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Author Topic:   the old improbable probability problem
zaius137
Member (Idle past 938 days)
Posts: 407
Joined: 05-08-2012


Message 61 of 76 (662242)
05-14-2012 1:45 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by PaulK
05-14-2012 1:21 AM


Re: probabiity problems
So basically creationists argue that the magician must have worked real magic because we can't consider any alternatives to that, other than pure chance...

I can honestly say I do not believe in magic… can you?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by PaulK, posted 05-14-2012 1:21 AM PaulK has responded

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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15950
Joined: 07-20-2006
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(1)
Message 62 of 76 (662245)
05-14-2012 2:03 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by zaius137
05-14-2012 1:11 AM


Re: probabiity problems
Exactly, biologists know which proteins are common to all life, the Chirality, the amino acid components and a great number of other facts about the genome… in essence they know what the cards are…

No, that means that they know which hand was dealt*. But not the composition of the deck.

* Actually, it would be more precise to say that knowing the details of the very first life would correspond to knowing which hand was dealt, and of course they don't know that.

What can one really say about the origin of life. Something arose (but we don't know what) out of preconditions which we cannot specify, by a process of which we are uncertain.

Then along comes a man who tells we that he can calculate the odds of that. This man is a creationist.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15950
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 63 of 76 (662248)
05-14-2012 2:08 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by zaius137
05-14-2012 1:45 AM


Re: probabiity problems
I can honestly say I do not believe in magic… can you?

Would your way of "honestly" saying this be, by any whilom chance, deeply misleading?


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PaulK
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Posts: 13112
Joined: 01-10-2003
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Message 64 of 76 (662250)
05-14-2012 2:10 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by zaius137
05-14-2012 1:45 AM


Re: probabiity problems
quote:

I can honestly say I do not believe in magic… can you?

I can. I can also honestly say that I believe that the magicians use stage magic and that any probability calculation that ignores that to argue that they use real magic is dishonest.

Likewise any probability calculation that sets up a false dichotomy between pure chance and magic - which is the typical Creationist strategy - is dishonest. Alternative possibilities must be considered and dealt with.

The paper you cited deals only with pure chance assembly. As such it is only relevant to those who believe that cellular life - as described in the paper - came about by pure chance assembly. Can you show anybody explicitly promoting the scenario described ? If not, then what's the relevance of the paper ? Is it just the calculation of the probability of a scenario that nobody seriously considers ? Ask yourself what honest purpose could be served by such a thing.


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RAZD
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Posts: 18959
From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Member Rating: 3.8


Message 65 of 76 (662329)
05-14-2012 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by zaius137
05-14-2012 1:11 AM


Re: probabiity problems
Hi again zaius137

Exactly, biologists know which proteins are common to all life, the Chirality, the amino acid components and a great number of other facts about the genome… in essence they know what the cards are…

For the form of life that arose on this planet. How many other viable forms of life could have arisen instead?

Exactly, biologists know which proteins are common to all life, the Chirality, the amino acid components and a great number of other facts about the genome… in essence they know what the cards are…

And how many different ways can each of these elements occur?

If you have a thousand decks of cards all mixed together, how many different ways can you form a royal straight flush in spades? A billion decks? Would you agree that these would be a much larger number of possible ways than could occur from a single deck?

… this only goes to show a estimation of a probability can be made.

Again, you have failed to tell me the probability I will throw a 6 with the di in my hand. If you don't know all the possibilities then you cannot calculate the probabilities.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18959
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 66 of 76 (665317)
06-11-2012 9:31 PM


bump for LexM1985
In Creatonist argument for probability (in Proposed New Topics) LexM1985 says

Many of you have probably at some point come across the creationist argument for probability which often uses calculations to make the case that the formation of the universe and life could not have arose by "chance." This argument differs slightly from the argument for intelligent design in that it not only examines the alleged complexity, design, and order of structures (for example examining the complexity/design of a molecule), but the probability that each component of the universe needed to sustain life could have developed independently and function seamlessly. This argument is commonly used to try to disprove abiogenesis and strives to demonstrate that earths position in the universe is too perfect to have gotten there by chance (Goldilocks argument). The calculations made to support these arguments result in staggeringly huge numbers like 3.34 x 10^450 and are usually followed with Borel's law.

Without even thinking too hard about it, I see a few things wrong with this argument

1) It assumes that that the development of the universe is random, when in reality it is driven by the laws of nature

2) The universe is practically infinitely vast. For the one planet that did develop within a life sustaining solar system, there are countless others that did not.

3) It only looks at the way life DID develop ex post facto instead of all the ways it COULD HAVE developed with only slightly different conditions.

Any thoughts?

Hi LexM1985, and welcome to the fray,

See Message 1 for other parts of this issue. Feel free to add here.

Enjoy.

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we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by LexM1985, posted 06-11-2012 11:27 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
LexM1985
Junior Member (Idle past 1817 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 06-02-2012


(1)
Message 67 of 76 (665323)
06-11-2012 11:27 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by RAZD
06-11-2012 9:31 PM


Re: bump for LexM1985
Fair enough. I'll also add that after more digging I found a very comprehensive criticism of http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html#r10 on a creationist-dominant debate board: http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/forum/index.php?showtop...

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have the PHD in biochem to form an original opinion about the science behind these claims, but I do generally trust the mainstream scientific community because of their obvious contributions to society. So it really comes down to an issue of which "experts" each person puts his trust in.

I also read some criticism that this board was too evolution-biased and self-affirming. Maybe some people from here should post on www.evolutionfairytale.com and vice versa for more lively discourse.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by RAZD, posted 06-11-2012 9:31 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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 Message 69 by Tangle, posted 06-12-2012 4:41 AM LexM1985 has not yet responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15950
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 68 of 76 (665324)
06-11-2012 11:34 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by LexM1985
06-11-2012 11:27 PM


Re: bump for LexM1985
I'll be the first to admit that I don't have the PHD in biochem to form an original opinion about the science behind these claims ...

Most of the creationist arguments can be shown false without a detailed knowledge of biochemistry, because, of course, they are not based on a detailed knowledge of biochemistry. Indeed, as I argued in post #59, such an argument cannot be legitimately based on our knowledge of biochemistry, because of all the things we don't know.

I also read some criticism that this board was too evolution-biased and self-affirming. Maybe some people from here should post on www.evolutionfairytale.com and vice versa for more lively discourse.

Those of us who have tried, such as myself, have been banned for egregiously evolutionist behavior, such as citing facts. Usually this happens within a couple of days. Their complaints are therefore stupid, hypocritical and self-serving ... or, in a word, creationist.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by LexM1985, posted 06-11-2012 11:27 PM LexM1985 has not yet responded

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


Message 69 of 76 (665332)
06-12-2012 4:41 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by LexM1985
06-11-2012 11:27 PM


Re: bump for LexM1985
LexM1985 writes:

I also read some criticism that this board was too evolution-biased and self-affirming. Maybe some people from here should post on www.evolutionfairytale.com and vice versa for more lively discourse.

Many of us have tried to debate there, as far as I know we've all been banned. In my case within 48 hours. This happens without warning or explanation.

If you read the boards there, you'll see the number of people who are banned and can decide for yourself whether their behaviour merited it.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by LexM1985, posted 06-11-2012 11:27 PM LexM1985 has not yet responded

  
ICANT
Member
Posts: 5625
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 70 of 76 (665348)
06-12-2012 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
04-14-2004 10:45 AM


Re probability
Hi RAZD,

RAZD writes:

Anyone care to play?

I do not know much about probability or improbability, things just are or they are not.

But if there was a beginning to exist you would have none of the things mentioned.

If there ever was non-existence there would be zero chance of existence beginning to exist.

If you disagree please explain how existence could begin to exist if there was no existence.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5288
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 71 of 76 (665356)
06-12-2012 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by ICANT
06-12-2012 9:41 AM


Re: Re probability
If there ever was non-existence there would be zero chance of existence beginning to exist.

Show your calculations, ICANT.


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AdminModulous
Administrator
Posts: 891
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 72 of 76 (665360)
06-12-2012 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by ICANT
06-12-2012 9:41 AM


I do not know much about probability or improbability, things just are or they are not.

But if there was a beginning to exist you would have none of the things mentioned.

If there ever was non-existence there would be zero chance of existence beginning to exist.

If you disagree please explain how existence could begin to exist if there was no existence.

God Bless,

This doesn't look like it is on topic.

The OP is a criticism of the 'it's too improbable' argument in its various forms. One should either be arguing further criticisms or posting a defense of it. This is not an ontological or cosmological discussion.


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Genomicus
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Posts: 846
Joined: 02-15-2012


(1)
Message 73 of 76 (665368)
06-12-2012 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by RAZD
05-14-2012 7:58 PM


Re: probabiity problems
If you have a thousand decks of cards all mixed together, how many different ways can you form a royal straight flush in spades? A billion decks? Would you agree that these would be a much larger number of possible ways than could occur from a single deck?

Just like to point out that with a thousand decks of cards you've got a much larger "sequence space" from which only a fraction will yield a useful combination of cards (in the context of a poker game). In other words, increasing the number of decks doesn't make it any more probable that you'll get a royal flush.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


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 Message 65 by RAZD, posted 05-14-2012 7:58 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15950
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 74 of 76 (665381)
06-12-2012 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by Genomicus
06-12-2012 1:02 PM


Re: probabiity problems
Just like to point out that with a thousand decks of cards you've got a much larger "sequence space" from which only a fraction will yield a useful combination of cards (in the context of a poker game). In other words, increasing the number of decks doesn't make it any more probable that you'll get a royal flush.

It makes it much more probable that you'll get a royal flush.


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dwise1
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Posts: 2953
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.3


(2)
Message 75 of 76 (665383)
06-12-2012 3:26 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by Dr Adequate
06-12-2012 3:07 PM


Re: probabiity problems
I think you two might be talking past each other.

I think that Genomicus thinks that we're talking about the probability of combining a billion decks of cards and still dealing only one single hand that is a royal flush.

I think that we're talking about using each of those billion decks of cards to deal a billion hands and the probability that at least one of those billion hands being a royal flush.


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 Message 74 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-12-2012 3:07 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

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