Probability
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09-03-2013, 02:33 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 01:56 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If I pulled 999 white marbles out, and I put my hand in to pull the next thing out, I'd be willing to bet it would be a white marble. The reason, however, is that I'd be having a reasonable guess that a 3rd party has put white marbles in the barrel.

If there was no 3rd party, the chance of getting a white marble is the same as puliing out a gerbil....close enough to zero to be zero. Which is what Kim, Phaedrus and Rhan have said.

I'm still confused. What's your point about miracles and white marbles?
I only included miracles in this thread because I thought the audience would have used this type of probability thinking before to evaluate the credibility of miracles and thus remind them of their familiarity of it. Miracles have nothing to do with marbles.
You probably correctly surmised that later I will use this logic in a thiestic argument. You will have to wait for that argument. For now I want to have the fight over this line of probability thinking.

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09-03-2013, 02:34 AM
RE: Probability
There is a wooden post in my house with a dent in it shaped somewhat like my forehead.

I'm not going any further with this.
How do I put you on ignore ?

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09-03-2013, 02:35 AM
RE: Probability
Or look at it this way.

Suppose you know exactly what is in the barrel. 999 white marbles and one black marble. What is the chance that your first random marble will be black?

1 in 1,000

Suppose you draw 100 marbles, all white. What is the chance your next marble will be black?

1 in 900.

Suppose you draw 400 more marbles, all white. What is the chance your next marble will be black?


1 in 500.



Suppose you draw 400 more marbles, all white. What is the chance your next marble will be black?


1 in 100.

Suppose you draw 90 more marbles, all white. What is the chance your next marble will be black?

1 in 10.

Suppose you draw 9 more marbles, all white. What is the chance your next marble will be black?


100%.


Now you will note that the more white marbles you draw, the MORE likely it is that the next marble will be non-white.

In fact, if I change my initial premise and you DON'T know that there are 999 white marbles and 1 black marble in the barrel, and your marble drawing goes exactly as I described, the probabilities I presented will also be just the same.

Why is that? Why are my findings the exact opposite of yours? We each have a barrel of marbles and a guy with no knowledge of the contents drawing white marbles and speculating about the contents. Why do I get the opposite results?

Because mine are based on actual math and yours are based on guesswork. After drawing a bunch of white marbles and still knowing nothing about the barrel's contents, you guess that they're all white, you guess that the probability of getting a white marble is increasing. But it's just a guess. An assumption.

Sure, my guy not knowing the contents might make the same bad guesses that you did, but in my example, he would be wrong. He would actually be wrong twice:

1. His bad guess that they're all white was factually wrong, even if he didn't know it.
2. His decision to guess about the contents was a bad decision, he was wrong to think that way.

Your guy might have been right or might have been wrong about the contents of your barrel of marbles (since you never described its contents we'll never know), but he was still absolutely wrong about the second point - he should not be guessing, assuming, about the contents of the barrel.

Your entire OP was about a guy making bad decisions. Are you going to jump to some bad conclusions about those bad decisions?

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09-03-2013, 02:50 AM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2013 03:01 AM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 02:35 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Why is that? Why are my findings the exact opposite of yours? We each have a barrel of marbles and a guy with no knowledge of the contents drawing white marbles and speculating about the contents. Why do I get the opposite results?




Your example assumes there is a black marble in the bin and 999 white ones. Try it again with the assumption in the original post of this thread....that marbles of unknown color(s) are in the bin.
How's that math working for you?

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09-03-2013, 02:51 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 12:55 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  Get to the point, buck-o. Trying to be clever in how you lay out your argument doesn't make people think you're more clever, or win you debates, it just annoys people for wasting their time. So spell our you punch line and be done with it.

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09-03-2013, 02:58 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 02:51 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 12:55 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  Get to the point, buck-o. Trying to be clever in how you lay out your argument doesn't make people think you're more clever, or win you debates, it just annoys people for wasting their time. So spell our you punch line and be done with it.
If I laid out the whole kit and kaboodle, you guys would be raising objections on several different elements at the same time. I would be overwhelmed. Its easier for me to take on these objections peice meal. Maybe if I were debating just one person it would make more sense to lay it out all at once, but I am not debating one person.

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09-03-2013, 03:02 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 02:50 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 02:35 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Why is that? Why are my findings the exact opposite of yours? We each have a barrel of marbles and a guy with no knowledge of the contents drawing white marbles and speculating about the contents. Why do I get the opposite results?



Your example assumes there is a black marble in the bin. Try it again with just the assumption that marbles of unknown color(s) are in the bin.
Yes, I know that's what my example assumes, since I wrote my example and specifically assumed that.

My point, which you seem not to have read, is that by modifying the initial premise, we can mathematically demonstrate the exact opposite mathematically precise results than you got by your method of guessing. Your initial premise doesn't state what's in the barrel, but it COULD be 999 white marbles and one black, in which case, my math would be correct for your barrel. Or it could be anything else, of course, in which case my math would be more or less applicable, depending on the contents.

The point is, math proves that your guess is, at least for some possible barrels, dead wrong - 100% opposite of what some barrels would be. Since we know your guess CAN be wrong some of the time, it is then illogical to make that guess at any time.

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09-03-2013, 03:06 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 02:58 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Maybe if I were debating just one person it would make more sense to lay it out all at once, but I am not debating one person.
You could do that if you really wanted to. We have a special section for that called "The Boxing Ring" in which two people can debate on any given topic without being interrupted by anyone else.

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09-03-2013, 03:09 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 02:50 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 02:35 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Why is that? Why are my findings the exact opposite of yours? We each have a barrel of marbles and a guy with no knowledge of the contents drawing white marbles and speculating about the contents. Why do I get the opposite results?



Your example assumes there is a black marble in the bin. Try it again with just the assumption that marbles of unknown color(s) are in the bin.
I don't agree, if the colors are unknown color then it would be bad science to think the probability of more white marbles increased with every white marble I pulled out. why can't I just look in the bin? And even more pertinent don't I have better things to do then to put my hands in the bin and pull out marbles one at a time?

I have a competing line of bad reasoning I'd like to sell. Not knowing the color of marbles wouldn't it be reasonable to expect that there was more than one color of marble in the bin (this is the patently bad reasoning I know). Thus thinking that there was more than one color, every marble I pulled out of the color white increases the likelihood that the next would not be white given that the bin had a finite number of marbles.
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09-03-2013, 03:23 AM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2013 03:59 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 03:09 AM)Andrew_Njonjo Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 02:50 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Your example assumes there is a black marble in the bin. Try it again with just the assumption that marbles of unknown color(s) are in the bin.
I don't agree, if the colors are unknown color then it would be bad science to think the probability of more white marbles increased with every white marble I pulled out. why can't I just look in the bin? And even more pertinent don't I have better things to do then to put my hands in the bin and pull out marbles one at a time?

I have a competing line of bad reasoning I'd like to sell. Not knowing the color of marbles wouldn't it be reasonable to expect that there was more than one color of marble in the bin (this is the patently bad reasoning I know). Thus thinking that there was more than one color, every marble I pulled out of the color white increases the likelihood that the next would not be white given that the bin had a finite number of marbles.

Exactly. The probability goes UP, I was about to say that, but ya beat me to it.
As far as "miracles" go, a. it's the Fallacy of the False Analogy, and as (Bart Ehrman points out about miracles), they are the LEAST probable event to occur, so the probability of a miracle approaches, (or actually IS), zero. b. I have no doubt eventually BlownOutHisBrainsJob will say something about miracles. In fact a "miracle" in the Bible is a 100 % natural event which a believer chooses, (by faith) to "see the hand of (a) god operating". A Biblical miracle, (for mainline, non-fundi Theologians) is not an "unnatural" or "supernantural" event. The "other than natural" miracle is just more of the Hollywood Bible School/Institue BS.

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