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Author Topic:   the old improbable probability problem
RAZD
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From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 31 of 76 (254657)
10-25-2005 8:06 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Mirabile_Auditu
10-24-2005 2:12 AM


Spiter - warning.
SpiderMBA - or Mirabile_Auditu as you are now calling yourself -

Now that I know who you are, I am not surprised that you have not answsered my rebuttal of your weak post (Message 30), or by the logical fallacies and the ad hominem attacks and the complete lack of substance that were involved in your post.

You are not new to the process, nor to me personally, and you can expect no "kid-glove treatement" from me (as I usually give to newcomers).

Those who are unfamiliar with you will do well to take as a beginning the worst example of a FUNDIE (Fundamentalist Under Numerous Delusions Involving Evolution) they know as a starting point.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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RAZD
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Posts: 18257
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 32 of 76 (302564)
04-09-2006 12:02 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by RAZD
10-08-2005 5:05 PM


Re: Summary for John 10-10
The post this is a reply to shows a common error in probablity calculations like the one you cited, and I concluded with:

On a personal note I think that anyone who publishes a book with this kind of invalid calculation in it, and who has not gone to the effort to validate the calculation by an outside source cognizant of the math involved is someone who is willing to misrepresent the truth in order to sell their {program\book\etcetera}. They are not a source that can be trusted to provide factual information.

I would include with that anyone who repeats such calculations as factual after they have been shown these common errors and have done nothing to (a) refute the errors or (b) correct the calculations to elilminate them.

Enjoy.


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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
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From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Message 33 of 76 (304341)
04-14-2006 10:55 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by RAZD
04-09-2006 12:02 AM


Re: Summary for John 10-10
Still waiting for John to step up to the plate and substantiate his assertions of improbability.

He has repeated them without making any effort to provide this substantiation:

http://http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=10&t=174&m=234#234

{sigh}

ftr: as long as you cannot show that the errors listed below do not apply to your probability argument it is invalidated.

That means dead.

Enjoy.


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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
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From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Member Rating: 3.2


Message 34 of 76 (331846)
07-14-2006 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by RAZD
04-14-2006 10:55 PM


Bump for the fun of it.
Let's look at the "probability problem" from a different angle using the same kind of "logic" used in the creatortionista calculations:

Take any protein and cut it in half: what is the probability that it would rejoin in exactly the same way as it was before being cut?

We'll label the protein {A-MN-Z} and it is cut into {A-M} and {N-Z} portions, and then we see that they can join in the following combinations:

{A-M}-{Z-N}
{M-A}-{Z-N}
{M-A}-{N-Z}
{A-M}-{N-Z} .... !!!BINGO!!! 25% of the time == WOW!!!
Next we'll put them in a sea of {A-M} and {N-Z} sub-proteins, say 10^+42 just for fun. What is the probability that at least one {A-M}-{N-Z} combination would form? Much more than 0.25x10^+42 so it is really astronomical, and thus it MUST have happened (remember we are using the same creatortionista logic eh?)

Now we take each sub=protein and do the same "thought experiment" with them


{A-FG-M} becomes {A-F} and {G-M} and the combinations are:
{A-F}-{M-G}
{F-A}-{M-G}
{F-A}-{G-M}
{A-F}-{G-M} .... right? Still 25% of the time (using creatortionista logic), eh?
Next we'll put them in a sea of {A-F} and {G-M} sub-proteins, say 10^+21 just for fun. What is the probability that at least one {A-F}-{G-M} combination would form? Still pretty astronomical, so it MUST have happened as well. GOSH.
{N-ST-Z} becomes {N-S} and {T-Z}
{N-S}-{Z-T}
{S-N}-{Z-T}
{S-N}-{T-Z}
{N-S}-{T-Z} ... still good? Still 25% of the time (using creatortionista logic), eh?
Next we'll put them in a sea of {N-S} and {T-Z} sub-proteins, say 10^+21 just for fun. What is the probability that at least one {N-S}-{T-Z} combination would form? Still pretty astronomical, so it MUST have happened as well. GOSH AND GOLLY.

And we can keep going, dividing and recombining until we get down to {A-B} {C-D} {E-F} {G-H} {I-J} {K-L} {M-N} {O-P} {Q-R} {S-T} {U-V} {W-X} {Y-Z} ... or in the real world until we get down to the 20 amino acids (which we now know can be formed spontaneously or provided by extra-solar generation). There is thus no need to carry the calculation back any more as this is demonstrated as a viable starting point.

Now the question is, what is the probability that ONE (1) protein {A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z} formed from all that "goo"? Well we had >0.25x10^+42 times 2(>0.25x10^+21) times 4(>0.25x10^+10.5) times 8(>0.25x10^+5.25 ....

Now observe that 0.25x10^+42 times 2(0.25x10^+21) = 0.25x2x0.25x10^+42+21 = 0.125x10^+63 ... so it just keeps getting better -- BOY it really MUST have happened eh?

I guarantee you that the math used here is no worse than the math used by creatortionistas in their probability calculations, and that it is just as reality based.

Enjoy.


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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
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Message 35 of 76 (364361)
11-17-2006 12:40 PM


bump for DivineBeginning
From Message 18

Ahh come on!! You know that is a bunch of malarkey. I majored in mathematics. I know all about probabilities.

But obviously you don't, your argument from authority notwithstanding (it is a logical fallacy after all).

Please demonstrate your knowledge rather than claim it.

If it is a "bunch of malarky" and if you really "majored in math" (and presumably graduated ... after all you can "major" and fail to graduate), then it should be easy eh?

...there are computers that with the data can compute the number of possibilities.

And without the data can do squat. You don't have the data, therefore you cannot compute the probabilities.

The computer cannot compute the number that would be successful nor the complete bound of possibilities, among other things.

For example: I hold three faceted solids in my hand, the sides may or may not be regular or equal, the number of sides may or may not all be the same on all three, the markings may or may not all be the same on all three:

What is the probability that I will throw a "7" when I throw these objects onto the table.

Please supply your computations.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : took out link to this thread finished subtitle

Edited by RAZD, : added example


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DivineBeginning
Member (Idle past 3410 days)
Posts: 100
Joined: 11-16-2006


Message 36 of 76 (364436)
11-17-2006 7:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
04-14-2004 10:45 AM


So where did the first cells come from? How did they "get here". Something cannot come from nothing right? If things were always just here than who can tell how old the universe is? If they had a beginning, as you are stating, how did they start their existence? Just curious. I realize this is a little off topic, but I have to find out how you come to your conclusions about the age of the universe.
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AdminJar
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 76 (364438)
11-17-2006 7:28 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by DivineBeginning
11-17-2006 7:25 PM


DivineBeginning, ALL of your post is off topic. Nothing in it addresses anything in this thread.


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  • This message is a reply to:
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    DivineBeginning
    Member (Idle past 3410 days)
    Posts: 100
    Joined: 11-16-2006


    Message 38 of 76 (364440)
    11-17-2006 7:32 PM
    Reply to: Message 37 by AdminJar
    11-17-2006 7:28 PM


    Of course it is. The 6th comment was about the age of the universe and the probabilities of life arrising. I thought so anyway. Sorry bout that if I screwed that up.
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    RAZD
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    Message 39 of 76 (364454)
    11-17-2006 8:18 PM
    Reply to: Message 38 by DivineBeginning
    11-17-2006 7:32 PM


    The 6th comment was about the age of the universe and the probabilities of life arrising.

    The sixth comment used those as examples of the kinds of "improbability calculations" that creationists make, and it notes that even IF the calculation were correct that it would not mean that {whatever} could NOT have happened.

    Improbable ≠ Impossible

    No matter how small the probability is. Once you have someone has won the lottery the probability question is answered.

    AND Improbable/Impossible = Infinite ... room for Possibility ...

    Also see Message 24

    Enjoy.

    Edited by RAZD, : added msg 24 link

    Edited by RAZD, : see strike & pink per dwise1, added yellow


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    This message is a reply to:
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    dogrelata
    Member (Idle past 2695 days)
    Posts: 201
    From: Scotland
    Joined: 08-04-2006


    Message 40 of 76 (367667)
    12-04-2006 1:54 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
    04-14-2004 10:45 AM


    RAZD writes:

    5· The probability of winning a lottery by any one ticket is extremely low, but the probability that the lottery will be won is extremely high. How do you reconcile these two very disparate probabilities? By knowing that any one of the millions of tickets is a valid winner if picked. To show that this is not the case for the calculations mentioned (ie -- in order to say "1 out of") you have to show that no other combination works of all the other probabilities. There are several different known forms of hemoglobin, all of which do the job of transporting oxygen in the blood, and thus the probability is high that there are other versions that will work as well. Scientists have also manipulated an organism successfully to make it produce an unnatural amino acid, one that does not occur naturally, thus demonstrating that there are other "solutions" than the ones that happen to be used in life as we know it. It could well be that 1 in a million "solutions" of the possible combinations would work, and that the probability would then reduce to 1 in 106. This calculation has not been done and is not included, unnecessarily excluding possible solutions from the probability calculation.

    6· Finally, the improbability of a thing occurring is not proof of impossibility of it occurring. It could well be that this is the only planet in all the universe that has life on it because it is a very improbably event. And if you divide the surface of the planet into all the different types of environments and do the same for all the other planets and moons and asteroids in the solar system alone you will have billionsXbillions of little experimental crucibles for carrying out experiments and if that is carried out over several billion year periods (4.55 billion year old earth, in a 13.7+ billion year old universe) with multiple "experiments" in a {day?hour?minute?} ... billionsXbillions of time periods, and do the same for all the billionsXbillions of stellar systems throughout the universe it does not take long to create an equally mind boggling number that reduces improbability down towards a definite probability. I'm at 1054 possiblities already on this one aspect alone ... and for a 1 in 106 chance that looks pretty good.

    My maths is pretty ropey, but am I right in thinking if something has 1 chance in x of occurring, it can never have less than a 63% cumulative chance of occurring at least once in x events?

    I believe the formula to be:

    P = 1-((1-(1/x))^x)

    As the number of events increases, so do the probabilities of at least one positive outcome:

    2x events = 86%

    3x events = 95%

    …possibly.


    This message is a reply to:
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    dwise1
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    Posts: 2729
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    Message 41 of 76 (367684)
    12-04-2006 3:05 PM
    Reply to: Message 39 by RAZD
    11-17-2006 8:18 PM


    Improbable ≠ Impossible

    No matter how small the probability is. Once you have won the lottery the probability question is answered.

    [quibble]
    Correction: "Once anyone has won the lottery the probability question is answered."
    [/quibble]


    This message is a reply to:
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    RAZD
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    Message 42 of 76 (367739)
    12-04-2006 8:07 PM
    Reply to: Message 41 by dwise1
    12-04-2006 3:05 PM


    Correct, thanks.

    Of course where the question is the origin of life, and if this is what happened, then we are the winners ...


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    RAZD
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    Message 43 of 76 (367746)
    12-04-2006 9:35 PM
    Reply to: Message 40 by dogrelata
    12-04-2006 1:54 PM


    My maths is pretty ropey, but am I right in thinking if something has 1 chance in x of occurring, it can never have less than a 63% cumulative chance of occurring at least once in x events?

    I believe the formula to be:

    P = 1-((1-(1/x))^x)

    We can calculate it for some basic cases to check it out:

    Let's use probability of it occurring in any one chance is

    P1 = 1/x

    assume y chances for it to occur, then the probability of occuring at least once in y times = 1 - probability of it NOT occuring in any of y times, and the probability of it NOT occuring in y times is:

    Pnot = (1 - P1)(1 - P1)(1 - P1)...(1 - P1)(y times)

    or

    Pnot = (1 - 1/x)^y

    so

    P = 1 - Pnot

    P = 1 - (1 - 1/x)^y (= your formula when y=x)

    P = 1 - ((x-1)/x)^y

    If x = 10 & y = 10

    P = 1 - (9/10)^10 = 0.6513 or 65%

    If x = 100 & y = 100

    P = 1 - (99/100)^100 = 0.6339 or 63%

    If x = 1000 & y = 1000

    P = 1 - (999/1000)^1000 = 0.6323 or 63%

    Looks like it limits out around 63% just as you thought.

    If x = 1000 & y = 2000

    P = 1 - (999/1000)^2000 = 0.8648 or 86%

    If x = 1000 & y = 3000

    P = 1 - (999/1000)^3000 = 0.9503 or 95%

    We can also solve for

    P = 1 - ((x-1)/x)^y = 50%

    1 - 0.50 = ((x-1)/x)^y

    ln(0.50) = (y)ln((x-1)/x)

    y = ln(0.50)/ln((x-1)/x)

    And for x = 1000

    y = (-0.6931)/(-0.0010) = 693 times

    or at y = ~70% of x the chance is 50% that it has occurred AT LEAST once.

    And 50% is pretty good odds in anyones 'books' eh?


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    RAZD
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    Message 44 of 76 (446217)
    01-05-2008 8:52 AM


    For tymygy
    tymygy proposed a new topic:

    the chances of chance...

    quote:
    I would like to ask you how you can go against these stagering numbers im about to tell you...

    the probibility of us coming here by accident is 10 to the 40,000 power.(one with 40,000 zeros behine it) the number of atoms in the universe is 10 to the power of 65. anything over 10 to the power of 50 is accounted impossible in science and mathematics.

    i would like to see someone try to debate against me


    We can do that here.

    quote:
    AdminNosy response:

    Now if you would just supply your calculations to be checked as I asked in my other reply to you then we can promote this for further dicussion.


    This will be the issue -- how your numbers are actually calculated, what are the assumptions, and whether you are prepared, willing and able to discuss the errors in the method used?

    Just for the record, the probability of our being here is 1.

    The probability of math proving something can or cannot happen in reality is 0.

    Enjoy.


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    RAZD
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    Message 45 of 76 (661751)
    05-09-2012 6:34 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
    04-14-2004 10:45 AM


    redirected post
    zaius137 posted the following in Message 236 on the How do "novel" features evolve?

    quote:
    Hi RAZD,
    I like your detailed replies and I see a challenge in addressing your thoughtful points. There is a lot to catch up on here and I hope the other participants understand why I cannot get right to the arguments they present although they are just as challenging.

    I would like to start with one of the posts you presented and cited namely the 6 points you made.

    1. The calculation is a mathematical model of reality and not the reality itself. When a model fails to replicate reality it is not reality that is at fault but the mathematical model. When a hurricane prediction program crashes because it can't model the first hurricane in the South Atlantic on record, the meteorologists don't go out to the hurricane and say "you can't be here, our model does not allow you to be here" ... they fix the model by looking for and taking out the failed assumptions (ie - that all hurricanes are north of the equator). When a model fails to model reality it is a good indication that some aspect of reality has been missed in the model.

    The very mathematical models that scientists use to uphold evolution are the very same principles that evolutionists use. If you claim failure in a general sense of mathematical models, you remove the argument from science.

    2. The calculation fails to account for the known pre-existing molecules used in the formation of life that are found throughout the universe, and this failure means the calculation with creation-all-at-once including these molecules is unnecessarily extended downward, starting with too much simplicity.

    Not all the necessary molecules are present, for instance cytosine is not found in meteorites. The sugar that bonds to the four bases to form the ribonucleotides is very short lived in nature. Many problems exit with the RNA worldview and the SRPs, I hope we can cover them fully. The science has never demonstrated empirically that anything but an all at once approach is possible.

    3. The calculation fails to account for the fact that the first life need not be as complicated as a modern cell, that the minimum configuration is much simpler as shown by the LUCA studies. This failure means that the calculation is unnecessarily extended upward, ending with too much complexity.

    To date the idea of a LUCA has proven an intractable problem in biology. I have just read a paper of statistical verification of the LUCA by Theobald based on the Markovian substitution model. The claims of Theobald that a LUCA is statistically proven are criticized amongst scientists (not many of which are creationists). I have my own unanswered questions about that paper.

    4. The calculation fails to account for combinations of groups of such molecules in smorgasbord fashion instead of in assembly line fashion all at once all from nothing. And further, that all those "failed" experiments are still available to be cut and reassembled into new experiments without having to go through all the preliminaries. It fails to account for actual combination process as used in natural assembly of large organic compounds. Amino acids are assembled into larger molecules like peptides and not from extending amino acids by adding atoms. This failure means that all the ways to reach the final necessary combination are not included and thus it unnecessarily excludes possible combination methods.

    Can a failed experiment be available in a new experiment? I think this statement speculates about the stability of the product. I cannot deny if there is intention to preserve some organic molecules from degradation, then yes the experiment can continue. However, natural chemistry has shown no intent to do so. In fact, equilibrium rules the day in natural chemistry. As far as the spontaneous assembly of amino acids are concerned Millers experiments demonstrate a Chirality problem.

    5. The probability of winning a lottery by any one ticket is extremely low, but the probability that the lottery will be won is extremely high. How do you reconcile these two very disparate probabilities? By knowing that any one of the millions of tickets is a valid winner if picked..

    Well, in low larger ranges of probability I would agree with you, say 1 in 10^6 or 1 in 10^15. However, probabilities in the range of 1 in 10^1000th are not possible given the acceptance that our universe is limited ( I refer to a universal bound of possibilities). Acceptance of limits, say in calculus are necessary in producing an outcome, even in physics (Plank length, Plank time etc.). I suggest that Dembskis limit would be acceptable in biology.

    6. Finally, the improbability of a thing occurring is not proof of impossibility of it occurring.

    I can refer you to my objection in point 5 but I think you might benefit by some perspective on the matter. Please comment on my message 228 Please excuse my lack of forum knowledge I am still a Newbe.


    The very mathematical models that scientists use to uphold evolution are the very same principles that evolutionists use. If you claim failure in a general sense of mathematical models, you remove the argument from science.

    A mathematical model is only as good as the data fed into it and it's ability to make predictions that can be tested by objective empirical evidence. The map is not the mountain. The map can be tested against the mountain and errors and omissions can be found ... in the map (at which point the map needs to be corrected).

    Biologists don't use mathematical models to "uphold evolution" but to provide testable predictions. Then they look for errors and omissions, and update the model as necessary, understanding that it is a tentative representation of reality.

    Not all the necessary molecules are present, for instance cytosine is not found in meteorites. The sugar that bonds to the four bases to form the ribonucleotides is very short lived in nature. ...

    This is making the the tacit (and completely unsupported) assumption that all aspects seen in cells today are necessary to form a first living cell. Properly addressing this question also involves in determining what characteristics are needed to become "life" ... an issue for another thread.

    ... Many problems exit with the RNA worldview and the SRPs, I hope we can cover them fully. ...

    Curiously no one has claimed that the science of abiogenesis has found all the answers, just that they are making progress on finding answers in many places and in many different stages.

    ... The science has never demonstrated empirically that anything but an all at once approach is possible.

    Interestingly there are several scientists that would disagree, imho. As I said in Message 234 on the How do "novel" features evolve? thread:

    quote:
    Premise 3 is debatable, if not just wrong: see Panspermic Pre-Biotic Molecules - Life's Building Blocks (Part I) and Self-Replicating Molecules - Life's Building Blocks (Part II) for objective empirical evidence that indicates to me that the probability of life forming is high.

    What I see in all the science referenced in those two threads is that people are working on different elements and stages, rather than on the all at once approach.

    The place to discuss these issues, however is on the Panspermic Pre-Biotic Molecules - Life's Building Blocks (Part I) and Self-Replicating Molecules - Life's Building Blocks (Part II) threads.

    To date the idea of a LUCA has proven an intractable problem in biology. I have just read a paper of statistical verification of the LUCA by Theobald based on the Markovian substitution model. The claims of Theobald that a LUCA is statistically proven are criticized amongst scientists (not many of which are creationists). I have my own unanswered questions about that paper.

    There is no such thing as "statistically proven anywhere (imho) and certainly not in science. Science does not "prove" a single hypothesis.

    And your reply does not address the issue that the first life can be much simpler that life we see today. Let's not go down the rabbit hole of what LUCA is or isn't, but focus on what is necessary for an initial life form. All that is necessary, imho, is for a self-reproducible system that can evolve - where the mechanisms of evolution involving mutation and selection can operate.

    Can a failed experiment be available in a new experiment? I think this statement speculates about the stability of the product. I cannot deny if there is intention to preserve some organic molecules from degradation, then yes the experiment can continue. However, natural chemistry has shown no intent to do so. In fact, equilibrium rules the day in natural chemistry. ...

    Remember here that the "failed experiments" in this particular discussion are spontaneously formed molecular compounds, and they are only "failed" as self-replicating molecules. These molecules can be short to very long without attaining self-replication, but still be available for further combination with other molecules while remaining in a dynamic chemical equilibrium of on-going reactions.

    ... As far as the spontaneous assembly of amino acids are concerned Millers experiments demonstrate a Chirality problem.

    What problem? (a) the experiments did produce amino acids used in modern life, (b) several other experiments have built on the Miller Urey Experiment ...

    quote:
    In recent years, studies have been made of the amino acid composition of the products of "old" areas in "old" genes, defined as those that are found to be common to organisms from several widely separated species, assumed to share only the last universal ancestor (LUA) of all extant species. These studies found that the products of these areas are enriched in those amino acids that are also most readily produced in the MillerUrey experiment. This suggests that the original genetic code was based on a smaller number of amino acids only those available in prebiotic nature than the current one.[25]

    ... (c) the otherr molecules would be "failed experimant" molecules that are still in the system to be taken apart and reassembled, and finally, (d) this is irrelevant to the question of probability calculations based on a proper modeling of molecular formation, and it would be better discussed on the Self-Replicating Molecules - Life's Building Blocks (Part II) thread.

    Well, in low larger ranges of probability I would agree with you, say 1 in 10^6 or 1 in 10^15. However, probabilities in the range of 1 in 10^1000th are not possible given the acceptance that our universe is limited ( I refer to a universal bound of possibilities). ...

    Curiously, this just shows that calculations of 1 in 10^15 are more likely to be bogus wild-ass guesses than real calculations that model reality.

    Of course you could show that I am wrong by presenting the calculations and by showing that all possible avenues for the formation of life are covered, what is necessary for life to begin (and what is "life" in this context, eh?).

    I'm betting that you can't show the calculations, but have just copied the number from some bogus creationist site.

    ... Acceptance of limits, say in calculus are necessary in producing an outcome, even in physics (Plank length, Plank time etc.). I suggest that Dembskis limit would be acceptable in biology.

    Why? Amusingly, I would say that no limit need be considered until one is found, and I believe most scientists would agree.

    Enjoy.

    Edited by RAZD, : replies added.


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    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by RAZD, posted 04-14-2004 10:45 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

    Replies to this message:
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