When biblical creationists criticize biological evolution, they like to point out that placing all the parts of a watch in a vat of water and stirring them up does not make an assembled, working watch. They cite a paper by Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe which calculates that the probability of all the chemicals in a simple bacterium arising on their own by chance is 1 in 10 to the 40,000th power. They say that the odds of creating a protein molecule by chance is 1 in 10 to the 45th power.  But this argument is an oversimplification. It ignores the fact that sophisticated life forms like current-day bacteria, or even a complex protein molecule, almost certainly did not arise spontaneously from a mix of chemicals. They arose from simpler, incremental steps that had a much higher chance of occurring. Proteins, for example, are made out of simpler amino acids.  The biblical creationists also ignore the fact that there are about 4×1047 molecules of water in Earth’s oceans. So, even if there was one amino-acid molecule among one million water molecules, that would still be 1041 amino-acid molecules that had the opportunity to interact with each other, in numerous environments, in numerous places, and in numerous trials over millions of years, to eventually produce proteins.  The relevant probability is not the chance of hundreds of complex chemicals coming together to form a modern-day bacterium, but the probability of 10 or 20 chemicals coming together to form the precursors of life, precursors that can then chemically evolve over time to form the simplest kind of life form, one that likely looked nothing like any evolved life form we recognize today. (For source citations, see my free online Essay at https://continuingcreation.org/chemical-precursors-to-life-on-earth/)