Letters to the Editor

'Probability theory'

Ronald J. Martin (letter March 13) writes: "Evolution is a weak, poorly supported theory in denial of the infinitesimal probabilities of the occurrence of the many unlikely events it requires."

I admire Mr. Martin's well-framed sentence, but not his concept of probability theory, which is unique to my experience. I thought we all agreed that, for example, an experiment of a million coin tosses was certain to produce an outcome. That outcome may be improbable -- but it is, it happened.

In the same way, the result of billions of years of evolution happened, in the form of the living world as we know it. Any science fiction devotee can tell Mr. Martin that the same evolutionary process, on a different planet, with different chance mutations, is likely to produce a world of living things very different from ours.

When I think of the various unlikely events that have shaped my life, I wonder based on Mr. Martin's theory if I (or he) could possibly exist at all.

Henry D. Friedman