Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 79 (8897 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 03-20-2019 7:08 PM
40 online now:
DrJones*, GDR, ringo, Tangle (4 members, 36 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 848,498 Year: 3,535/19,786 Month: 530/1,087 Week: 120/212 Day: 36/14 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev1234
5
Author Topic:   A point about probability
Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 61 of 65 (520634)
08-22-2009 6:14 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by InGodITrust
08-22-2009 5:01 PM


Hi InGodITrust, I hope you and dwise1 don't mind my jumping in here;

quote:
I thought "natural" in natural selection limited the theory to being driven by random genetic mutations.

Just for the record, the phrase "natural selection" more usually refers to the struggle to survive and reproduce, not the mutations themselves.

quote:
I didn't think scientst were open to the selections being made by God.

I would say that it's more a case of God not being needed. There is no need to invoke gods in the process of natural selection; the process takes care of itself. It is well understood and can be observed going on around us on a daily basis. As has been said, "I have no need of that hypothesis.".

Also, on a more theological note, involving God in natural selection implies a very interventionist God. Natural selection is based on small events. Does a blackbird successfully raise its young? Does a thrush catch enough snails? Does a snail evade the thrush long enough to breed? That sort of thing. If God is required to intervene in these matters, he must be controlling almost all of the life on earth on a second by second basis.

That's kind of... creepy.

quote:
But I just wanted to comment that some people have written in this thread that there is no hope for using probability against TOE, but you wrote that there is some hope, if the models are sound and you do the math.

The problem with trying to apply probability to evolution is that to calculate the odds of something, you need to have a pretty good idea of what the relevant variables are. Do you know all the relevant variables from the last few hundred million years of evolution? I have to say, I don't. For this reason, I am very dubious about applying probability-based arguments to real-world natural history.

Mutate and Survive


"A curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it." - Jacques Monod
This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by InGodITrust, posted 08-22-2009 5:01 PM InGodITrust has not yet responded

    
dwise1
Member
Posts: 3309
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 62 of 65 (520642)
08-22-2009 7:28 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by InGodITrust
08-22-2009 5:01 PM


No, what I meant was that I thought "natural" in natural selection limited the theory to being driven by random genetic mutations. I didn't think scientst were open to the selections being made by God.

Not when they are doing science, because science cannot work with the supernatural. We have no way to measure, observe, detect, or even determine the existence of the supernatural, therefore we have no way to test any hypothesis which is based on supernatural forces or on the intervention of supernatural entities. The supernatural simply has no place in science because science cannot work with it.

That does mean that science requires everyone to renounce personal belief in the supernatural, contrary to what IDists falsely claim. Science only requires that supernaturalistic hypothesis not be used in scientific work. Therefore, a scientist can very well work with natural selection while at the same time independently holding a personal belief that his god might have nudged it at the right times to bring about the world that we see before us.

My point was that, since your theology should have taught you that God had created the universe, along with the Laws of Nature, that the fact that the world runs in accordance with those very Laws does not necessarily leave God out of it. For decades I have seen creationists claim that if evolution is true, then God does not exist. And for decades I have seen former creationists become atheists when they discover that their creationism is indeed wrong, just as their creationism had taught them to do.

But when that happens, it's not science and evolution that had turned them into atheists, but rather it was their own theology that had demanded their deconversion. Therefore, the question to ask is not whether science and evolution necessitate atheism, but rather whether those creationist theologies are correct in requiring atheism.

BTW, the probabilities you have been raising have nothing to do with natural selection, nor is natural selection driven by mutation. You need to study more and to learn what evolution is and how evolutionary theory says it works. Until you have learned how evolution works, you will be unable to devise a mathematical model that can even begin to describe it.

Here's an extremely rough and incomplete outline:
1. A population exists. That population's gene pool (the genomes of all its members) contains a degree of variability; ie, its members are not genetically identical to each other. This is genetic variability.

2. Members of the population go about their daily business of trying to survive. They may or may not be aided (nurtured) by their parents or other kin. In general, those who are better able to survive will have a better probability of surviving to the point where they can reproduce. This is natural selection; it acts to lessen genetic variability.

3. The population reproduces. This creates offspring who are very similar to their parents, the survivors, and so they generally possess those traits that had helped their parents to survive. Yet they are also slightly different from their parents, so some may not have all the survival traits of their parents while some may have slightly better survival traits. This is reproduction, which also helps to increase genetic variability.

The probability "problem" you pose only deals with increasing genetic variability, not with natural selection. Any viable probability model you devise for evolution will need to deal with both aspects.

But I just wanted to comment that some people have written in this thread that there is no hope for using probability against TOE, but you wrote that there is some hope, if the models are sound and you do the math.

Actually, what I've been advising is that the only hope you could possibly have of succeeding in your endeavor is if you were to do what no other creationist has ever done: devise a valid model that does accurately model evolution and do the math.

However, I am quite sure that such a model will demonstrate to you that probability does not provide any argument against evolution. That is why I had tried to prepare you to examine your reasons for trying to disprove evolution in the first place, that being your theology.

And one other point about probability is that it is most powerful when used over a large number of trials, right? Like a string of 10 coin tosses could easily give a 70 or 80% heads result. But a million tosses would give a 50/50 result. Works for casinos, that's for sure. So with natural selection, if probability is going to be brought to bear, it would be better to use it in that way.

No, probability works for any number of trials. It is for the larger numbers of trials that we should see the anticipated probability distributions appear. And since the probability distributions of their games do favor the house -- however slightly in some cases -- , that is indeed how casinos make a living. It is in the smaller numbers of trials that one might be able to "beat the odds", but in the long run the house always wins.

The thing with using probability to model evolution is that we need to do so accurately. Which involves populations and generations.

Gotta run now.

Edited by dwise1, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by InGodITrust, posted 08-22-2009 5:01 PM InGodITrust has not yet responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5953
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 63 of 65 (520711)
08-23-2009 1:09 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by InGodITrust
08-22-2009 2:35 PM


Acknowledged. But if the theory fell into doubt among scientist, I can envision more lay people giving the Lord a chance.

Nice to know that science has such value to you.
Then again why do you think this will help your form of religion. If TOE was discredited I fail to understand why that would bring people to Jesus. All that will happen is another scientific theory will emerge. Science will not disappear.

Science will continue to be science and religion will continue to be religion. TOE and regious belief are not opposite sides of a spectrum, they are not even on the same spectrum.

Edited by Theodoric, : No reason given.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by InGodITrust, posted 08-22-2009 2:35 PM InGodITrust has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by InGodITrust, posted 08-23-2009 2:22 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

    
InGodITrust
Member (Idle past 2396 days)
Posts: 53
From: Reno, Nevada, USA
Joined: 05-02-2009


Message 64 of 65 (520721)
08-23-2009 2:22 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Theodoric
08-23-2009 1:09 PM


quote:

Nice to know that science has such value to you.


----------------------------------------------------------
Theodoric, of course science has value to me. I wouldn't have this computer to sit at without science, and I wouldn't have the lesure time. And I just drank a glass of water from my tap that was disinfected.

It's just that pesky TOE. That and maybe the big bang.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Theodoric, posted 08-23-2009 1:09 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Perdition, posted 08-24-2009 12:16 PM InGodITrust has not yet responded

    
Perdition
Member (Idle past 1313 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 65 of 65 (520840)
08-24-2009 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by InGodITrust
08-23-2009 2:22 PM


Theodoric, of course science has value to me. I wouldn't have this computer to sit at without science, and I wouldn't have the lesure time. And I just drank a glass of water from my tap that was disinfected.

It's just that pesky TOE. That and maybe the big bang.

So, what you're saying is, science is a great thing that can suss out the answers to questions we might not even have the ability to ask yet, but when those answers happen to go against a belief you've chosen, science suddenly stops working so well and must be wrong?

To keep this nominally on topic...what's the probability that science, with its strong track record of finding out truths, is wrong and you, with all your human fallibility, is right?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by InGodITrust, posted 08-23-2009 2:22 PM InGodITrust has not yet responded

    
Prev1234
5
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019