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Author Topic:   Chance as a sole-product of the Universe
Phat
Member
Posts: 9742
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 91 of 168 (762135)
07-09-2015 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 90 by Tangle
07-09-2015 8:10 AM


Re: Not A Chance
from this website:
quote:
It is not unusual to hear people suggest that time plus chance will accomplish the evolution of simple organisms into more complex entities. There is a logical error in such statements. There is no such thing as chance. That is, chance is not an entity which causes things to happen.

In the tossing a coin we say that we can count on the coin coming up heads half the time, and tails the other half of the time. The odds are 50/50. What we forget is that one flip of the coin involves a whole chain of causal factors. The weight of the coin, the shape of the coin, the upward impulse of the toss, air resistance, spin--the initial conditions--all interact on each toss of the coin. It is a mathematical convenience to say that the probability of heads is 50% and the probability of tails is 50%. The more tosses of the coin we make the closer the spectrum will come to a pure 0.5000 probability. But every individual toss of a coin is controlled by the laws of physics. There is no mechanism called "chance" determining the outcome of any toss of the coin.


Its amazing to me how people see no difference between measurable probability and the whole idea of chance as a thing.

Edited by Phat, : speklling


God created war so that Americans would learn geography. –Mark Twain
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain

This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by Tangle, posted 07-09-2015 8:10 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by Stile, posted 07-09-2015 9:29 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 93 by Tangle, posted 07-09-2015 9:32 AM Phat has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2956
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 92 of 168 (762142)
07-09-2015 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by Phat
07-09-2015 8:13 AM


Re: Not A Chance
Phat writes:

Its amazing to me how people see no difference between measurable probability and the whole idea of chance as a thing.

I can see a huge difference.

But this concept of "chance as a thing" is incredibly strange and this is the first time I've heard of it.

I've never thought that chance is an actual thing causing things to happen.
Can you indicate any group of people that do follow such a strange idea?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Phat, posted 07-09-2015 8:13 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by ringo, posted 07-09-2015 12:16 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5046
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 93 of 168 (762143)
07-09-2015 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by Phat
07-09-2015 8:13 AM


Re: Not A Chance
Phat writes:

Its amazing to me how people see no difference between measurable probability and the whole idea of chance as a thing.

You're very easily amazed.

It doesn't matter whether 'chance' is a 'thing' like a table or the description of the probality of a 'thing' happening, like a coin landing heads. We all know what it means.

We know that it's the occurrence of a mutation (as an example) plus selection that causes evolution and that process involves chance. So what strange point are you trying to make? If it's that because chance isn't a 'thing' evolution doesn't happen, you're very, very, wrong.

If you're just saying that chance is not the causal factor, then it's a 'no shit Sherlock' moment.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Phat, posted 07-09-2015 8:13 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by Phat, posted 07-09-2015 11:07 AM Tangle has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9742
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 94 of 168 (762148)
07-09-2015 11:07 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by Tangle
07-09-2015 9:32 AM


Re: Not A Chance
Im not attempting to falsify evolution. I have no issues there---it is unimportant to me.

What I am trying to do is to define this thing called chance. My take on it is it does not exist.

Tangle writes:

We know that it's the occurrence of a mutation (as an example) plus selection that causes evolution and that process involves chance.

Explain how chance is involved. Do you mean that the event is entirely random?

— at random
: without definite aim, direction, rule, or method


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Tangle, posted 07-09-2015 9:32 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by New Cat's Eye, posted 07-09-2015 12:38 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 97 by Stile, posted 07-09-2015 12:46 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 99 by Tangle, posted 07-09-2015 1:44 PM Phat has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13622
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 95 of 168 (762158)
07-09-2015 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by Stile
07-09-2015 9:29 AM


Re: Not A Chance
Stile writes:

I've never thought that chance is an actual thing causing things to happen.
Can you indicate any group of people that do follow such a strange idea?


Reminds me of ICANT and the "existence of existence". What are the chances that chance exists?

It's the kind of philosophical mumbo-jumbo that mike the wiz loves and Phat phalls phor.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Stile, posted 07-09-2015 9:29 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11701
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.4


(2)
Message 96 of 168 (762159)
07-09-2015 12:38 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Phat
07-09-2015 11:07 AM


Re: Not A Chance
So, let's talk about Roulette.

When they drop the ball in the wheel, there's forces acting on the ball that cause it to end up on one of the numbers. There are a series of events, that are not based on chance, that govern where the ball is going to end up landing. It is an incredibly complicated list that is practically impossible to measure/calculate. So, from your point of view, it looks like the ball is just landing on a random number and that it gets there by chance.

From the point of view of the ball and all the forces acting on it, there isn't actually any chance involved - all the numbers that come up are just a result of the processes that the ball goes through.

But from your point of view all those process are invisible so as far as you can tell it is all just a result of chance.

Tangle writes:

We know that it's the occurrence of a mutation (as an example) plus selection that causes evolution and that process involves chance.

Explain how chance is involved. Do you mean that the event is entirely random?

The event is not entirely random. There are forces in play that cause a particular mutation to happen, but from the point of view of the individual animal, all of that stuff is invisible and the mutations appear to be random. We say that they are random with respect to fitness. The environment does not reach down into the cell and cause the mutation to happen (there are exceptions to this that are unimportant to this point), so from the point of view of the environment (where the selective pressure happens) the mutation is random, or a result of chance.

Chance does not cause anything. Chance is a term to describe the fact that from where you are standing, and despite the fact that there are underlying rules that govern how the even unfolds, the event cannot be predicted from the data that you have and also that a reproduction of that event given actually random inputs will behave in the same way as the naturally occurring event.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Phat, posted 07-09-2015 11:07 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2956
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.6


(2)
Message 97 of 168 (762163)
07-09-2015 12:46 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Phat
07-09-2015 11:07 AM


Re: Not A Chance
Phat writes:

What I am trying to do is to define this thing called chance. My take on it is it does not exist.

It does exist. Unless you're redefining it to mean something else.

Even your quote talks about it: "The odds are 50/50."
That's the chance, it's the same thing.

Doesn't matter if it's random or not, deterministic or not... that's the chance of it happening.

Any other re-definition of the word chance is simply the gambler's fallacy (if it's tails 10 times in a row... then the next must be heads because it needs to be 50/50!). That's the idea that chance is forcing something... and that's what we call the "gambler's fallacy"... because that's the idea that doesn't actually exist. It's not real.

Chance is only descriptive, not prescriptive.

Explain how chance is involved. Do you mean that the event is entirely random?

Chance is involved because we are aware of multiple possible outcomes without being aware of which one is determined (yet).
The rate at which different outcomes can occur is called their "chance" of happening.

It doesn't matter if they are truly random or fully deterministic.
All that matters is that we are not currently aware of which one is going to happen, and we are also aware of multiple possible outcomes.

You may be asking the question "is everything actually deterministic or is anything truly random?"

But asking this question and re-defining it as "does chance exist?" is merely confusing and a re-definition of the word 'chance.'


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Phat, posted 07-09-2015 11:07 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9912
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.3


(1)
Message 98 of 168 (762168)
07-09-2015 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by Phat
07-09-2015 6:52 AM


Re: Not A Chance
I listened to a good argument by a philosopher who essentially said that chance by definition is nothing. If chance had any probability of existing---as a concept---than God would be an anachronism.

Sounds like double talk to me. Of course there is such a thing as the concept of chance, the question might be whether chance is fitting description for reality. Whether or not chance renders God futile is partially a theological question and not a purely philosophical question.

If there were no concept of chance, then what would the denial that chance exists as a concept be other than meaningless double talk. You are denying nothing?

So if we flip a coin, it is commonly said that its a 50/50 chance that it lands heads.

Your claim is essentially that if we knew the value of all involved variables, then the result of a coin flip is determined. I can accept that to be true. The problem for your point is that not every 'chance' operates like dice, coins, and even roulette wheels.

There are non-deterministic processes for which even perfect knowledge of all variables does not allow predicting the outcome. The Schrodinger's Cat illustration is one example. Quantum physical probabilities are fundamentally different from coin flips and dice rolls in that there are no hidden variables which govern their behavior. Some processes are inherently uncertain and no amount of prior knowledge allows us to decide their outcomes on an individual basis.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Phat, posted 07-09-2015 6:52 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by Phat, posted 07-12-2015 6:49 PM NoNukes has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5046
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 99 of 168 (762169)
07-09-2015 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Phat
07-09-2015 11:07 AM


Re: Not A Chance
Phat writes:

What I am trying to do is to define this thing called chance.

You don't have to, it already has a definition - 2 actually.

chance
tʃɑːns/
noun
1.
a possibility of something happening.
"there is a chance of winning the raffle"
synonyms: possibility, prospect, probability, odds, likelihood, likeliness, expectation, anticipation, conceivability, feasibility, plausibility; More
antonyms: unlikelihood
the probability of something desirable happening.
"he played down his chances of becoming chairman"
an opportunity to do or achieve something.
"I gave her a chance to answer"
synonyms: opportunity, opening, occasion, turn, time, moment, window (of opportunity), slot;

2.
the occurrence of events in the absence of any obvious intention or cause.
"he met his brother by chance"
synonyms: accident, coincidence, serendipity, fate, a twist of fate, destiny, fortuity, fortune, providence, freak, hazard; More

My take on it is it does not exist.

You've just been bamboozled by bollocks.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Phat, posted 07-09-2015 11:07 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by Phat, posted 07-22-2016 5:57 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9742
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 100 of 168 (762489)
07-12-2015 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by NoNukes
07-09-2015 1:34 PM


Re: Not A Chance
Quantum physical probabilities are fundamentally different from coin flips and dice rolls in that there are no hidden variables which govern their behavior. Some processes are inherently uncertain and no amount of prior knowledge allows us to decide their outcomes on an individual basis.
When the probability can be strictly measured, chance is a good definition. When it cannot be measured, chance becomes a sort of godless deterministic factor. We may as well say God rather than chance. Chance is a way for the human mind to understand the process...yet chance is of itself powerless to determine the process. Intelligent design makes much better sense than random design. The whole idea of we humans being the "winner of a cosmic lottery" is so much nonsense.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain

This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by NoNukes, posted 07-09-2015 1:34 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by NoNukes, posted 07-12-2015 9:39 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 102 by jar, posted 07-13-2015 8:25 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9912
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 101 of 168 (762509)
07-12-2015 9:39 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Phat
07-12-2015 6:49 PM


Re: Not A Chance
When the probability can be strictly measured, chance is a good definition. When it cannot be measured, chance becomes a sort of godless deterministic factor. We may as well say God rather than chance.

Only if your personal recourse is to credit or blame God out of human ignorance. I imagine that lots of gamblers blame God for their losses even when the outcome is perfectly calculable and extremely likely. How is what you say here any more correct that the losing Gambler?

Chance is a way for the human mind to understand the process...yet chance is of itself powerless to determine the process.

Chance is merely a description of state when an outcome is non determinable. Your statement is ridiculous. Of course chance does not contain power. It simply enables us to talk about things that do occur. Of course chance is not a choice.

The whole idea of we humans being the "winner of a cosmic lottery" is so much nonsense.

Or perhaps your thought processes are simply not very rigorous.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Phat, posted 07-12-2015 6:49 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

    
jar
Member
Posts: 29363
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 102 of 168 (762533)
07-13-2015 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 100 by Phat
07-12-2015 6:49 PM


Re: Not A Chance
Phat writes:

Intelligent design makes much better sense than random design. The whole idea of we humans being the "winner of a cosmic lottery" is so much nonsense.

Now that is just a really silly statement that makes God look pretty stupid. You seem to like making God look either stupid or evil or more often, both.

How are humans any greater winners of some cosmic lottery than cockroaches or pond scum?


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Phat, posted 07-12-2015 6:49 PM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 5046
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 103 of 168 (762592)
07-13-2015 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by jar
07-13-2015 8:25 AM


Re: Not A Chance
By total mass, micro-organisms win hands downd.

Haldene though thought it was beetles (quote later attributed to Darwin.)

The Creator would appear as endowed with a passion for stars, on the one hand, and for beetles on the other, for the simple reason that there are nearly 300,000 species of beetle known, and perhaps more, as compared with somewhat less than 9,000 species of birds and a little over 10,000 species of mammals. Beetles are actually more numerous than the species of any other insect order. That kind of thing is characteristic of nature.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by jar, posted 07-13-2015 8:25 AM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9742
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 104 of 168 (787563)
07-17-2016 8:39 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by mike the wiz
06-05-2006 10:43 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
There is a good series on the concept of chance which I listen to regularly.

Their basic premise is that chance is logical only when verified by probability. Chance in and of itself can't cause anything because chance in and of itself is not anything.
You Tube

quote:
Can something come from nothing? Was "chance" the cosmic power behind creation? Despite scientific advances, there remains an undercurrent of irrationality in scientific writing.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by mike the wiz, posted 06-05-2006 10:43 AM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by NoNukes, posted 07-17-2016 11:56 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 106 by PaulK, posted 07-18-2016 12:07 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 107 by ringo, posted 07-18-2016 12:03 PM Phat has responded
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NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9912
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 105 of 168 (787565)
07-17-2016 11:56 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by Phat
07-17-2016 8:39 PM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
Their basic premise is that chance is logical only when verified by probability.

The statement does not convey anything meaningful. On the other hand, I do not recall hearing those words when listening to the video, so perhaps something else is actually the basic premise.

Chance in and of itself can't cause anything because chance in and of itself is not anything.

This second statement seems to me to be double talk. Essentially what the writer has managed is an irratreification of a concept followed by a denunciation of said reifiication. When people say that something occurs by chance that are not saying that some entity known as chance is the actual cause. So how is it reasonable to denounce such statements by pretending that they do mean that?

In any case, the summary here wouldn't convince me to purchase the book.

Here is a summary from another source:

quote:
Because chance can do nothing, and because it violates the law of non-contradiction to claim you "created yourself," they conclude that it's logically impossible that the universe simply popped into existence.

Not much better. Is the entire book like this?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Phat, posted 07-17-2016 8:39 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

    
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