big Bang? Scientist?
From: mongolia-ga on 28 Sep 2005 09:44 PDT
Dear Brix24

Some very interesting information on Fred Hoyle. One thing i would
like to point out is that (to the best of my knowlege) at no point did
Fred Hoyle suggest a "biblical" or "religous" explanation for either
evolution or the
creation of the Universe. 
He did propose radical ideas (which you have detailed) and while these
theories did not find favour with many of his colleagues, at least
were genuine scientific theories that could be tested /verified (which
is certainly not true of the "Intelligent Design" gooblygook now been
"taught" in some US schools).



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