Breaking the spell?
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23-04-2015, 01:23 PM (This post was last modified: 23-04-2015 01:29 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 01:05 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  None of the above. It is simply what happened. As unfogged has already pointed out, you can't apply probability retroactively.

I don't see why not? We see all sorts of events, label them as normal occurrences, lucky ones, extremely lucky, uncanny flukes, inevitable etc.... You seem to be doing this much in the remainder of your post:

Quote:Given the process of evolution, it was inevitable that it would produce some spectrum of life at this point in time, but not necessarily the one we actually have.

So some spectrum of life is inevitable? What what about conscious life, rational, moral, creative agents, aware of their existence, capable of uncovering how they came to be? I'm guessing this was less than inevitable?

Quote:We are simply "what happened" -- just as it is very likely that someone will win the lottery every few weeks or so, but extremely unlikely that any specific person will. Yet it is always a specific person who wins. Unlikely things happen all the time.

Of course unlikely things happen all the time, just as uncanny flukes happen from time to time. The question is whether it's an unlikely thing that happened or not.
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23-04-2015, 01:32 PM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 01:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 01:05 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  None of the above. It is simply what happened. As unfogged has already pointed out, you can't apply probability retroactively.

I don't see why not? We see all sorts of events, label them as normal occurrences, lucky ones, extremely lucky, uncanny flukes, inevitable etc.... You seem to be doing this much in the remainder of you post:

Quote:Given the process of evolution, it was inevitable that it would produce some spectrum of life at this point in time, but not necessarily the one we actually have.

So some spectrum of life is inevitable? What what about conscious life, rational, moral, creative agents, aware of their existence, capable of uncovering how they came to be? I'm guessing this was less than inevitable?

Quote:We are simply "what happened" -- just as it is very likely that someone will win the lottery every few weeks or so, but extremely unlikely that any specific person will. Yet it is always a specific person who wins. Unlikely things happen all the time.

Of course unlikely things happen all the time, just as uncanny flukes happen from time to time. The question is whether it's an unlikely thing that happened or not.

After it has happened, who cares? As someone else pointed out recently, when you are walking down the street and a raindrop hits you in the face, you don't stop and gasp with amazement because that particular raindrop happened to hit you (out of all the people in the world) at that particular moment in time. Who could have predicted that? And yet you don't find it remarkable at all. It is simply what happened. Something had to happen, and that's what did happen. So what? Evolution had to produce something, and we are what it happened to produce. So what? Probability is meaningless after the fact.
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23-04-2015, 01:52 PM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 01:32 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  After it has happened, who cares? As someone else pointed out recently, when you are walking down the street and a raindrop hits you in the face, you don't stop and gasp with amazement because that particular raindrop happened to hit you (out of all the people in the world) at that particular moment in time.

That's because nothing astonishing about that particular raindrop over any other raindrop. It was inevitable that a raindrop would hit me.

But imagine if a raindrop fell dead square on my glasses, and I paused for a minute in the street to wipe my glasses as a result. And the same time a car crash occurs, that likely would have killed me if it wasn't for this pause, this raindrop falling on my glasses. You bet I'd be thinking of how unbelievably lucky I was, thanking that particular raindrop.

Quote:Who could have predicted that? And yet you don't find it remarkable at all. It is simply what happened. Something had to happen, and that's what did happen. So what? Evolution had to produce something, and we are what it happened to produce. So what? Probability is meaningless after the fact.

Darwinism is only a part of the story here. But let me quote Nagel here:

"First, given what is known about the chemical basis of biology and genetics, what is the likelihood that self-reproducing life forms should have come into existence spontaneously on the early earth, solely through the operation of the laws of physics and chemistry?

The second question is about the sources of variation in the evolutionary process that was set in motion once life began: In the available geological time since the first life forms appeared on earth, what is the likelihood that, as a result of physical accident, a sequence of viable genetic mutations should have occurred that was sufficient to permit natural selection to produce the organisms that actually exist?”

In your view, are you claiming that such questions cannot be asked? Since you believe we are the recipients of these factors?
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23-04-2015, 01:58 PM
RE: Breaking the spell?
"“However, since the questions concern highly specific events over a long historical period in the distant past, the available evidence is very indirect, and general assumptions have to play an important part. My skepticism is not based on religious belief, or on a belief in any definite alternative. It is just a belief that the available scientific evidence, in spite of the consensus of scientific opinion, does not in this matter rationally require us to subordinate the incredulity of common sense. That is especially true with regard to the origin of life.”
-Thomas Nagel


Excerpt From: Thomas Nagel. “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.” iBooks.
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23-04-2015, 02:50 PM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 12:18 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 11:45 AM)Chas Wrote:  You give no reason for anyone else to believe your stance, it is just your feeling.

Well, you're not particularly giving me any reason to accept your stance either now are you? I don't see you selling me on ontological naturalism.

Science works, so methodological naturalism works. There is no evidence that methodological naturalism and ontological naturalism are not one and the same.

Quote:And it's as much a feeling for me, as is your belief that we are a product of unguided, and unintentional forces is a feeling. It's not a feeling, it's just that the alternative explanations presupposing an unguided, unintentional forces is pretty unbelievable for me, and it doesn't seem to be this way because I'm a theist.

Evolution is a theory that explains what we see, makes predictions, and is falsifiable.
It has not been falsified.
Your incredulity is not an argument.

Quote:
Quote:Your robbery simile is poor as there is no evidence of your metaphysical stance while there is evidence of robbery.

Evidence of a robbery is merely the missing items in my apartment, in which a "robbery" is the explanation that I draw from these missing items.

There is no equivalent evidence for intentional design. That is why it is a poor simile.

Quote:You see our existence, and draw the conclusion that it was a product of an unguided, unintentional process, that ontological naturalism is true.

Evolutionary theory has actual explanatory power.

Quote:And yet you claim that for some reason a person is not allowed to draw a different conclusion looking at the same thing, that it seems to be product of a guided, intentional process, which had us in mind?

I didn't say you weren't allowed to, just that you have no evidence to support it.

Quote:Why? Because in order to draw such a conclusion a person would need to know who or what these intentional sources are?

You would need to demonstrate that there is any need for it. You haven't.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-04-2015, 02:57 PM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 01:52 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 01:32 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  After it has happened, who cares? As someone else pointed out recently, when you are walking down the street and a raindrop hits you in the face, you don't stop and gasp with amazement because that particular raindrop happened to hit you (out of all the people in the world) at that particular moment in time.

That's because nothing astonishing about that particular raindrop over any other raindrop. It was inevitable that a raindrop would hit me.

But imagine if a raindrop fell dead square on my glasses, and I paused for a minute in the street to wipe my glasses as a result. And the same time a car crash occurs, that likely would have killed me if it wasn't for this pause, this raindrop falling on my glasses. You bet I'd be thinking of how unbelievably lucky I was, thanking that particular raindrop.

But the events have no meaning other than what you ascribe to them.

Quote:
Quote:Who could have predicted that? And yet you don't find it remarkable at all. It is simply what happened. Something had to happen, and that's what did happen. So what? Evolution had to produce something, and we are what it happened to produce. So what? Probability is meaningless after the fact.

Darwinism is only a part of the story here. But let me quote Nagel here:

"First, given what is known about the chemical basis of biology and genetics, what is the likelihood that self-reproducing life forms should have come into existence spontaneously on the early earth, solely through the operation of the laws of physics and chemistry?

It turns out that it was certain since it did, in fact, happen. We can make no very good estimate of the probability since we have a sample size of one planet.

Quote:The second question is about the sources of variation in the evolutionary process that was set in motion once life began: In the available geological time since the first life forms appeared on earth, what is the likelihood that, as a result of physical accident, a sequence of viable genetic mutations should have occurred that was sufficient to permit natural selection to produce the organisms that actually exist?”

That shows a complete befuddlement regarding evolution. It is not physical accident. Nagel needs to read a book on evolution.

Quote:In your view, are you claiming that such questions cannot be asked? Since you believe we are the recipients of these factors?

They can be asked, but should be asked more intelligently.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-04-2015, 02:59 PM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 01:58 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  "“However, since the questions concern highly specific events over a long historical period in the distant past, the available evidence is very indirect, and general assumptions have to play an important part. My skepticism is not based on religious belief, or on a belief in any definite alternative. It is just a belief that the available scientific evidence, in spite of the consensus of scientific opinion, does not in this matter rationally require us to subordinate the incredulity of common sense. That is especially true with regard to the origin of life.”
-Thomas Nagel


Excerpt From: Thomas Nagel. “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.” iBooks.

Neither his nor your incredulity is an argument.

Evolutionary theory gives an excellent account of the available evidence. Nothing else does.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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23-04-2015, 03:22 PM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 01:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 01:05 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  None of the above. It is simply what happened. As unfogged has already pointed out, you can't apply probability retroactively.

I don't see why not? We see all sorts of events, label them as normal occurrences, lucky ones, extremely lucky, uncanny flukes, inevitable etc.... You seem to be doing this much in the remainder of your post:

What is the probability that you were born? It was an unlikely event. One of your dad's other sperm could have won the race. Your mum could have had a headache that night. One or other could have had a cold. There's a million other elements that could be factored in. Maybe your grandparents moved to Canada instead of Philadelphia (choose your own arbitrary combination). Maybe your great-great-great-great-insert_more_greats-grandfather died of the black plague way back when. Had any one of these events happened, you would not be here. If we could "rewind" the world back a thousand years and then let it play forward again, almost certainly none of us would be here. Sure, there would be people and very possibly society wouldn't be too different, but you and I and Grasshopper would not be here.

But what is the probability that you ARE here? It's 1...aka certainty. Otherwise you wouldn't be on this forum. You're just one of the "lucky ones, extremely lucky, uncanny flukes".

You can't apply probability retroactively. Everything is one or zero. It happened or it didn't happen.
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24-04-2015, 07:27 AM
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 03:22 PM)jockmcdock Wrote:  You can't apply probability retroactively. Everything is one or zero. It happened or it didn't happen.

And how are you not contradicting yourself, when you say: "What is the probability that you were born? It was an unlikely event. One of your dad's other sperm could have won the race."

When you claim it as unlikely event, you're saying something about the probability.

Quote:What is the probability that you were born? It was an unlikely event. One of your dad's other sperm could have won the race. Your mum could have had a headache that night. One or other could have had a cold. There's a million other elements that could be factored in. Maybe your grandparents moved to Canada instead of Philadelphia (choose your own arbitrary combination). Maybe your great-great-great-great-insert_more_greats-grandfather died of the black plague way back when. Had any one of these events happened, you would not be here. If we could "rewind" the world back a thousand years and then let it play forward again, almost certainly none of us would be here. Sure, there would be people and very possibly society wouldn't be too different, but you and I and Grasshopper would not be here.

This is all very true. I often think of how many seemingly insignificant factors, if they were different, that I likely would not have met my wife. My parents could have done any number of things different that day, and I may not have even been born. I'm pretty lucky to be alive, something Richard Dawkins reminds us of.

At the same time, I'm quite fortune to be here. The likelihood of my parents having a child, even if it wasn't me, is quite high. Just like me marrying someone, even if it's wasn't my wife at this point in my life, is quite high.

Just like the likelihood of any two people speaking on an internet forum is quite high, inevitable in a way, unlike when speaking of two specific people.

The question is: Is conscious life, rational, moral, creative agents, aware of their existence, capable of uncovering how they came to be, something you see along the lines of my birth? Quite an extremely lucky occurrence? Regardless if we are the recipients of it are not.

You clearly were able to apply this reasoning to a variety of other things, and I'm still waiting on this reasoning being applied here.
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24-04-2015, 07:37 AM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2015 07:41 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Breaking the spell?
(23-04-2015 02:57 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(23-04-2015 01:52 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Darwinism is only a part of the story here. But let me quote Nagel here:

"First, given what is known about the chemical basis of biology and genetics, what is the likelihood that self-reproducing life forms should have come into existence spontaneously on the early earth, solely through the operation of the laws of physics and chemistry?

It turns out that it was certain since it did, in fact, happen. We can make no very good estimate of the probability since we have a sample size of one planet.

The only thing certain here, is that we exist, how we came about is less certain.

It's not certain that, "we came into existence spontaneously on the early earth, solely through the operation of the laws of physics and chemistry". We're not certain that ontological naturalism is true. This is just a belief, an idealogical belief, that has a variety of problems, and creates a variety of inconsistencies for it's adherents, who when cornered have to deny a variety of things, just to preserve the absolutism of their idealogical commitments.


Quote:That shows a complete befuddlement regarding evolution. It is not physical accident. Nagel needs to read a book on evolution.

I think you're just playing semantics here, with the word "accident", as you did with flukes, and uncanny.

Quote:
Quote:In your view, are you claiming that such questions cannot be asked? Since you believe we are the recipients of these factors?

They can be asked, but should be asked more intelligently.

How would you ask that more intelligently?
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