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Fred Hoyle

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Fred Hoyle was a mathematician and statistician who calculated the odds of life randomly occurring.


He calculated the odds of life randomly occurring as less than 1 in 1x1040,000. This unusually high number was produced because he was including the roughly two thousand enzymes that span the entire spectrum of life and not just the most simple life form possible.

Famous Quotes

He said of Evolution, "The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein." [1] This, now famous, illustration has been used many times including the title of the book 'Tornado in a Junkyard' by James Perloff.



  1. Hoyle on evolution, Nature, Vol. 294, No. 5837 (November 12, 1981), p. 105