I've been reading a lot about evolution this week, so this week's refutation relates to the monkeys and typewriters argument, which has variously been used to support or disprove evolution, and involves varying quantities of monkeys and typewriters. Wikipedia does an adequate job of describing the meme, but to date the best version of the argument I've seen is something like this one, by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
In a nutshell, the argument goes something like this: ″[variable or infinite] number of monkeys banging at typewriters for [variable or infinite] years could or could not (depending on the standpoint) produce psalm 23 or Shakespeare's Hamlet.″
For instance: "A human being could not evolve by random chance because even if a million monkeys hammered at a million typewriters for a million years, they could not recreate psalm 23 by random chance." For statistical reasons, not just because it's hard to type in Hebrew.
Or, as with the other version I mentioned: ″[mathety math math] ...all this means that the chance that any kind of a 200-component integrated functioning organism could be developed by mutation and natural selection just once, anywhere in the world, in all the assumed expanse of geologic time, is less than one chance out of a billion trillion. What possible conclusion, therefore, can we derive from such considerations as this except that evolution by mutation and natural selection is mathematically and logically indefensible!″ - Morris
The article that quote came from is an attempt to mathematically disprove evolution by showing that it is prohibitively unlikely that system (A) could accomplish goal (B). In this case (A) embodies a set of rules and limits of the author's choosing, and (B) is a goal, also of the author's choosing. Of course, if you control both sides of the equation you can make it do whatever you want. This is a form of straw man argument. For instance, Morris sets the goal as a "200-part system", but then doesn't really explain how he arrived at this number. His only statement regarding the choice