I wrote, what I thought, was a thoughtful response to a question I was asked regarding math and evolution and creationists.
But as I pointed out here, here and here, aside from the foul language the professor’s response contained several scientific blunders. And now those blunders are being amplified in the professor’s next response. But as usual a straightforward discussion about the science won’t be easy.
Evolution is a religiously driven theory that is weak on the science, so you can guess where the discussion goes. Here is how the professor begins his next “thoughtful” response:
In my original post, I pointed out one creationist argument against the theory of evolution misuses probability. The argument goes like this: using these assumptions, the odds of life originating is infinitesimally small therefore god and Jesus and homosexuals can not visit each other in the hospital.
Aside from the usual mocking that evolutionists rely on, the misuse of probability is not a “creationist argument.” Again, this is typical. Evolutionists think they can cover over the problems with their theory by raising the “Creationist” alarm and turning to ridicule.
The professor’s first mistake was his misuse of probability. They say there are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. We might now add probability to the list. A problem with evolution, and the origin of life, is that they are astronomically unlikely. They have low probability.
The professor attempted to explain this away by arguing that all outcomes are equiprobable. Incredibly complex cellular life arising on its own is no different than a blob of mud. After all, all possible outcomes have a probability of 1/#Outcomes. This is an old, and frankly pathetic, trick. Laplace explained the problem centuries ago and I elaborated on it here.
Using the professor’s rationale, we would credulously accept all manner of bizarre events. If all our roulette wheel bets turned out winners, if our poker hands always gave a royal flush, if random letters spelled out CONSTANTINOPLE, it all would be just another equiprobable event.
But not surprisingly all of this was lost on the professor. He writes:
Instead of dealing with the fact that creationist assumptions are pure fiction …
That would be difficult to do since the professor gave no specifics to deal with. The professor gave no references, no citations, no links, not even any names. In fact the professor’s characterization of “creationist assumptions” was a convenient strawman rather than a serious criticism.
For instance, the professor characterizes creationists as assuming evolution occurs instantaneously. I’m not up on the creationist literature so perhaps they do say this. But if so, this hardly addresses the serious problems with evolution. (More on this below). The professor continues:
Cornelius takes a different tact. Poker and scrabble. See the odds of three players each getting an amazing poker hand at the same time is a really small number therefore evolution can not be true or the odds of pulling out scrabble tiles in order that spell out CONSTANTINOPLE is a really small number therefore evolution can not be true.
Here the professor avoids the problem and instead distorts what I said. The problem is not that “evolution cannot be true,” which of course I never said. The problem is that evolution is unlikely, and his equiprobable argument doesn’t help. After failing to address the problem, the remainder of the professor’s response degrades further:
So if flipping a coin or the lottery are not sufficient evidence, then poker and scrabble will be? Poker and scrabble did not even exist 10,000 years ago, therefore the world can not be that old (if I understand Cornelius' way of thinking). The problem isn't getting small numbers. That's easy, I brought up two ways and now we have two more. The problem is the assumptions creationists make, they are not reality.
10,000 years ago? The world can not be that old? The assumptions creationists make? Where did that come from? Later the professor contrived more opponents to attack:
He is stuck on the idea that scientists think a cell just poofed into existence, regardless of what we say, he refuses to accept it and keeps harping the same lie over and over. … Cornelius' world-view is that the Bible (as he interprets it) is correct and the universe must fit into that tiny little corpuscle of his imagination.
Poofed into existence? Of course I never said any such thing. The professor is simply contriving strawmen to knock down. Unfortunately this is typical. Try discussing the science with evolutionists and too often they attack imagined motives. The irony is that while they promote the religiously-driven theory of evolution, they criticize everyone else for the same. Sorry, but misrepresenting science and resorting to various fallacies is not “thoughtful.”
Religion drives science, and it matters.