Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
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29-03-2016, 03:50 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(29-03-2016 02:02 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You missed a lot.

1. No one knows at this point, how often life occurs, in this universe. It occurred at least once, so as far as we know, the probability for life is 1.0, or 1/1. 100 %. According to the Drake Equation, it's very likely.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80Ryq6bH2aY

2. Highly improbable single (unrelated) events happen all the time, with no intervention from a cause necessary. (That highly improbable single events are rare, is a common misunderstanding in Probability Theory).
Every sequence along a chain that occurs, once the chain has begun, make the next step, MORE probable. This is very easy to demonstrate, with many pairs of dice. We can get them to land with no "design" in a pattern that is so highly improbable, there exists no number to describe it.

3. Order arises spontaneously in this Universe (see Chaos Theory). The chemistry needed for life, is known to be at least somewhat probable.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqPGOhXoprU

4. An omnipotent god could make life work, no matter how poor the design was. ID is no argument for the god, they claim is also "omnipotent".

(I never heard any of that stuff you posited about Quantum Physics). Sounds all "sciencey", but isn't, ... how about some references.)

1) A good point, which was also made previously in this thread by Grasshopper.

2) Another good point, which is really a generalization I used as reasoning in my second point.

3) I'm not going to watch an hour long video for the sake of addressing this point. I'll accept your claim as a possibility for the sake of argument though. If that claim is true, then this point is valid.

4) Omnipotence is kind of off topic, but definitely related. The fun thing about omnipotence is that it's disprovable if defined too simply. "The ability to do anything" implies "The ability to do the un-doable", which is a contradiction.

The point about quantum mechanics is a generalization of the Schrodinger's cat thought experiment. If a quantum event determined whether or not the cat is living, then the cat is both living and dead (in quantum superposition) until you observe it and collapse the wave function. With the cause and effect nature of the universe, everything was at some point determined by a quantum event, meaning everything is in quantum superposition. You can come to this conclusion yourself if you understand the underlying ideas in quantum mechanics. This video explains how deterministic views of the universe conflict with what's observed in quantum mechanics:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v657Ylwh-_k
This video explains other ideas in quantum mechanics very well (in fact I recommend the videos on this Youtube channel in general):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVpXrbZ4bnU
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29-03-2016, 04:09 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(29-03-2016 03:50 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  1) A good point, which was also made previously in this thread by Grasshopper.

2) Another good point, which is really a generalization I used as reasoning in my second point.

You said nothing about that.

Quote:3) I'm not going to watch an hour long video for the sake of addressing this point. I'll accept your claim as a possibility for the sake of argument though. If that claim is true, then this point is valid.

Then you'll never understand the point, or the probabilities.

Quote:4) Omnipotence is kind of off topic, but definitely related. The fun thing about omnipotence is that it's disprovable if defined too simply. "The ability to do anything" implies "The ability to do the un-doable", which is a contradiction.

False. It's defined as the power to do anything. It's not a contradiction of anything.

Quote:With the cause and effect nature of the universe, everything was at some point determined by a quantum event, meaning everything is in quantum superposition.

False. There is no Grand Unification Theory yet unifying the quantum world and the macro world. You do not understand QM. At All.

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29-03-2016, 04:20 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(29-03-2016 03:20 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  
(29-03-2016 01:44 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Look at it this way: It is extremely improbable that any single person will win the lottery. Even if you bought a ticket for every drawing for your entire life, it would still be extremely improbable. Yet people win lotteries regularly, every few weeks or so. You can't say "You didn't win that lottery, because it was too improbable that you would." Improbable things happen all the time, and once an improbable thing happens, it doesn't matter what the odds against it were. The probability function collapses when the event happens.

You can use probability in a predictive sense, but it doesn't make sense to apply it to things that have already happened -- especially if your argument is that it couldn't have happened. Too bad -- it already did.

I understand what you're getting at, but this is a question of how the odds were beaten. Was it luck or was it design? The fact that it's improbable is still pertinent even if it did happen. People try to fake lottery tickets sometimes (design), but people also win normally (luck). Your point is perfectly valid, but it doesn't refute any part of the argument. It's a red herring.

Here's another way to look at it: When somebody argues how improbable our particular universe is, they are "assuming the result". This is invalid. Let's try another example. You get in your car and start driving. Every time you get to an intersection, you randomly decide which way to go. At a dead end, you turn around. You keep doing this for a year (ignore the need to stop for gas, sleep, etc.). At the end of that year, you will be somewhere. If you calculate the odds of arriving at that exact place from the beginning, they would be extremely small. Yet it's 100% certain that you will arrive at some place.

Likewise, given the existence of a universe at all, it's 100% certain that it would arrive at some state after 14 billion years (or whatever the exact age of the universe happens to be). What we have now -- with human life on earth and everything -- is the state that it happened to end up in. The probability of this particular state happening is 1 divided by all possible states, which is extremely extremely extremely small. But you could say that about any of the possible states. Yet one of them must occur.

Do you see what I'm getting at? It's totally invalid to assign a probability to one specific outcome after that outcome has already happened. It's no more improbable than any other possible outcome. This has nothing to do with whether it was designed or not. The probability of God designing this exact universe (as opposed to the infinite number of different universes he could have designed) is no different than the probability of it just happening. It says nothing about whether or not it's designed.

Now, if you assume that this particular universe was the goal right from the beginning -- then it might be valid to assign a probability to it. But if we're arguing about God and design and such things, assuming that the process is goal-directed begs the question. It's unfair. If the universe just developed without any particular goal, then what we have is equally as probable (or improbable) as any other kind of universe. It is what the process happened to lead to.
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29-03-2016, 04:27 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(29-03-2016 04:09 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You said nothing about that.
Correct, I said nothing because the points were valid.
Quote:Then you'll never understand the point, or the probabilities.
I will, I'll just research it on my own instead of watching the video you posted.
Quote:False. It's defined as the power to do anything. It's not a contradiction of anything.
P1) Omnipotence is defined as "the power to do anything"
P2) Some things can't be done
C) Omnipotence can't exist
Quote:False. There is no Grand Unification Theory yet unifying the quantum world and the macro world. You do not understand QM. At All.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-world...rpretation
Wrong you are.
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29-03-2016, 04:35 PM (This post was last modified: 29-03-2016 04:40 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(29-03-2016 04:27 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  Correct, I said nothing because the points were valid.

But you claimed to have included it in a non-existent generalization.

Quote:P1) Omnipotence is defined as "the power to do anything"
P2) Some things can't be done
C) Omnipotence can't exist

Prove it, but it's irrelevant. Theists CLAIM their god is omnipotent. THAT is important and true. The POINT is, Design is an argument against Design, in the theistic world.

Quote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-world...rpretation
Wrong you are.

That is one interpretation, by some. I'm well aware it that interpretation. It's one.
Prove to us it's the generally accepted theory in QM. Ignorant you are.
It's also irrelevant in the discussion of Design. The only way it would be, is if theists knew about it and accepted it. Hell, they don't even accept Evolution. Atheists don't discuss Design. The ONLY reason to discuss the subject AT ALL, in with theists, in their terms.

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29-03-2016, 04:48 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(29-03-2016 04:20 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Here's another way to look at it: When somebody argues how improbable our particular universe is, they are "assuming the result". This is invalid. Let's try another example. You get in your car and start driving. Every time you get to an intersection, you randomly decide which way to go. At a dead end, you turn around. You keep doing this for a year (ignore the need to stop for gas, sleep, etc.). At the end of that year, you will be somewhere. If you calculate the odds of arriving at that exact place from the beginning, they would be extremely small. Yet it's 100% certain that you will arrive at some place.

Likewise, given the existence of a universe at all, it's 100% certain that it would arrive at some state after 14 billion years (or whatever the exact age of the universe happens to be). What we have now -- with human life on earth and everything -- is the state that it happened to end up in. The probability of this particular state happening is 1 divided by all possible states, which is extremely extremely extremely small. But you could say that about any of the possible states. Yet one of them must occur.

Do you see what I'm getting at? It's totally invalid to assign a probability to one specific outcome after that outcome has already happened. It's no more improbable than any other possible outcome. This has nothing to do with whether it was designed or not. The probability of God designing this exact universe (as opposed to the infinite number of different universes he could have designed) is no different than the probability of it just happening. It says nothing about whether or not it's designed.

Now, if you assume that this particular universe was the goal right from the beginning -- then it might be valid to assign a probability to it. But if we're arguing about God and design and such things, assuming that the process is goal-directed begs the question. It's unfair. If the universe just developed without any particular goal, then what we have is equally as probable (or improbable) as any other kind of universe. It is what the process happened to lead to.
I see, so that's the same argument as #2 in Bucky Ball's post. The way things are is always improbable given the infinite possible outcomes at the outset. Ok, I can accept that point as valid and relevant now.

The one problem I have is that life has an intrinsic uniqueness which makes it stand out among the probabilities. If we think of it as rolling a bunch of dice, then it's similar to rolling 10 sixes in a row as opposed to rolling 1,5,6,3,4,5,3,2,6,1 in that order. Both are equally improbable, but all 6's is clearly more unexpected and would make me think someone's doing it on purpose rather than rolling randomly, even if they were just rolling the dice for no reason. This requires the argument that life is unique enough though, which (as evidenced by your other point) isn't fully supportable.
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29-03-2016, 04:52 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(29-03-2016 04:48 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  The one problem I have is that life has an intrinsic uniqueness which makes it stand out among the probabilities. If we think of it as rolling a bunch of dice, then it's similar to rolling 10 sixes in a row as opposed to rolling 1,5,6,3,4,5,3,2,6,1 in that order. Both are equally improbable, but all 6's is clearly more unexpected and would make me think someone's doing it on purpose rather than rolling randomly, even if they were just rolling the dice for no reason. This requires the argument that life is unique enough though, which (as evidenced by your other point) isn't fully supportable.

That's why you need to learn the chemistry.
There is no absolute boundary between life and non-life.
Life has no "intrinsic uniqueness". It's all just Chemistry and Physics.

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29-03-2016, 04:54 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(29-03-2016 04:48 PM)BlackEyedGhost Wrote:  
(29-03-2016 04:20 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Here's another way to look at it: When somebody argues how improbable our particular universe is, they are "assuming the result". This is invalid. Let's try another example. You get in your car and start driving. Every time you get to an intersection, you randomly decide which way to go. At a dead end, you turn around. You keep doing this for a year (ignore the need to stop for gas, sleep, etc.). At the end of that year, you will be somewhere. If you calculate the odds of arriving at that exact place from the beginning, they would be extremely small. Yet it's 100% certain that you will arrive at some place.

Likewise, given the existence of a universe at all, it's 100% certain that it would arrive at some state after 14 billion years (or whatever the exact age of the universe happens to be). What we have now -- with human life on earth and everything -- is the state that it happened to end up in. The probability of this particular state happening is 1 divided by all possible states, which is extremely extremely extremely small. But you could say that about any of the possible states. Yet one of them must occur.

Do you see what I'm getting at? It's totally invalid to assign a probability to one specific outcome after that outcome has already happened. It's no more improbable than any other possible outcome. This has nothing to do with whether it was designed or not. The probability of God designing this exact universe (as opposed to the infinite number of different universes he could have designed) is no different than the probability of it just happening. It says nothing about whether or not it's designed.

Now, if you assume that this particular universe was the goal right from the beginning -- then it might be valid to assign a probability to it. But if we're arguing about God and design and such things, assuming that the process is goal-directed begs the question. It's unfair. If the universe just developed without any particular goal, then what we have is equally as probable (or improbable) as any other kind of universe. It is what the process happened to lead to.
I see, so that's the same argument as #2 in Bucky Ball's post. The way things are is always improbable given the infinite possible outcomes at the outset. Ok, I can accept that point as valid and relevant now.

The one problem I have is that life has an intrinsic uniqueness which makes it stand out among the probabilities. If we think of it as rolling a bunch of dice, then it's similar to rolling 10 sixes in a row as opposed to rolling 1,5,6,3,4,5,3,2,6,1 in that order. Both are equally improbable, but all 6's is clearly more unexpected and would make me think someone's doing it on purpose rather than rolling randomly, even if they were just rolling the dice for no reason. This requires the argument that life is unique enough though, which (as evidenced by your other point) isn't fully supportable.

Yeah, but that's another fallacy. All sixes isn't any more improbable than the other, even though it "seems" more unique. I use a similar example to show people how improbable winning the lottery is. If you're playing Powerball, why not choose the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 with a Powerball of 6? "Well, there's no way that would ever come up!!!" I ask why not? It's exactly as likely as any other set of numbers you might choose (or any set of random numbers).

for the argument to have any weight, you have to assume that a universe with human life was some sort of goal from the beginning, but again, that begs the question.
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29-03-2016, 05:02 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(29-03-2016 04:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  That is one interpretation, by some. I'm well aware it that interpretation. It's one.
Prove to us it's the generally accepted theory in QM. Ignorant you are.
I was suggesting it more as a possible explanation for the natural occurrence of life, not as an infallible scientific truth. But in time, I feel like this interpretation will grow to be the most popular, because it's the one which doesn't claim humans are more special than any other matter in the universe. And seriously, stop calling me an idiot in whatever vernacular. It's tiring to put up with insults while maintaining an intelligent discussion.
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29-03-2016, 05:07 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(29-03-2016 04:54 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Yeah, but that's another fallacy. All sixes isn't any more improbable than the other, even though it "seems" more unique. I use a similar example to show people how improbable winning the lottery is. If you're playing Powerball, why not choose the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 with a Powerball of 6? "Well, there's no way that would ever come up!!!" I ask why not? It's exactly as likely as any other set of numbers you might choose (or any set of random numbers).

for the argument to have any weight, you have to assume that a universe with human life was some sort of goal from the beginning, but again, that begs the question.
Well illustrated. If I were to play, I wouldn't choose those numbers because I'd expect other people have chosen them and I wouldn't want to share my winnings, haha. I don't really have any more input than that since I feel like we've exhausted this argument at this point. Thanks for your input.
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