Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
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30-03-2016, 02:32 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(30-03-2016 02:29 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(30-03-2016 02:20 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  You're not special. Humans aren't special. Humans are one species among billions that have existed over the course of the last 4 billion years, and we are far from the most successful or important.

Yet here we are.

I doubt other animals are secretly having discussions among themselves as to how they got here.

And we don't have bipectinate gills, like most bivalves, that allow us to efficiently respire and feed in the oceans. Are they not then more special than humans?

You've assigned a special level of importance on one aspect of our species to make yourself feel more special. That is like saying that the picture you drew is more special than mine because you used green crayon and I didn't. Laugh out load

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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30-03-2016, 02:34 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(30-03-2016 02:29 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(30-03-2016 02:20 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  You're not special. Humans aren't special. Humans are one species among billions that have existed over the course of the last 4 billion years, and we are far from the most successful or important.

Yet here we are.

I doubt other animals are secretly having discussions among themselves as to how they got here.

"Yet here we are. "

Yep. Here we are. Humans existing demonstrates that humans exist and descended from a common ancestor with all other living things on this planet and precisely nothing else. Thumbsup Disproving your god, one post at a time.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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30-03-2016, 02:42 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(30-03-2016 02:29 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(30-03-2016 02:20 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  You're not special. Humans aren't special. Humans are one species among billions that have existed over the course of the last 4 billion years, and we are far from the most successful or important.

Yet here we are.

I doubt other animals are secretly having discussions among themselves as to how they got here.

Just seems apropos.


"How insignificant we are, with our pigmy little world!-- an atom glinting with uncounted myriads of other atom worlds in a broad shaft of light streaming from God's countenance--and yet prating complacently of our speck as the Great World, and regarding the other specks as pretty trifles made to steer our schooners by and inspire the reveries of "puppy" lovers. Did Christ live 33 years in each of the millions and millions of worlds that hold their majestic courses above our heads? Or was our small globe the favored one of all? Does one apple in a vast orchard think as much of itself as we do? or one leaf in the forest--or one grain of sand upon the sea shore? Do the pismires argue upon vexed questions of pismire theology--and do they climb a molehill and look abroad over the grand universe of an acre of ground and say “Great is God, who created all things for Us?”

- Samuel Clemens in a letter to Olivia Landon (Clemens) 8 January 1870

“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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30-03-2016, 02:45 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(30-03-2016 02:32 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  And we don't have bipectinate gills, like most bivalves, that allow us to efficiently respire and feed in the oceans. Are they not then more special than humans?

QFT

"Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce

and

"When the Lord finished the world, he pronounced it good. That is what I said about my first work, too. But Time, I tell you, Time takes the confidence out of these incautious opinions. It is more than likely that He thinks about the world, now, pretty much as I think about the Innocents Abroad. The fact is, there is a trifle too much water in both.
- Letter to unidentified person, 6 November 1886 (reprinted in Portable Mark Twain)

“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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30-03-2016, 03:37 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(30-03-2016 02:25 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(30-03-2016 02:20 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Look at Full Circle's postings in this thread. We don't have nearly enough data to answer your questions. It's quite possible that the development of life was inevitable, and that life exists in millions of places throughout the universe. It's also possible that the development of life is highly unlikely, and we just got lucky (like someone who wins the lottery). We just don't know enough to say.

It's also quite possible that humanlike life is a one-off occurrence? It's quite possible that it's not to be found anywhere else in the cosmos but here? It was clearly a one-off occurrence on our planet.

Actually "human-like" life was most certainly not a one-off on this planet.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/scienc....html?_r=0

You really should consider getting an education.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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30-03-2016, 03:40 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(30-03-2016 11:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I'd want to know what the comparison in your analogy would be. Imagine a similar scenario you painted, that the man could arrive in endless variety of places, but he ends up at home, as opposed to just some general place.

Clearly we would recognize the event as an improbable outcome correct? A bit more astonishing than him arriving just at any other irrelevant place.

Fallacy of anthropocentrism.

Arriving at your home may seem amazing to you but it was no more or less probable than any of the other destinations. Unless you live somewhere very odd, it isn't even a terribly interesting destination. A large proportion of the other possible destinations were homes that were very similar to yours. Had you arrived at one of them you would have found a life-sustaining dwelling, quite possibly occupied by a sentient.

In order for your analogy to work you need to demonstrate that none of the other possible destinations are home to sentient life. You can't do that because we don't know the odds so it's just hand waving.

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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30-03-2016, 07:46 PM (This post was last modified: 31-03-2016 10:46 AM by The Organic Chemist.)
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
Personally, I think it is completely useless to even do a calculation. A probability is the number of possible ways divided by the total number of ways but we also must define what we mean by life. Is it is life as we know it or anything that can self-replicate? If we pick the more specific of life as we know it, then we must also must know the total number of possible ways for life as we know it (which we don't know). We must also know the total possible forms of life (which we also don't know). Therefore, it is a silly calculation that answers nothing. Even if you knew all the possibilities, the calculation answers nothing.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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30-03-2016, 07:54 PM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(30-03-2016 02:25 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(30-03-2016 02:20 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Look at Full Circle's postings in this thread. We don't have nearly enough data to answer your questions. It's quite possible that the development of life was inevitable, and that life exists in millions of places throughout the universe. It's also possible that the development of life is highly unlikely, and we just got lucky (like someone who wins the lottery). We just don't know enough to say.

It's also quite possible that humanlike life is a one-off occurrence? It's quite possible that it's not to be found anywhere else in the cosmos but here? It was clearly a one-off occurrence on our planet.

The life of a Black Hole is 10^80-100 years.
The life of Homo sapiens is maybe 10^5 years, so far.
For the vast majority of the life of the universe, it will have no human life.
Hint : It's not about a "one-off" on Earth.

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31-03-2016, 12:44 AM (This post was last modified: 31-03-2016 01:08 AM by Ace.)
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
simplified version of the argument failing

any event such as life forming which has almost zero probability of happening might as well be zero if the there is only one planet in this entire universe, hence the probability of life occurring is zero if the earth is only considered

however. there are trillions of planets in our universe, meaning its highly likely to find planets that can support life............ with each planet added the probability of life occurring increases so if enough planets are there then the probability of life occurring becomes 100%

this is not some complicated arcane know-how that can only be understood by super geniuses BUT a basic and simple rule of probability that doesn't require any hard thought
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31-03-2016, 02:24 AM
RE: Shortcomings of the "probability of life" argument
(30-03-2016 03:56 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Neither.

I have a couple of USB sticks in my handbag. I don't bother putting the cap on the end of them because they are a little too loose but I do store the cap in the handbag along with the sticks.

Every once in a while I find that when I take the USB stick out that it has the cap on the end. Sometimes I pull out both USB sticks to find that they both have caps on the end. It's neither design nor luck. As I walk about the contents of my bag slowly move about. After a while the cap will meet up with the USB stick. There's just enough movement of the contents of my bag to put the cap on the stick, but if there was any more then the cap would be knocked off it again. Any less and the two would never meet up.

The principle is the same for life. It's called the edge of chaos. Where there is enough energy to cause activity, but not too much to create chaos. This allows stable patterns to emerge.

Another example:

http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/en_uk...lds-itself
I had no idea where you were going with that at first, but that was a wonderful explanation. Thanks for the input.
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