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17-06-2016, 03:04 PM
RE: Christian with a question....
(17-06-2016 02:53 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 12:53 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I question your ability to rate these statements. I question your ability to evaluate comments from figures such a Stephen Hawking in their proper context.

Do you have a degree in mathematics from a competent university such as MIT or UCLA? Maybe even something from a well rated state university?

Ie: Not Biola.

I minored in math and then went into a state university's math grad program. I didn't complete my Masters, but still learned enough that they were willing to trust me to teach calculus to undergrads. I have encountered this line of, erm, reasoning from Christian apologists, multiple times, and I feel qualified to comment on the quality of at least the probabilistic elements of this argument. Mostly because it doesn't take much math to figure out.

And that quality of math is this: Bullshit.

Bull.

Shit.

This math is of a quality equivalent to bovine fecal matter. Not the good stuff you can grow crops in either. The crappy stuff.

Everything, EVERYTHING about the probabilistic nature of these arguments is flawed, and reflects a deep failure on the part of both the arguers and those who believe them to understand even the most basic elements of probability. (I'll qualify that accusation in a bit, but it won't be a flattering qualification. Not in the least.) The ENTIRE argument, in every manner in which I have ever heard it presented (and I've heard it presented often) bears these hallmarks of woeful innumeracy and reaching far beyond their expertise.

As just one example, we have this little gem. I forget who authored, produced, or narrated it, but they obviously spent more on their CGI than on fact-checking, which sounds about right for Bible-promotion. They talk about universal constants and say, if this particular value (I forget which one) were off by a small amount, life couldn't exist. Then they show this long sprawling number line set in space and talk about how it could have been ANY number, as the camera zooms along the line's ever-increasing values and eventually pans over to show it receding into infinity. What are the odds?

This comes down to probability distribution. A probability distribution function is essentially a graph of the likelihood of any given outcome. If we were to draw a graph of the pdf of rolling a fair 6-sided die once, it would be a steady line at zero except for 6 points at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 elevated to 0.166666666..., because the odds of getting those respective values are each one in six. Getting a 3.5 is impossible, so it's value is 0. If the die were instead unfairly weighted such that all of the 1s that would have been rolled instead became 6s, the pdf's value for an outcome of 1 would now be 0, its value for an outcome of 6 would now be 0.3333333..., and its value for the outcomes 2 through 5 would be unchanged. Notice that the sum total of probabilities for all outcomes under consideration, even impossible outcomes like the 1 on the weighted die, MUST be either 0 or positive, and must add up to 1 (or 100%, if you prefer). These are axioms of probability theory, which is to say that if you are dealing with something that doesn't obey these rules, then it's not actually probability you're dealing with.

What this particular example -- and many, many others in this big bull turd pile -- is trying to imply is that the probability distribution function is uniform over (at least) all positive integers. "Uniform" means that all possible outcomes have exactly the same probability as all others. The fair die example is an example of a uniform distribution, while the unfair die (with 6 having greater probability than 2-5) is an example of a non-uniform distribution. Got it?

Okay. Now onto this bullshit infinite number line and why it's bullshit, and how this colors almost every other argument the ID people put forward on the subject of cosmology. If the probability distribution function is distributed uniformly over the positive integers, then what is the probability of an outcome of, say 23? Obviously it must be less than 1%, because there's more than a hundred possible outcomes in there, and they all must (supposedly) have the same probability. But if 23 has a probability of at least 1% (0.01), then ALL of them have that same probability, and the total probability is greater than 1, violating an axiom of probability theory. Similarly, it must be less than 0.001, and less than 0.0001, and less than any positive number you might name. But it must be greater than 0. Why? Because if they all had a probability of 0, the sum total of probability would be 0, when the axiom demands it is 1. There are some calculus techniques to get around this for certain types of infinity, but not the countable infinity on display here, and not for a uniform distribution even were the infinity uncountable.

Simply put, a uniform distribution on an unbound interval containing infinite elements is mathematically impossible. It violates the basic axioms of probability theory. And anyone who's studied this beyond a high school level KNOWS that.

And the people who produced this bullshit didn't.

In other words, while we might suppose that all those numbers are possible outcomes, it is mathematically impossible for them to be EQUALLY LIKELY. Yet the math of the ID argument hinges on exactly that woefully false and obviously uneducated assumption. Some outcomes must have greater probability than others. Why then, cannot the outcome that (supposedly) favors life be 99.95%? Why not 100%, some scenario where the value couldn't have possibly been anything else? I don't know that it is... and the ID apologists don't know it isn't. They've shown exactly zero effort in trying to identify what that probability actually was. They just implied a uniform distribution (which is flatly impossible, no pun intended) and moved on quickly in hopes that no one caught their shenanigans.

And this? This is a problem with EVERY SINGLE FACTOR that they identify! They make no effort to actually measure or calculate how unlikely that particular outcome was, much less back those claimed probabilities up with the slightest shred of evidence. Nor have they shred one drop of sweat in effort in figuring out what the odds of life existing WITHOUT those factors would have been. They just boldly assert that they're necessary and do nothing to prove it.

And to be fair to them, THEY CAN'T. We only have a single universe, and as any statistician will tell you, you can't figure out how likely any outcome is with a sample size of one. And that's basic. Even a high school student should be able to tell you that. And. They. Don't. Know. It.

That right there is enough to completely discredit the argument. But there's more at work here. They often employ non-independent factors, things that are linked by physics or geometry, so that one is true if and only if the other is true, and then imply that them both being true at the same time makes the odds even more unlikely, when in fact those multiple factors were a package deal all along. Again, any high school student whose had a section on probability should understand that concept. Others are straight-out lies about how narrow the acceptable range is. The distance between the Earth and the Sun in one particularly notorious list of factors arguing that if it deviated by only a few miles life would be possible, when to all appearances the Earth could be over half of the way out to Mars's orbit and still have all the factors for life. That list also specified the distance from Earth to the moon, when we could have no moon at all and life would still be possible.

I'll trust Stephen Hawking on the rate of change of the universe preventing its recollapse (though not you to quote him accurately), and note that he doesn't attempt to assign a probability to the rate of expansion being what it was. Nor does Davies attempt to calculate whether life would be possible without stars. Frankly, that would be outside of his field. Nor does he offer even the slightest hint, so far as I can tell, of what the probabilities of the gravitational constants being anything other their present value might be.

And here's the thing. The lack of a sample size greater than one makes this kind of probabilistic analysis mathematically impossible, and we don't really know enough about what possible life forms might exist under weird conditions (a universe without stars, for example), to determine whether those alternatives would be life-bearing, whatever the probability that type of universe could have come about at all. There is no basis for this sort of calculation. None. The math here is bullshit.

Obviously I can't address every point, because the whole thing is a Gish Gallop. (If you don't know what a Gish Gallop is, look it up.) I can only illustrate the argument's overall lack of character.

Great post.

The condensed version would probably read:

Q: Is there life in the universe
A: Yes

Summation: The probablity of life in the universe is 1 or 100%

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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17-06-2016, 03:13 PM
RE: Christian with a question....
(17-06-2016 03:04 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 02:53 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  I minored in math and then went into a state university's math grad program. I didn't complete my Masters, but still learned enough that they were willing to trust me to teach calculus to undergrads. I have encountered this line of, erm, reasoning from Christian apologists, multiple times, and I feel qualified to comment on the quality of at least the probabilistic elements of this argument. Mostly because it doesn't take much math to figure out.

And that quality of math is this: Bullshit.

Bull.

Shit.

This math is of a quality equivalent to bovine fecal matter. Not the good stuff you can grow crops in either. The crappy stuff.

Everything, EVERYTHING about the probabilistic nature of these arguments is flawed, and reflects a deep failure on the part of both the arguers and those who believe them to understand even the most basic elements of probability. (I'll qualify that accusation in a bit, but it won't be a flattering qualification. Not in the least.) The ENTIRE argument, in every manner in which I have ever heard it presented (and I've heard it presented often) bears these hallmarks of woeful innumeracy and reaching far beyond their expertise.

As just one example, we have this little gem. I forget who authored, produced, or narrated it, but they obviously spent more on their CGI than on fact-checking, which sounds about right for Bible-promotion. They talk about universal constants and say, if this particular value (I forget which one) were off by a small amount, life couldn't exist. Then they show this long sprawling number line set in space and talk about how it could have been ANY number, as the camera zooms along the line's ever-increasing values and eventually pans over to show it receding into infinity. What are the odds?

This comes down to probability distribution. A probability distribution function is essentially a graph of the likelihood of any given outcome. If we were to draw a graph of the pdf of rolling a fair 6-sided die once, it would be a steady line at zero except for 6 points at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 elevated to 0.166666666..., because the odds of getting those respective values are each one in six. Getting a 3.5 is impossible, so it's value is 0. If the die were instead unfairly weighted such that all of the 1s that would have been rolled instead became 6s, the pdf's value for an outcome of 1 would now be 0, its value for an outcome of 6 would now be 0.3333333..., and its value for the outcomes 2 through 5 would be unchanged. Notice that the sum total of probabilities for all outcomes under consideration, even impossible outcomes like the 1 on the weighted die, MUST be either 0 or positive, and must add up to 1 (or 100%, if you prefer). These are axioms of probability theory, which is to say that if you are dealing with something that doesn't obey these rules, then it's not actually probability you're dealing with.

What this particular example -- and many, many others in this big bull turd pile -- is trying to imply is that the probability distribution function is uniform over (at least) all positive integers. "Uniform" means that all possible outcomes have exactly the same probability as all others. The fair die example is an example of a uniform distribution, while the unfair die (with 6 having greater probability than 2-5) is an example of a non-uniform distribution. Got it?

Okay. Now onto this bullshit infinite number line and why it's bullshit, and how this colors almost every other argument the ID people put forward on the subject of cosmology. If the probability distribution function is distributed uniformly over the positive integers, then what is the probability of an outcome of, say 23? Obviously it must be less than 1%, because there's more than a hundred possible outcomes in there, and they all must (supposedly) have the same probability. But if 23 has a probability of at least 1% (0.01), then ALL of them have that same probability, and the total probability is greater than 1, violating an axiom of probability theory. Similarly, it must be less than 0.001, and less than 0.0001, and less than any positive number you might name. But it must be greater than 0. Why? Because if they all had a probability of 0, the sum total of probability would be 0, when the axiom demands it is 1. There are some calculus techniques to get around this for certain types of infinity, but not the countable infinity on display here, and not for a uniform distribution even were the infinity uncountable.

Simply put, a uniform distribution on an unbound interval containing infinite elements is mathematically impossible. It violates the basic axioms of probability theory. And anyone who's studied this beyond a high school level KNOWS that.

And the people who produced this bullshit didn't.

In other words, while we might suppose that all those numbers are possible outcomes, it is mathematically impossible for them to be EQUALLY LIKELY. Yet the math of the ID argument hinges on exactly that woefully false and obviously uneducated assumption. Some outcomes must have greater probability than others. Why then, cannot the outcome that (supposedly) favors life be 99.95%? Why not 100%, some scenario where the value couldn't have possibly been anything else? I don't know that it is... and the ID apologists don't know it isn't. They've shown exactly zero effort in trying to identify what that probability actually was. They just implied a uniform distribution (which is flatly impossible, no pun intended) and moved on quickly in hopes that no one caught their shenanigans.

And this? This is a problem with EVERY SINGLE FACTOR that they identify! They make no effort to actually measure or calculate how unlikely that particular outcome was, much less back those claimed probabilities up with the slightest shred of evidence. Nor have they shred one drop of sweat in effort in figuring out what the odds of life existing WITHOUT those factors would have been. They just boldly assert that they're necessary and do nothing to prove it.

And to be fair to them, THEY CAN'T. We only have a single universe, and as any statistician will tell you, you can't figure out how likely any outcome is with a sample size of one. And that's basic. Even a high school student should be able to tell you that. And. They. Don't. Know. It.

That right there is enough to completely discredit the argument. But there's more at work here. They often employ non-independent factors, things that are linked by physics or geometry, so that one is true if and only if the other is true, and then imply that them both being true at the same time makes the odds even more unlikely, when in fact those multiple factors were a package deal all along. Again, any high school student whose had a section on probability should understand that concept. Others are straight-out lies about how narrow the acceptable range is. The distance between the Earth and the Sun in one particularly notorious list of factors arguing that if it deviated by only a few miles life would be possible, when to all appearances the Earth could be over half of the way out to Mars's orbit and still have all the factors for life. That list also specified the distance from Earth to the moon, when we could have no moon at all and life would still be possible.

I'll trust Stephen Hawking on the rate of change of the universe preventing its recollapse (though not you to quote him accurately), and note that he doesn't attempt to assign a probability to the rate of expansion being what it was. Nor does Davies attempt to calculate whether life would be possible without stars. Frankly, that would be outside of his field. Nor does he offer even the slightest hint, so far as I can tell, of what the probabilities of the gravitational constants being anything other their present value might be.

And here's the thing. The lack of a sample size greater than one makes this kind of probabilistic analysis mathematically impossible, and we don't really know enough about what possible life forms might exist under weird conditions (a universe without stars, for example), to determine whether those alternatives would be life-bearing, whatever the probability that type of universe could have come about at all. There is no basis for this sort of calculation. None. The math here is bullshit.

Obviously I can't address every point, because the whole thing is a Gish Gallop. (If you don't know what a Gish Gallop is, look it up.) I can only illustrate the argument's overall lack of character.

Great post.

The condensed version would probably read:

Q: Is there life in the universe
A: Yes

Summation: The probablity of life in the universe is 1 or 100%

I was going to make this same point. Probability arguments are irrelevant when applied to something that has already happened.
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17-06-2016, 04:12 PM
RE: Christian with a question....
(17-06-2016 02:53 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 12:53 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I question your ability to rate these statements. I question your ability to evaluate comments from figures such a Stephen Hawking in their proper context.

Do you have a degree in mathematics from a competent university such as MIT or UCLA? Maybe even something from a well rated state university?

Ie: Not Biola.

I minored in math and then went into a state university's math grad program. I didn't complete my Masters, but still learned enough that they were willing to trust me to teach calculus to undergrads. I have encountered this line of, erm, reasoning from Christian apologists, multiple times, and I feel qualified to comment on the quality of at least the probabilistic elements of this argument. Mostly because it doesn't take much math to figure out.

And that quality of math is this: Bullshit.

Bull.

Shit.

This math is of a quality equivalent to bovine fecal matter. Not the good stuff you can grow crops in either. The crappy stuff.

Everything, EVERYTHING about the probabilistic nature of these arguments is flawed, and reflects a deep failure on the part of both the arguers and those who believe them to understand even the most basic elements of probability. (I'll qualify that accusation in a bit, but it won't be a flattering qualification. Not in the least.) The ENTIRE argument, in every manner in which I have ever heard it presented (and I've heard it presented often) bears these hallmarks of woeful innumeracy and reaching far beyond their expertise.

As just one example, we have this little gem. I forget who authored, produced, or narrated it, but they obviously spent more on their CGI than on fact-checking, which sounds about right for Bible-promotion. They talk about universal constants and say, if this particular value (I forget which one) were off by a small amount, life couldn't exist. Then they show this long sprawling number line set in space and talk about how it could have been ANY number, as the camera zooms along the line's ever-increasing values and eventually pans over to show it receding into infinity. What are the odds?

This comes down to probability distribution. A probability distribution function is essentially a graph of the likelihood of any given outcome. If we were to draw a graph of the pdf of rolling a fair 6-sided die once, it would be a steady line at zero except for 6 points at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 elevated to 0.166666666..., because the odds of getting those respective values are each one in six. Getting a 3.5 is impossible, so it's value is 0. If the die were instead unfairly weighted such that all of the 1s that would have been rolled instead became 6s, the pdf's value for an outcome of 1 would now be 0, its value for an outcome of 6 would now be 0.3333333..., and its value for the outcomes 2 through 5 would be unchanged. Notice that the sum total of probabilities for all outcomes under consideration, even impossible outcomes like the 1 on the weighted die, MUST be either 0 or positive, and must add up to 1 (or 100%, if you prefer). These are axioms of probability theory, which is to say that if you are dealing with something that doesn't obey these rules, then it's not actually probability you're dealing with.

What this particular example -- and many, many others in this big bull turd pile -- is trying to imply is that the probability distribution function is uniform over (at least) all positive integers. "Uniform" means that all possible outcomes have exactly the same probability as all others. The fair die example is an example of a uniform distribution, while the unfair die (with 6 having greater probability than 2-5) is an example of a non-uniform distribution. Got it?

Okay. Now onto this bullshit infinite number line and why it's bullshit, and how this colors almost every other argument the ID people put forward on the subject of cosmology. If the probability distribution function is distributed uniformly over the positive integers, then what is the probability of an outcome of, say 23? Obviously it must be less than 1%, because there's more than a hundred possible outcomes in there, and they all must (supposedly) have the same probability. But if 23 has a probability of at least 1% (0.01), then ALL of them have that same probability, and the total probability is greater than 1, violating an axiom of probability theory. Similarly, it must be less than 0.001, and less than 0.0001, and less than any positive number you might name. But it must be greater than 0. Why? Because if they all had a probability of 0, the sum total of probability would be 0, when the axiom demands it is 1. There are some calculus techniques to get around this for certain types of infinity, but not the countable infinity on display here, and not for a uniform distribution even were the infinity uncountable.

Simply put, a uniform distribution on an unbound interval containing infinite elements is mathematically impossible. It violates the basic axioms of probability theory. And anyone who's studied this beyond a high school level KNOWS that.

And the people who produced this bullshit didn't.

In other words, while we might suppose that all those numbers are possible outcomes, it is mathematically impossible for them to be EQUALLY LIKELY. Yet the math of the ID argument hinges on exactly that woefully false and obviously uneducated assumption. Some outcomes must have greater probability than others. Why then, cannot the outcome that (supposedly) favors life be 99.95%? Why not 100%, some scenario where the value couldn't have possibly been anything else? I don't know that it is... and the ID apologists don't know it isn't. They've shown exactly zero effort in trying to identify what that probability actually was. They just implied a uniform distribution (which is flatly impossible, no pun intended) and moved on quickly in hopes that no one caught their shenanigans.

And this? This is a problem with EVERY SINGLE FACTOR that they identify! They make no effort to actually measure or calculate how unlikely that particular outcome was, much less back those claimed probabilities up with the slightest shred of evidence. Nor have they shred one drop of sweat in effort in figuring out what the odds of life existing WITHOUT those factors would have been. They just boldly assert that they're necessary and do nothing to prove it.

And to be fair to them, THEY CAN'T. We only have a single universe, and as any statistician will tell you, you can't figure out how likely any outcome is with a sample size of one. And that's basic. Even a high school student should be able to tell you that. And. They. Don't. Know. It.

That right there is enough to completely discredit the argument. But there's more at work here. They often employ non-independent factors, things that are linked by physics or geometry, so that one is true if and only if the other is true, and then imply that them both being true at the same time makes the odds even more unlikely, when in fact those multiple factors were a package deal all along. Again, any high school student whose had a section on probability should understand that concept. Others are straight-out lies about how narrow the acceptable range is. The distance between the Earth and the Sun in one particularly notorious list of factors arguing that if it deviated by only a few miles life would be possible, when to all appearances the Earth could be over half of the way out to Mars's orbit and still have all the factors for life. That list also specified the distance from Earth to the moon, when we could have no moon at all and life would still be possible.

I'll trust Stephen Hawking on the rate of change of the universe preventing its recollapse (though not you to quote him accurately), and note that he doesn't attempt to assign a probability to the rate of expansion being what it was. Nor does Davies attempt to calculate whether life would be possible without stars. Frankly, that would be outside of his field. Nor does he offer even the slightest hint, so far as I can tell, of what the probabilities of the gravitational constants being anything other their present value might be.

And here's the thing. The lack of a sample size greater than one makes this kind of probabilistic analysis mathematically impossible, and we don't really know enough about what possible life forms might exist under weird conditions (a universe without stars, for example), to determine whether those alternatives would be life-bearing, whatever the probability that type of universe could have come about at all. There is no basis for this sort of calculation. None. The math here is bullshit.

Obviously I can't address every point, because the whole thing is a Gish Gallop. (If you don't know what a Gish Gallop is, look it up.) I can only illustrate the argument's overall lack of character.

OMG, that was so hot. Blush
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17-06-2016, 05:29 PM
RE: Christian with a question....
(17-06-2016 02:53 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 12:53 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I question your ability to rate these statements. I question your ability to evaluate comments from figures such a Stephen Hawking in their proper context.

Do you have a degree in mathematics from a competent university such as MIT or UCLA? Maybe even something from a well rated state university?

Ie: Not Biola.

I minored in math and then went into a state university's math grad program. I didn't complete my Masters, but still learned enough that they were willing to trust me to teach calculus to undergrads. I have encountered this line of, erm, reasoning from Christian apologists, multiple times, and I feel qualified to comment on the quality of at least the probabilistic elements of this argument. Mostly because it doesn't take much math to figure out.

And that quality of math is this: Bullshit.

Bull.

Shit.

This math is of a quality equivalent to bovine fecal matter. Not the good stuff you can grow crops in either. The crappy stuff.

Everything, EVERYTHING about the probabilistic nature of these arguments is flawed, and reflects a deep failure on the part of both the arguers and those who believe them to understand even the most basic elements of probability. (I'll qualify that accusation in a bit, but it won't be a flattering qualification. Not in the least.) The ENTIRE argument, in every manner in which I have ever heard it presented (and I've heard it presented often) bears these hallmarks of woeful innumeracy and reaching far beyond their expertise.

As just one example, we have this little gem. I forget who authored, produced, or narrated it, but they obviously spent more on their CGI than on fact-checking, which sounds about right for Bible-promotion. They talk about universal constants and say, if this particular value (I forget which one) were off by a small amount, life couldn't exist. Then they show this long sprawling number line set in space and talk about how it could have been ANY number, as the camera zooms along the line's ever-increasing values and eventually pans over to show it receding into infinity. What are the odds?

This comes down to probability distribution. A probability distribution function is essentially a graph of the likelihood of any given outcome. If we were to draw a graph of the pdf of rolling a fair 6-sided die once, it would be a steady line at zero except for 6 points at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 elevated to 0.166666666..., because the odds of getting those respective values are each one in six. Getting a 3.5 is impossible, so it's value is 0. If the die were instead unfairly weighted such that all of the 1s that would have been rolled instead became 6s, the pdf's value for an outcome of 1 would now be 0, its value for an outcome of 6 would now be 0.3333333..., and its value for the outcomes 2 through 5 would be unchanged. Notice that the sum total of probabilities for all outcomes under consideration, even impossible outcomes like the 1 on the weighted die, MUST be either 0 or positive, and must add up to 1 (or 100%, if you prefer). These are axioms of probability theory, which is to say that if you are dealing with something that doesn't obey these rules, then it's not actually probability you're dealing with.

What this particular example -- and many, many others in this big bull turd pile -- is trying to imply is that the probability distribution function is uniform over (at least) all positive integers. "Uniform" means that all possible outcomes have exactly the same probability as all others. The fair die example is an example of a uniform distribution, while the unfair die (with 6 having greater probability than 2-5) is an example of a non-uniform distribution. Got it?

Okay. Now onto this bullshit infinite number line and why it's bullshit, and how this colors almost every other argument the ID people put forward on the subject of cosmology. If the probability distribution function is distributed uniformly over the positive integers, then what is the probability of an outcome of, say 23? Obviously it must be less than 1%, because there's more than a hundred possible outcomes in there, and they all must (supposedly) have the same probability. But if 23 has a probability of at least 1% (0.01), then ALL of them have that same probability, and the total probability is greater than 1, violating an axiom of probability theory. Similarly, it must be less than 0.001, and less than 0.0001, and less than any positive number you might name. But it must be greater than 0. Why? Because if they all had a probability of 0, the sum total of probability would be 0, when the axiom demands it is 1. There are some calculus techniques to get around this for certain types of infinity, but not the countable infinity on display here, and not for a uniform distribution even were the infinity uncountable.

Simply put, a uniform distribution on an unbound interval containing infinite elements is mathematically impossible. It violates the basic axioms of probability theory. And anyone who's studied this beyond a high school level KNOWS that.

And the people who produced this bullshit didn't.

In other words, while we might suppose that all those numbers are possible outcomes, it is mathematically impossible for them to be EQUALLY LIKELY. Yet the math of the ID argument hinges on exactly that woefully false and obviously uneducated assumption. Some outcomes must have greater probability than others. Why then, cannot the outcome that (supposedly) favors life be 99.95%? Why not 100%, some scenario where the value couldn't have possibly been anything else? I don't know that it is... and the ID apologists don't know it isn't. They've shown exactly zero effort in trying to identify what that probability actually was. They just implied a uniform distribution (which is flatly impossible, no pun intended) and moved on quickly in hopes that no one caught their shenanigans.

And this? This is a problem with EVERY SINGLE FACTOR that they identify! They make no effort to actually measure or calculate how unlikely that particular outcome was, much less back those claimed probabilities up with the slightest shred of evidence. Nor have they shred one drop of sweat in effort in figuring out what the odds of life existing WITHOUT those factors would have been. They just boldly assert that they're necessary and do nothing to prove it.

And to be fair to them, THEY CAN'T. We only have a single universe, and as any statistician will tell you, you can't figure out how likely any outcome is with a sample size of one. And that's basic. Even a high school student should be able to tell you that. And. They. Don't. Know. It.

That right there is enough to completely discredit the argument. But there's more at work here. They often employ non-independent factors, things that are linked by physics or geometry, so that one is true if and only if the other is true, and then imply that them both being true at the same time makes the odds even more unlikely, when in fact those multiple factors were a package deal all along. Again, any high school student whose had a section on probability should understand that concept. Others are straight-out lies about how narrow the acceptable range is. The distance between the Earth and the Sun in one particularly notorious list of factors arguing that if it deviated by only a few miles life would be possible, when to all appearances the Earth could be over half of the way out to Mars's orbit and still have all the factors for life. That list also specified the distance from Earth to the moon, when we could have no moon at all and life would still be possible.

I'll trust Stephen Hawking on the rate of change of the universe preventing its recollapse (though not you to quote him accurately), and note that he doesn't attempt to assign a probability to the rate of expansion being what it was. Nor does Davies attempt to calculate whether life would be possible without stars. Frankly, that would be outside of his field. Nor does he offer even the slightest hint, so far as I can tell, of what the probabilities of the gravitational constants being anything other their present value might be.

And here's the thing. The lack of a sample size greater than one makes this kind of probabilistic analysis mathematically impossible, and we don't really know enough about what possible life forms might exist under weird conditions (a universe without stars, for example), to determine whether those alternatives would be life-bearing, whatever the probability that type of universe could have come about at all. There is no basis for this sort of calculation. None. The math here is bullshit.

Obviously I can't address every point, because the whole thing is a Gish Gallop. (If you don't know what a Gish Gallop is, look it up.) I can only illustrate the argument's overall lack of character.

Amazing. Bowing


I gotta read it again.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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17-06-2016, 05:47 PM
RE: Christian with a question....
(17-06-2016 03:13 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I was going to make this same point. Probability arguments are irrelevant when applied to something that has already happened.
And this is exactly why I couldn't finish the apologetics book "Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins Case Against God."...

Need to think of a witty signature.
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17-06-2016, 06:05 PM
RE: Christian with a question....
Phucrat,
You still around? Let me ask you a question. It is the same question I asked my teacher in 11th grade over half a century ago. How can you have any respect for a God who demands that His special people go out and kill all the people in a particular city, a city that was not bothering His people at all, and He even declares that His people whom previously he has forbidden to kill people. But the two times that I found most repulsive were when in one incident He said to kill all the people even the women and children except the young and comely girls that the soldiers could keep for themselves, and the other incident God said to even open the bellies of pregnant cattle and slay the fetuses. How Phu Crat can you have any respect for a God of that nature, or are you like most Christians and have never delved that deep into the work you feel is in charge of your life? Yes I surely would appreciate a serious answer to that question. If I heard a serious answer to that maybe I could be a believer again!
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17-06-2016, 07:26 PM
RE: Christian with a question....
(17-06-2016 12:24 PM)Phu Cat Wrote:  
As far as something happening to prove there is no God,that's going to be pretty amazing. I'm sure you've heard it before that God's fingerprints are all over the place. Here is something I saved some years ago but I don't know who wrote it, it sure wasn't me:
A second scientific verification of a religious belief is the claim of the great monotheistic faiths that the world is the product of intelligent design. Scientists originally thought that whatever the initial conditions of the universe were, eventually the universe would evolve the complex life forms we see today. But during the last forty years or so, scientists have been stunned by the discovery of how complex and sensitive a balance of initial conditions must be given in the Big Bang in order for the universe to permit the origin and evolution of intelligent life in the cosmos. In the various fields of physics and astrophysics, classical cosmology, quantum mechanics, and biochemistry, discoveries have repeatedly disclosed that the existence of intelligent life depends upon a delicate balance . If any one of these were to be slightly altered, the balance would be destroyed and life would not exist. In fact, the universe appears to have been incomprehensibly fine-tuned from the moment of its inception for the production of intelligent life. We now know that life-prohibiting universes are vastly more probable than any life-permitting universe like ours. How much more probable?
The answer is that the chances that the universe should be life-permitting are so infinitesimal as to be incomprehensible and incalculable. For example, Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe’s expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed into a hot fireball. P. C. W. Davies has calculated that the odds against the initial conditions being suitable for later star formation (without which planets could not exist) is one followed by a thousand billion billion zeroes, at least. He also estimates that a change in the strength of gravity or of the weak force by only one part in 10100 would have prevented a life-permitting universe. There are a number of such quantities and constants present in the big bang which must be fine-tuned in this way if the universe is to permit life. So improbability is multiplied by improbability until our minds are reeling in incomprehensible numbers.

Way out of my pay grade.
Phu Cat

It seems interesting to me how God seems to shrink as our knowledge increases. Once we marveled at god's might in the routine cycle of day and night, until astronomers found the source of it. Then we marveled at the fine design of nature, the beauty of flowers and the elegance of a bird's wing. Then Darwin came along and explained the power of natural selection. Now apologists claim to wonder at the "fine tuning" they claim to see in the universe. God has shrunk from the shepherd of the sun to a nerd who twiddles knobs for one yocktosecond.

I find it odd that they conclude that life-impossible universes are more probable, and that our is so very improbable. On what basis did they come to this conclusion? What was their sample size? Did they find a bunch of other universes and compare those with life-promoting constants vs those without? Did they create new universes or even manage to manipulate the constants in a lab?

No. They simply assumed based on their preferred conclusion. Because that always leads to sound conclusions.

Even if there are no known conclusion you still haven't provided a reason to believe in a god. Positive claims require positive evidence. And "I don't know therefore GOD" is not positive evidence. Hell, you haven't even defined what God means. So what does this mean?
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18-06-2016, 07:26 AM
RE: Christian with a question....
(17-06-2016 12:53 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 12:24 PM)Phu Cat Wrote:  [size=medium]"Jesus's" return was suppose to happen in the life time of his followers around 2000 years ago.

Nobody ever said it Jesus was supposed to return 2000 years ago. Just that we were to be watchful as it could happen at any time and he will come "as a thief in the night". In other words, unexpectedly. While I said I hope it happens in my lifetime I sincerely doubt that it will. I should be so lucky.

I'm not so familiar with the NT, but I believe it does say that... very specifically. It becomes a failed prophecy.

And what do we do with false prophets? Drinking Beverage
---
Far more skilled and educated evangelicals have tried their hand in converting the atheists on this forum before you. You hit us with some kindergarten "philosophical" question, but I kind of suspect that you have no idea who your audience is, what they think, or how much they know.
Ah drat, Commonsensei and Unfogged beat me to quoting the exact verses. Of course, if Phu Cat wanted, I guess he could try to play the old Wandering Jew folklore card; that somewhere is an immortal Jewish man walking the Earth who witnessed Christ and won't die until the day of the Second Coming. But really doubting that was his intention with what he was saying.

And as for the Kindergarten stuff, it could be from 1001 Questions that Atheists ask Christians. Not a fan of Jaclyn Glenn, but she's been doing a series of videos on it and the stuff is mostly facepalm worthy. Like "Does the Christian God wear underwear?" and "If we're all made in God's image, why are there black people?" Actual quotes from that book.


(17-06-2016 12:58 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(16-06-2016 02:43 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  May the Force be with you. (And also with you.)

fuckin' catholics.

From what I understand about our church policies on birth control and marriage, this seems accurate enough.

(17-06-2016 01:06 PM)SitaSky Wrote:  Also you should be so lucky to witness the end of the world? What the actual fuck is wrong with you?

I know you're married, so please don't take this the wrong way, but I love you for that comment. And I walk back my earlier kudos PC, about not actively wishing for the end of the world. As a Catholic, I should look forward to Heaven, I should be happy at the thought of Jesus returning sooner than one might think, but really...sorry Lord, I don't. Blame my sense of morality.

Even as a Baptist I thought of folks fervently wishing for the Second Coming to occur to be failures. Because, as Baptist me thought, the Second Coming means we failed as Christians; no more time here on Earth and everyone gets damned to horrifying torture. All sorts of innocent people, who have done nothing wrong, damned because they didn't hear about Christ or accept Him. Good people, much like those you're debating, tossed into eternal fire.

Have you seen Hell, Phu Cat? I haven't, but I've had very vivid nightmares imagining it. The things in those nightmares are the sort of stuff I wouldn't wish on Hitler or Stalin, let alone someone who works tirelessly to help the poor and the needy but just couldn't bring themselves to believe in God. Or someone for whom faith is a constant struggle to believe, based mainly on personal experiences of "Woo" as our atheist friends put it, but keeps finding contradictions in the Bible and is scared to even open its pages any longer. But, if you listen to the counselor from my Baptist summer camp over a decade ago, those sorts of people are going to Hell, and that's all okay, because of Once Saved Always Saved, Hitler is in Heaven right now, chilling with Moses.

Need to think of a witty signature.
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18-06-2016, 07:41 AM
RE: Christian with a question....
Since we’re on the topic of Hell

   

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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18-06-2016, 08:58 AM
RE: Christian with a question....
(13-06-2016 12:29 PM)Phu Cat Wrote:  So I guess I'm in hot water right off the bat, but here it goes anyway: Could you assume, just for the sake of this question, that there is a god? And you're standing before him on judgement day. God says: "You can go back to earth and live a natural born God-fearing life or be sent directly to hell, which would you choose? Please don't play the "that's never going to happen because there is no god" card just for the sake of this discussion.

Thanks for answering, I'd think this would be a really tough decision.

Phu Cat

Well, the New Testament says that "the word was God" and the "word" which Jesus preached was "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets."

I think most people who post here would accept that proposition and probably live by it, as do most people, most of the time.

I don't think a god who would have us believe his only son should die for this message would be the sort of god who was so mean-spirited that he would chuck us into hell "just" for not believing that he is a big scary guy up in the heavens. Do you? Perhaps you aren't actually a Christian.
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