Probability
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09-03-2013, 03:30 AM
RE: Probability
I thought I already did say that...

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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09-03-2013, 03:33 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 03:30 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  I thought I already did say that...
Yes you did and with much more precision than me I might add. Does that mean I shouldn't have said it again?
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09-03-2013, 03:50 AM
RE: Probability

(09-03-2013 03:33 AM)Andrew_Njonjo Wrote:  

(09-03-2013 03:30 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
I thought I already did say that...


Yes you did and with much more precision than me I might add. Does that mean I shouldn't have said it again?


No, no, go right ahead, the more the merrier, maybe if enough people disagree with the OP he might consider revising his flawed assumptions.

Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat

Who am I kidding, there's no chance of that, but it doesn't stop me from correcting him over and over, nor from him disregarding anything I say over and over, so we dance our little dance...

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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09-03-2013, 04:06 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 03:09 AM)Andrew_Njonjo Wrote:  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.

Its not the probability of more white marbles. It is the probability that all marbles in the bin are white.

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09-03-2013, 04:08 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 03:50 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 03:33 AM)Andrew_Njonjo Wrote:  

Yes you did and with much more precision than me I might add. Does that mean I shouldn't have said it again?


No, no, go right ahead, the more the merrier, maybe if enough people disagree with the OP he might consider revising his flawed assumptions.

Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat

Who am I kidding, there's no chance of that, but it doesn't stop me from correcting him over and over, nor from him disregarding anything I say over and over, so we dance our little dance...
Can you could show my roulette example to be errant? Everyone seems to be ignoring that one. I wish I had used roulette example instead of the marbles because it is easier to conceptualize but I didn't think of it until Rahn made his false analogy.

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09-03-2013, 04:47 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 02:00 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 01:20 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I'm sorry, but NO, each item you pull out of the bin has no bearing on the probability of what you will pull out next.
Each time, it is an independent action, just like a roulette wheel.
Just because you see a pattern doesn't mean that the pattern you perceive will continue.

After you pull out 10 white marbles, you then begin to pull out 9 red marbles, then 8 orange marbles, then 7 yellow marbles.
Given this pattern, how many & what color marbles might you expect to pull out next.

What you expect to find has no bearing on the reality of what you do find.
Sure you can make predictions and they may be correct by chance, but what are those predictions based on.

Given 100 bins, all containing random different amounts and colors of marbles how well will your predictive model of guessing what comes next by basing it off of what you have observed so far ?

The answer is you won't be able to predict what is in the bins.
You may find streaks of black marbles pulled and streaks of red marbles pulled but it's all a guessing game, because each time your hand goes in the bin, it's a new unknown that has no bearing on what was pulled before hand.


Lets use your roulette wheel example. Suppose there is a roulette wheel that you cannot see but it is made known to you the results of every spin. Additional info: You know it is either a single zero wheel(i.e. has pocket labeled 0, and pockets labeled 1-36) or a double zero wheel(i.e. has one pocket labeled 0, one pocket labeled 00, and has pockets label 1-36). You are tasked with guessing what kind of wheel it is.

Everytime it is made known to you that the result of a spin was not 00, the more likely it becomes that the roulette wheel is a single zero wheel.

This is the kind of probability statement I am talking about. I am not claiming you can predict the future or that one roulette spin has any bearing on another roulette spin.
I hope this is the roulette example you are referring to if it's not disregard everything else below.

First if I can't see the roulette wheel how do I know the numbers being spat out aren't random numbers being spat out by a random number generator. That is on what basis have I deduced that the numbers are from roulette wheel spin.

Second given I accept on your word that it is a roulette wheel spin that is generating the numbers on what basis have I limited it to the dichotomy of either a double 00 wheel or a single 0 wheel. Isn't there a large number of possibilities being excluded from this dichotomy.

Thirdly if I accept the two above on your say so, statistical evidence is circumstantial at best on deciding this matter, let me give you an example of the faulty conclusions that can be arrived at using only statistics, in my country (Kenya) gun crime was very low in the early twentieth century so were the number of catholic priests. Throughout the 20th Century the number of Catholic priests has increased and so has gun crime. Am I right in concluding that the Catholic priests are causing the increase in gun crime. No I am not. There are two different factors driving the increase in both I would argue. Similarly there might be factors I am unaware of that are reducing the probability of the double zero showing up. Like gum stuck in the double zero slot. Or the ball having a magnetic polarity similar to the the one around the double zero slot any other number of possibilities that my sleep deprived mind can not conceive.

Finally before you tell me that I should assume a fair roulette wheel, given you know so much about the wheel in question (from the two things you have told me above i.e. it is a roulette wheel and that it is either a double zero or single zero wheel and possibly it is a fair roulette wheel Big Grin ) why can't you just give me the answer rather than me inferring from the number of or lack thereof of double zeros spun. Its a waste of time trying to figure this out with a limited view of experimental data when you have more data give me access to all the observations so that I can come to a better understanding and therefore formulate a better theory on the zeroed nature of this roulette wheel of yours why am I handicapping my ability to collect data by only adducing the zeroed nature from numbers spat out.
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09-03-2013, 07:24 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 04:08 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(09-03-2013 03:50 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  

No, no, go right ahead, the more the merrier, maybe if enough people disagree with the OP he might consider revising his flawed assumptions.

Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat Laughat

Who am I kidding, there's no chance of that, but it doesn't stop me from correcting him over and over, nor from him disregarding anything I say over and over, so we dance our little dance...
Can you could show my roulette example to be errant? Everyone seems to be ignoring that one. I wish I had used roulette example instead of the marbles because it is easier to conceptualize but I didn't think of it until Rahn made his false analogy.


You are confusing the probabilities with the perception of the probabilities; that is, you are conflating mathematics with intuition.


As you draw out more and more white balls, or as the roulette wheel continues to not give 00, your intuition leads you to believe there are probably mostly/all white balls or you are playing a single-0 wheel. However, you haven't gained as much information as your intuitive brain thinks it has.

This is a perception issue. Our minds create patterns and connections on scanty data because it works well most of the time. The humans whose brains worked this way are our ancestors, the one's whose brains waited for more data didn't survive to be ancestors.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-03-2013, 07:52 AM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 12:21 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Suppose there is a bin and you are told the bin contains marbles. You can't see into the bin but you are able to reach into the bin and pull out a marble. You wonder to yourself, what colors are the marbles in that bin?

What happens if you reach into the bin and pull out a white marble? You get information. You get information about the unknown composition of the bin. You know that the bin contained at least one white marble. It could contain marbles of other colors, or all the marbles that were/are in the bin could be white. You reach into the bin an pull out another white marble. You have more information about the initial composition of the bin....it had a least 2 white marbles and it became more likely that all marbles in the bin are white. In fact the more white marbles you draw without ever finding a non white marble, the more likely it becomes that all marbles in the bin are white.

The atheists on this forum should not disagree with this logic at all. It gives them good cause to reject claims of miracles. The more "miracles" that turn out to have natural explaination, the more likely it is that all miracles have natural explaination.

Does anyone disagree with the reasoning in this thread?

I don't disagree with that reasoning. You've given an example of inductive reasoning, which is a form of logic (you called it right). I wouldn't agree, though, that we reject miracles on the basis of the the large number of non-miracles found... that's a misunderstanding of probability. That's like saying that you can't ever win the lottery because of all the times you lost. The law of large numbers will cause someone to win, no matter how small the odds are.

I reject miracles because there's no explanatory power behind them... if something happened that I couldn't explain, then I couldn't credit it to a supernatural being because I can't connect cause and effect... I "can't explain" it! How would one measure God's influence on an event? How could you recognize what He had done to change it? It's all assumptions at best.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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09-03-2013, 01:50 PM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 07:24 AM)Chas Wrote:  You are confusing the probabilities with the perception of the probabilities; that is, you are conflating mathematics with intuition.

As you draw out more and more white balls, or as the roulette wheel continues to not give 00, your intuition leads you to believe there are probably mostly/all white balls or you are playing a single-0 wheel. However, you haven't gained as much information as your intuitive brain thinks it has.

This is a perception issue. Our minds create patterns and connections on scanty data because it works well most of the time. The humans whose brains worked this way are our ancestors, the one's whose brains waited for more data didn't survive to be ancestors.

This is more than the mind creating some pattern. Observing only white marbles does increase the chance that all the marbles are white.

Let X = the probability that all the marbles are white.
Let An = n observations of white marbles without ever observing a non white marble.

Assume that for all n, P(X | An) > 0 and P(An+1 | An) < 1.

we then have

P(X & An+1 | An) = P(X | An)P(An+1 | X & An)= P(X | An).

we also have

P(X & An+1 | An) = P(An+1 | An)P(X | An+1 & An)= P(An+1 | An)P(X | An+1).

Combining these give us

P(X | An) = P(An+1 | An)P(X | An+1) < P(X | An+1).

Which is another way of saying, P(X | An) is an increasing function of n.

Its important to remember that just observing white marbles does not prove there are no black marbles. All it allows you to say is that it is now more likley(then it was before), that there are no black marbles.

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09-03-2013, 01:52 PM
RE: Probability
You admitted to Vosur not 6 hours ago that this argument is flawed, mainly because you copied it off the blackboard without understanding it... That was less than twelve hours ago. Why are you posting it now when you know you're incorrect?

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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