The universe could not have come into existence "by chance" because chance does not have the power to do anything. Today, R.C. Sproul exposes the mythology that is assumed by many critics who reject God as the source of the world's existence.
What are the chances that anything can happen by chance? Nothing can happen by chance because chance cannot do anything. I once had a discussion with a professor at Harvard who said to me the universe was created by chance. I pushed him a little bit on this, used a coin to illustrate the problem. I said, “If I have a fifty-cent piece and flip it up in the air, what are the chances that it comes up heads?” He says, “50/50.” I said, “OK, how much influence does chance exert on the flip of the coin?” He said, “What do you mean?” I said: “Well, the way it comes up heads or tails is determined by how much pressure is exerted on it, what the density of the atmosphere is, how many revolutions it takes, and so on, whether you catch it here, or here, or here, and whether after you catch it you turn it over or don’t turn it over. Those are all the variables. How much influence does chance have?”
He still didn’t get it. I said: “Well, look. If you’re using the term chance to talk about mathematical possibilities, it’s a perfectly useful term. But when we ascribe to chance a power to do something, we are saying the chance is something. Now, what is it? What is this mysterious X factor that causes the coin to come up tails or heads?” He still looked at me, and I said, “Wait a minute.”
I said, “Chance cannot do anything because chance is not anything.” For something to act, it must first what? Be. Chance is not a thing; it’s no thing; it’s nothing. When you say to me that the universe was created by chance, you are saying the same thing as saying the universe was created by nothing, and you’ve taken a perfectly good word to describe mathematical possibilities and now informed it with magical power. Giving it ontological status, giving it power to do something when it is not anything, and that is the principal idea that is used as a substitute for creation.
Now, I know there are some who argue that the universe is eternal and always has been here. That’s another question, but the vast majority of critics today who deny the creation of this world by a self-existent, eternal God appeal to some kind of beginning to all of reality that comes from nothing. It’s the rabbit out of the hat—without a hat, without a rabbit, without a magician. It’s worse than magic; it’s pure mythology.