NCSE: Reviewing the Science of God, Gerald L. Schroeder

This review from 1998 is interesting:

Schroeder rejects evolution because he considers its mechanism to rest solely on pure chance. There is no discussion of natural selection; it doesn’t appear in the index although the term is used in passing while discussing Dawkins. His “proof” that it is impossible for convergent evolution to produce similar eyes in taxa which did not inherit these structures from a common ancestor uses a mathematical calculation based on two assumptions - (1) evolution is pure chance; and (2) the taxa have no genes in common except those “inherited” from the protozoa. Yet in other places he seems to be aware of the recent evidence that the phyla have many genes in common; he discusses the Hox genes that determine body plans and the Pax genes that are involved in eye formation!

Schroeder admits that there were “pre-Adamites” (Cro-Magnon and Neanderthals) living for 40 000 years prior to Adam, but questions the existence of earlier hominid species because of the fragmentary nature of their fossils. Again he uses a mathematical model to show that the evolution of humans from an ape ancestor is impossible. This model also assumes that (1) evolution would occur by pure chance and (2) one million mutations would be necessary to produce the ape-human transition!

This review is orthogonal to his take on six days: Gerald Schroeder's Six Days of Creation, but still interesting.

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I am certainly not against people adopting their own worldview, but the review does make an interesting point:

Going by the review, it would appear Schroeder has a tough time dealing with “pure chance”. If you reject evolution because it is based on pure chance, what do you do with the rest of the theories in science which also have pure chance baked into them?

NCSE isn’t exactly an uninterested party in all of this, so it would fairer to Schroeder if I read through his book instead of basing everything off the review. Still, if the broad strokes from the review are accurate then he created a problem that seems difficult to overcome.

Is there a comparable field where pure chance/contingency leads to a build up of complex organisms from single celled organisms?

Which theories were you thinking of other than evolution?