Intelligent Design - Flipping Wrong
Supporters of Intelligent Design often say that the probability of complex life coming about by random chance is almost impossible. They are right. But complex life didn't come about by random chance, it came about by natural selection, but in their arguments many ID supporters continually speak and write as if natural selection doesn't exist. They don't seem to understand the rules of the game.
Imagine a (boring) game where the object is to get a line of one hundred coins all showing tails to show all heads. The only rule is that the only way you are allowed to change the coins is by flipping them. ID supporters immediately start trying to flip all one hundred coins at once. They start to loudly complain that it is almost impossible for all the coins to come up heads, that the odds against it happening are astronomical. Indeed, they say the only way it could ever happen is if some Godlike powerful entity intervened to make it happen.
At the other end of the room someone who understands natural selection starts playing the game with another row of one hundred coins that are currently all tails. She flips one coin until it comes up heads and then moves onto the next coin, flips it until it comes up heads and so on. Eventually, after about quater of an hour, she is finished and all the coins are heads up. Then, instead of looking sheepish and saying, "Well, why didn't I think of that?" the ID supporters start loudly complaining that the rules insist that all one hundred coins be flipped at once, when actually the rules say no such thing.
The ID supporters where operating on the random chance model, while the person who understood natural selection was making small changes and keeping those that helped succeed in the game, just as small changes that help organisms survive in the game of life are kept.