## Sunday, March 11, 2012

### Here’s That Monumental Evolution Blunder About Probability Again

Did you think that University of Minnesota professor’s blunder about probability was a one-off? Laplace didn’t rebuke this argument two centuries ago for no good reason—the fallacy has been around forever and evolutionists continue to employ it. The argument’s next appearance is in a forthcoming journal article and the evolutionist doesn’t even try to clean it up. It’s the same old argument that if you toss a coin 500 times there are 2^500, or a one with about 150 zeros after it, different possible sequences of heads and tails. Therefore whatever sequence of heads and tails you end up with had an astronomically tiny—one in 2^500—chance of happening. Such a tiny probability is usually considered to be impossible, and yet it happened. The erroneous conclusion is that tiny probability arguments don’t work, and therefore even though evolution has a tiny probability, there’s really no problem with the theory. As the paper explains:

The small probability argument starts out with the legitimate statement that the evolution of complex biological structures, given only Darwinian processes, is very unlikely.

But,

Very small probabilities mean little, as such events can be easily generated. Assume that a given coin is fair, and that our hypothesis H is that the coin is fair, so that it asserts that the probability of heads and tails is each ½, i.e., P(h)=½ and P(t)=½. Consider 5 tosses of this coin and a particular outcome (a certain sequence of heads and tails): P(h,t,t,h,t) = ½ * ½ * ½ * ½ * ½, which is equal to 1 in 2^5. For 70 tosses the probability of a particular outcome P(t,h,t,…) is 1 in 2^70, and for 500 tosses the probability P(t,t,h,…) is 1 in 2^500, which is smaller than 1 in 10^150 and thus smaller than Dembski’s universal probability bound. Inferring the falsity of the hypothesis ‘coin is fair’ because of this extremely small probability would be fallacious

It is truly incredible to see evolutionists work their chicanery so they can uphold complete nonsense as the truth. So the evolutionists would credulously accept all manner of bizarre events. If all their roulette wheel bets turned out winners, if their poker hands always gave a royal flush, if random Scrabble letters spelled out CONSTANTINOPLE, it all would be just another small probability event from which nothing can be concluded. This monumental blunder leads them into all kinds of ridiculous conclusions:

Small probabilities have a strange psychological effect on us and can even mislead educated persons into fallacious inferences. For this reason, this issue ought to be clarified when teaching probability theory to high school students. Arbitrarily small probabilities result if one considers the conjunction of different events, and the particular outcome of a sequence of many evolutionary events (such as all mutations in a lineage leading from a remote ancestor to an extant descendant) is no exception. Since complex events (involving many individual events) with small probabilities happen all the time in nature, a small probability suggests neither that the hypothesis postulating this probability is probably false, nor that some intelligent intervention must have taken place.

So there you have it. Their reasoning may seem fallacious, but actually it is merely a “strange psychological effect” that “can even mislead educated persons” and so we must indoctrinate high school students accordingly.

It is yet another example of how the evolutionary thinking is corrupting science and, in this case, basic mathematics.

Religion drives science, and it matters.

1. Wow CH. You've already demonstrated many times that you're as clueless about probability theory as you are dishonest about evolutionary biology.

But thanks for reminding us of your incompetence.

1. Actually, it shows either the stupidity of this guy or his dishonesty. I'm not sure how you can fault Dr. Hunter for pointing that out.

Please sir, enlighten us as to why Dr. Hunter is wrong and this guy is right? What did Dr. Hunter say here that shows his incompetence? What is his mistake(s)? Pray tell us! You're not going to try and stand up for this prof and his argument are you?

I think your post is showing your incompetence. He did an admiral job of pointing out the flaw in this oft used evolutionary argument.

I think you should be more worried about how a college professor could make such a fundamental mistake and even get his article published in some kind of journal. Doesn't say much for that college or for the journal if his article passed peer review.

2. tokyojim

Please sir, enlighten us as to why Dr. Hunter is wrong and this guy is right? What did Dr. Hunter say here that shows his incompetence? What is his mistake(s)? Pray tell us! You're not going to try and stand up for this prof and his argument are you?

CH is wrong because he makes the same dumb mistake that all IDCers who argue "it's too improbable!!" do. He assumes that because the probability of one *specific* result is extremely small, that means the probability of having *any* result must be extremely small.

It's the same old stupid 'lottery' issue. If all 1 million lottery tickets are sold then any one number has a small chance (1 in a million) of winning. But the probability of some number winning is 100%.

All the IDCers still using this idiotic "probability" example fail because

1) they haven't shown the genetic sequences we see now are the only possible ones to support life (i.e the only possible 'winning lottery ticket'), and

2) they don't understand that you can't calculate the probability of a long term cumulative process by taking a snapshot of the current results. That's what the dice problem showed, although not a single one of you grasped the concept.

CH has been corrected on this boner numerous times over the years but still keeps regurgitating the same FAILED nonsense. It's almost like he's targeting ignorant IDCers for some reason, telling them what they want to hear.

2. Dr. Hunter, here is a good site for teaching basic probability;

They have several coin flipping examples and even a deck of cards example. ,,, Perhaps Darwinists would like to correct the man who created this site on probability theory. He ONLY has three degrees from MIT!

The videos are neat. Here is one:

Coin Flipping example

He has over 3000 lessons, mostly on math, on his site. (He was featured on 60 MINUTES tonight) I like this lesson of his on Euler's Identity:

Euler's Formula and Euler's Identity : Rationale for Euler's Formula and Euler's Identity - video

3. This comment has been removed by the author.

4. Here's the clip from 60 MINUTES;

Khan Academy: The future of education?

1. bornagain77:

However the Khan Academy promotes the usual religious mandates:

http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2011/09/infra-dig-what-goes-around-comes-around.html

2. Shame, at least, one bright point, it seems he does not corrupt basic probability to do it.

5. The arguments on both sides of this debate are fallacious. The problem for the evolutionists is not low probability but zero probability. If life required a sequence 2^500 digits long, it would never happen. Why? Because, in nature, there are constructive and destructive forces, both of which are equally likely. Consequently, the likelihood that a complex sequence is destroyed long before it reaches a life sustaining complexity is 100%. Why is this a problem? It is a problem because every time the sequence is destroyed, one must start counting all over again.

Something for all of you brain-dead evolutionists to chew on.

6. Louis the Fruit Loop

The arguments on both sides of this debate are fallacious. The problem for the evolutionists is not low probability but zero probability. If life required a sequence 2^500 digits long, it would never happen.

Please provide evidence that the probability of the first and only possible self-replicating molecule was 1 in 2^500. Please show your work including the chemical processes and conditions involved, total sample size, and time per generation on the early pre-biotic Earth.

Something for brain dead Creationist Louis to chew on.

1. I never claimed that the probability of the first living organism was 1 in 2^500. Why lie to make a lame point? My point, which went over your 2-neuron head, is that the actual probability does not matter all that much since, given the astronomical complexity of the simplest known life form, it is agreed to be extremely low by all parties concerned.

2. Louis the Fruit Loop

I never claimed that the probability of the first living organism was 1 in 2^500.

You pulled a big number out of your butt to try and make a point. So you're the liar.

Why lie to make a lame point?

You tell us Louis. You're the liar here.

My point, which went over your 2-neuron head, is that the actual probability does not matter all that much since, given the astronomical complexity of the simplest known life form, it is agreed to be extremely low by all parties concerned.

Another lie by Louis. If the scientific community thought the probability was astronomically low, why are scientists still doing all that abiogenesis research?

Do you think Jesus will reward you for your lies Louis?

3. Louis -

The problem for the evolutionists is not low probability but zero probability. If life required a sequence 2^500 digits long, it would never happen.

A zero probability means something is literally impossible.

A 1 in 2^500 probability means it will happen by chance alone once given 2^500 attempts.

the astronomical complexity of the simplest known life form

The simplest known life-form has had 4 billion years to evolve. The earliest ever life form was surely far more basic and primitive than even the simplest life-form found today.

4. My second point is this: arguing with jackasses is like pulling teeth. Unfortunately, it's a lesson that Cornelius Hunter refuses to learn. Oh well.

7. Perhaps Cornelius could explain why the paper is wrong rather than merely claiming that it is...

Surely, Cornelius is not confusing a probability with a likelihood?

8. Why don't you IDCers show us what you really know about probability by solving a few simple problems.

If I make one roll of five fair six-sided dice, what is the probability I will roll all 6s?

If I'm allowed to keep any 6s that come up and re-roll just the remaining dice, what is the probability I'll have all 6s after three turns? What is the general formula for calculating the probability of all 6s after N such turns?

Now the hard one:

You walk into a room and see I have all 6s setting front of me. How do you calculate the probability that I fairly rolled them (as opposed to just placing them) without knowing the history or rules of the game?

Have at it BA77 and CH and Louis. You guys all talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?

1. “You walk into a room and see I have all 6s setting fr ont of me. How do you calculate the probability that I fairly rolled them (as opposed to just placing them) without knowing the history or rules of the game?"

Here you are setting the rules of the game to get your desired result. Evolution has no desired result. It doesn't know where it’s going or what it wants to do. So, for all you know there are no rules that evolution follows. Did it want to create life? Did it want to create humans? NOPE! So, I think you’re cheating here.

In fact, I bet most Darwinists would say there are NO rules! Shouldn’t this be the default choice for Darwinists? You have no way to explain where the rules came from. Who set the rules? Rules point to a rule maker and laws to a lawmaker. If you posit rules, then you just push back the problem one more level. You have to explain who made the rules, because rules don't just happen. If you had an Intelligent Designer, well then, that's a whole different story. Then you could explain the existence of rules, but without an ID, the default position of Darwinists would seem to be that of no rules.

You bring up a good point here, though. You are right in saying that I would not know how your 5 sixes came to be if I just walked in the room and saw them aligned there. Like you said, for all I know, they could have been placed there by someone instead of rolled by chance.

Thank you for that concession! I guess we can say the same thing for humans, now can't we?(only we are talking about al lot more than just 5 sixes) You don’t know how we came to be, do you? When you walked in the room so to speak, humans were already there. For all you know, someone could have just created them as is! Uh oh. This is headed in a direction you weren't planning on. Hmm. Sounds like you are open to creation. Congratulations! You have just pointed out one of the biggest problems with evolutionary science! No one saw it happen!

If you want to use this argument to say that we cannot know the true odds for the evolution of life, I agree in the strictest literal sense. But that doesn't get you off of the hook. Looking at the evidence that we do have, it all points to astronomical odds. So as a scientist, I would think you would want to start with what we do know as opposed to what we do not know. Shouldn’t this be your default position? I would think you would say it like this: “All evidence points towards astronomical odds, but perhaps we don't know the whole story. Perhaps there are rules that evolution follows that make it easy to overcome those seemingly impossible odds, or that would reduce those odds to more manageable numbers.”

Actually some IDers would agree. They posit an Intelligent Designer who frontloaded evolution or who wrote the rules that guide it. I disagree, but you have just made a great argument for that view!

Anyway, since what we do know points to astronomical odds & therefore the existence of an Intelligent Designer, why are you not open to it? It doesn’t fit your worldview. You can’t allow a divine foot in the door so to speak so you are forced to hope with all your strength that there is/are some kind of rule(s) out there that evolution follows that enables it to save those sixes. You are seemingly willing to believe in these as of yet unknown rules as long as it helps you avoid the Intelligent Designer conclusion. But to take that position, I think the burden of proof is on you to show that these rules do indeed exist rather than taking it by faith that they do and basing your whole worldview on their existence.

It really is amazing to me that you are actually trying to attack this probability argument as if you expect people to believe that evolving life and all the new complex genetic code needed for the evolving of all life forms was no problem for evolution! Good luck with that one!

You have your faith. We have ours.

2. You guys are hilarious!

My simple dice example was not claimed or meant to accurately model biological evolution. The topic of this OP is probability. I merely offered up a simple probability problem just to see if any of you science deniers actually understood basic probability concepts. The answer seems to be a resounding NO.

Instead you guys have kicked and screamed and demanded I use real genomes, recreate 3 billion year old DNA sequences, etc. But not a single one of you has shown understanding of how to solve the problem.

Looking at the evidence that we do have, it all points to astronomical odds.

That would be the evidence none of you can provide, and the calculations none of you can do. Got it.

3. Because your question as it relates to the discussion is pointless. Are you so ignorant that you can't see that the response to anyone guessing the odds is a resounding "Who cares what the answer is?!?!?! because it has no bearing on the discussion.

9. Actually, this is yet another example of how Cornelius is either confused about the context in which probability is useful, or he's smuggling assumptions into his argument which he has yet to explicitly disclose. Specifically, the usefulness of probability is limited to cases where we know all of the possible outcomes and greatly diminished in cases where the outcome would be effected by the creation of knowledge.

An example of the former is Russian Roulette, where we know how many chambers the gun has, how many of those chambers are loaded with bullets, etc. If presented with a one or more specific variations of Russian Roulette, such as the number of chambers, bullets or times the trigger is pulled, one could use probability to determine which particular variation would have the least risk, the most risk, etc., which could be made in a mechanical fashion.

However, in scenarios where there are multiple steps which include the creation of knowledge, this poses a barrier to forming useful predictions, even if the process is deterministic. This is because the possible outcomes would be unknown to us at the time. So, the application of probability is invalid in these cases, despite the fact that we almost universally under estimate it's invalidity in practice.

As such, the question of whether predictions are relevant in the case of evolutionary theory depends on whether all possible outcomes of the evolution of the biosphere are currently known to us and/or whether it's based on the creation of knowledge.

That is, I'm suggesting Cornelius is either confused about the context in which probability is useful or he somehow knows all of the possible outcomes how how life could have evolved, in the sense one can know the outcomes in the case of Russian Roulette, by some means which he has yet to disclose.

So, unless Cornelius enlightens us as to how he knows all of the possible outcomes how how life could have evolved, it's unclear how the OP does not represent monumental blunder about probability, yet again.

10. I don't pretend to be a mathematician or even an scientist, but I see where you are going with this simplistic dice argument. The problem with applying this to evolutionary theory is another stupid mistake evolutionists make. We know of very few positive mutations caused by one gene. Most visible or measureable differences are caused by changes at multiple sites in the genome, at least any mutations that could contribute to "fitness". So here is my question for you regarding the 6's: natural selection couldn't possibly know ahead of time that (5) sixes would be necessary for a positive mutation so what is the validity of your argument for keeping a six when it turns up and just rolling the remaining dice???

1. Ultimate Reality

I don't pretend to be a mathematician or even an scientist, but I see where you are going with this simplistic dice argument.

OK, there's one IDCer who doesn't understand enough about probability to do the problem. Props for being honest BTW. Anyone else?

The problem with applying this to evolutionary theory is another stupid mistake evolutionists make. We know of very few positive mutations caused by one gene. Most visible or measureable differences are caused by changes at multiple sites in the genome, at least any mutations that could contribute to "fitness".

Apparently you don't understand evolutionary biology either. A mutation(s) can only be called beneficial or deleterious to fitness with respect to its current environment.

So here is my question for you regarding the 6's: natural selection couldn't possibly know ahead of time that (5) sixes would be necessary for a positive mutation so what is the validity of your argument for keeping a six when it turns up and just rolling the remaining dice???

In my example I set the environment so that 6s were beneficial and survived. Do you really not understand even that simple bit?

2. In the real world, however, even beneficial mutations can cause a protein to lose stability. They have to be compensated for by other mutations. So you don't see any benefit until after a number of mutations have happened.

3. Thorton, I think it is you who doesn't understand the lack of basis for your own argument in the probability discussion of evolution. If it takes multiple sites to effect a single change that the environment would keep, in your example, how is NS supposed to know (5) sixes would effect the necessary change for a beneficial mutation if (4) of the five sixes had not yet acheived the beneficial change. Your argument proves what you are trying to disprove, i.e., intelligent intervention of keeping a six everytime it turns up and only rolling the remaining dice. So in answer to your question, I can immediately discount the rule of you keeping sixes in the context of a genetic mutation evolution argument and calculate the probability based on you having to roll (5) sixes at one time. So this non-scientific guy just owned you Mr. Smart Pants!!!!

11. By the way, the following talk expands on the above argument, which his based on David Deutsch's book, The Beginning of Infinity.

While it's an hour long, I'd highly recommend it as it clarifies many aspects of the arguments I've been presenting here.

If you're pressed for time, jump to 3:15, where Deutsch begins with an example of a flawed example of using predictions, then goes on to explain why it's flawed in detail.

12. Thorton:"In my example I set the environment so that 6s were beneficial and survived. Do you really not understand even that simple bit?"

What was the first 6 length amino acid chain that was selected for while on the way to the first replicating chain? What type of selection pressures caused it?

1. John

Thorton:"In my example I set the environment so that 6s were beneficial and survived. Do you really not understand even that simple bit?"

What was the first 6 length amino acid chain that was selected for while on the way to the first replicating chain? What type of selection pressures caused it?

Thanks for the non-answer. We'll add you to the list of IDCers who don't understand and can't do basic probability calculations.

2. Again Thornton, we don't need to be able to do your stupid problem because it is IRRELEVANT!! I depend on a scientific calculator because I can't do some of the calculations long hand. If I want to solve a probability problem, I will just visit a university and ask someone who specializes in the field. It doesn't mean I can't present a valid argument because I don't know everything. That is just stupid and ignorant to make such a point as you have done.

3. And by the way, my 8th grader is studying probability in math right now. I do know that it is the number of possibilities multiplied by the next number of possibilities so in the case of one roll of all five, it is just 1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6=1/46,656 so the odds are 1 in 46,656 of rolling all sixes in one throw. If I had to guess your other problem in keeping a six every time, the first roll I would have a 5/6 chance of rolling at least one six, right? The next roll would be 4/6 right? so 5/6 x 4/6 x 3/6 x 2/6 x 1/6= 120/46,656 or 1/389 chance? Did I do that right?

4. Ultimate Reality

If I want to solve a probability problem, I will just visit a university and ask someone who specializes in the field.

In that case, if you have questions about evolutionary biology why haven't you visited a university and asked someone who specializes in the field? Most science researchers are quite happy to explain their work to interested laymen.

It doesn't mean I can't present a valid argument because I don't know everything.

What it means is you don't understand the arguments you are presenting. You blindly regurgitate the "evolution is too improbable" IDC tripe with zero ability to critically examine the claims. If you don't understand the fundamental concepts, you'll never know when you're being fed a load. That was the whole point of my example.

And by the way, my 8th grader is studying probability in math right now. I do know that it is the number of possibilities multiplied by the next number of possibilities so in the case of one roll of all five, it is just 1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6=1/46,656 so the odds are 1 in 46,656 of rolling all sixes in one throw.

(1/6)^5 doesn't equal 1/46656. Maybe you can get your 8th grader to show you how to work a calculator. ;)

If I had to guess your other problem in keeping a six every time, the first roll I would have a 5/6 chance of rolling at least one six, right? The next roll would be 4/6 right? so 5/6 x 4/6 x 3/6 x 2/6 x 1/6= 120/46,656 or 1/389 chance? Did I do that right?

No, not even close, but I will give you credit for at least trying. I'll admit the problem I gave was pretty mean though. The example can be described as a Markov chain, a process where the state of the system at time t+1 depends only on the state of the system at time t. The solution is found by creating a transitional matrix with the probabilities for the change of state at each roll, and then multiplying the matrices together to get the final probability. Definitely college level math and not something most people would know.

So the next time someone tells you "evolution is too improbable", demand that they show you and explain the math.

13. Ritchie said

"A 1 in 2^500 probability means it will happen by chance alone once given 2^500 attempts."

So, does a 1 in 2 chance mean that something will happen once ever two tries?

Hmm. I wonder why I just got two straight heads on a coin toss instead of a heads and a tails.

Somehow, I think your conclusion is wrong. It doesn't always work like it "should".

With odds like 2^500, I really doubt whether it would ever happen, but if you want to be technical, you are right, it is not literally impossible. But do you really think it those are the odds of something happening that it would ever happen? I sure doubt it.

1. So, does a 1 in 2 chance mean that something will happen once ever two tries?

On average, yes.

Hmm. I wonder why I just got two straight heads on a coin toss instead of a heads and a tails.

It's not a absolute rule. It's not that a 1 in 2 chance will ALWAYS happen once and only once given two attempts. We are talking about averages - probabilities.

With odds like 2^500, I really doubt whether it would ever happen,

That is because you do not understand probability.

My odds of winning the lotto (the UK one, the odds might be slightly different for the US one) is approximately 1 in 14,000,000. Long odds.

And yet, most weeks, someone beats those odds. How incredible is that? Someone beats odds of 14,000,000 to 1. Surely such a thing is IMPOSSIBLE (or merely 'too improbable to ever come about)...?

Well no, it isn't. It is perfectly in keeping with probability and should cause no surprise at all. Because millions of people play the lotto every week.

Look at it this way - when a throw a dice, the odds of me getting ANY PREDETERMINED number is 1 in 6. WHATEVER number I get throwing the dice, the odds of me getting it will always have been 1 in 6. SO I throw a dice (I happen to get a 4), and I think 'Wow, I have beaten the odds to get that number. Surely a miracle has happened'. I'm sure you'd agree I was wrong - can you see the fallacy now?

And perhaps you are thinking 'But 1 in 6 is nothing. We're talking really BIG numbers here'. But we can increase the scale and the fallacy remains exactly the same. Imagine I have a 10-sided dice. If we go through the same rigmarole, my conclusion is just as flawed. The same if it is a 100-sided dice, or a billion-sided dice (don't try to picture it, just go with it). The odds of me getting a PREDETERMINED number is now a billion to one. But if I roll the dice, I am not justified in retro-actively concluding a miracle has happened just because that scenario could have played out many other ways and didn't.

When you retro-actively calculate the odds of ANYTHING the numbers are pretty much always going to be huge. And the fact is that massively unlikely events happen every day. Just think about your birth. When you calculate how many sperm your father produced over his lifetime, and how many eggs your mother produced, and the odds of them happening to have sex at just the right time for that individual sperm and individual egg to meet to create YOU - well, I'm sure we will hit odds of 2^500 to one pretty damn quickly. And yet here you are...

2. TJ: With odds like 2^500, I really doubt whether it would ever happen, but if you want to be technical, you are right, it is not literally impossible. But do you really think it those are the odds of something happening that it would ever happen? I sure doubt it.

Again, probably is only useful in situations where you know all the possible outcomes, such as Russian Roulette. Are you claiming that you somehow know all the possible outcomes across all possible paths of evolution? Do you know there is only one set of proteins that could perform any particular role in all possible forms of life that could have evolved?

IF so, how do you know this? What evidence such an assumption based on?

3. Ritchie, there you go trying to trick us wiht the old lottery example!!!

"And yet, most weeks, someone beats those odds. How incredible is that? Someone beats odds of 14,000,000 to 1. Surely such a thing is IMPOSSIBLE (or merely 'too improbable to ever come about)...?"

This is total bull dookey!!! You haven't told us how many people bought tickets!!!! If the odds are 14 million to 1 and 14 million people buy tickets, what are the odds of someone winning??

What you seem to be missing in Cornelius' argument which was evident to even this dumb retired cop is that while the odds were against getting that one random string, the real question is "what are the odds of getting that same random string again on the second attempt?" Thornton, since you are a probability expert, can you please answer this for me???

4. Ultimate Reality

Ritchie, there you go trying to trick us wiht the old lottery example!!!

Why is presenting a clear, valid example trying to 'trick' you?

This is total bull dookey!!! You haven't told us how many people bought tickets!!!! If the odds are 14 million to 1 and 14 million people buy tickets, what are the odds of someone winning??

Assuming each ticket has a different number, the probability of one ticket winning is 1.0

What you seem to be missing in Cornelius' argument which was evident to even this dumb retired cop is that while the odds were against getting that one random string, the real question is "what are the odds of getting that same random string again on the second attempt?" Thornton, since you are a probability expert, can you please answer this for me???

I already have. If you are pre-specifying a particular outcome, then the odds of that specific outcome is 1 in 2^500. Now where in biological life did someone pre-specify the genetic sequences we see now?

5. Duh!!! Is that not the crux of the whole debate? Please show me where Darwinian theory has come up with concrete evidence (not speculation) the genetic sequences were NOT pre-specified by the Designer.

6. Ultimate Reality

Duh!!! Is that not the crux of the whole debate? Please show me where Darwinian theory has come up with concrete evidence (not speculation) the genetic sequences were NOT pre-specified by the Designer.

Er...you can't prove a negative UR. Even your fellow Creationists will tell you that.

If you want to assert the genetic sequences were pre-specified, onus is on you to provide the before-the-fact specification.

7. I wasn't asking you to disprove a negative. I was asking you to disprove the information theory argument that the digital code in DNA has an intelligent source since the evidence around us shows that any other digital code we find in nature has an intelligent source. Or you can try and prove your pathetic Natural Selection as God theory but 150 years have really only mounted more evidence against NS, not for it.

Also, there are some responses above I have posted I am sure you wont' want to miss.

8. Thorton:

I already have. If you are pre-specifying a particular outcome, then the odds of that specific outcome is 1 in 2^500. Now where in biological life did someone pre-specify the genetic sequences we see now?

Be careful, Thorton: I know who did the "prespecifying."

9. PaV Lino

Thorton: Now where in biological life did someone pre-specify the genetic sequences we see now?

Be careful, Thorton: I know who did the "prespecifying."

Who exactly would that be PaV? I thought ID wasn't about the Designer.

I'm sure you can supply the evidence to support this remarkable claim too.

10. UR -

This is total bull dookey!!! You haven't told us how many people bought tickets!!!! If the odds are 14 million to 1 and 14 million people buy tickets, what are the odds of someone winning??

D'oh!

The odds are 1.0. That is precisely the point I was making.

The fact is that the 13,999,999 people who played and didn't win simply don't count. Because they didn't win.

Just as the 2^500-minus-1 chemical reactions which occurred in the primordial soup which DIDN'T result in life don't count. Because they didn't result in life.

It is Cornelius trying to pull the trick here, not me. A very unlikely event occurred - fair enough. But looked at in retrospect EVERY action is hugely unlikely. And that should cause no surprise at all. And it is CERTAINLY no reason to appeal to the supernatural for an explanation.

14. man! it has been a long time since I've worked combinations and permutations (about 10 years). Here is my shot at the answer.

Odds to roll 5 dice once and result in all sixes: 1/46656

Odds to roll 5 dice three times keeping all resultant 6s: 1/2

Formula: (n/6)^n

pretty sure this isn't right but I was using a napkin. Please let me know what the answer is

1. CPTreese

man! it has been a long time since I've worked combinations and permutations (about 10 years). Here is my shot at the answer.

Odds to roll 5 dice once and result in all sixes: 1/46656

Wrong.

Odds to roll 5 dice three times keeping all resultant 6s: 1/2

Wrong.

Formula: (n/6)^n

Wrong.

Correct! The answer is you can't calculate the probability of an iterative feedback process by taking a one-time snapshot of current results. You have to have complete knowledge of the history and working of the process itself.

Now if only the IDC pushers could get that through their concrete crania.

2. Ditto for the Darwinists and their concrete crania's!!!

3. Ultimate Reality

Ditto for the Darwinists and their concrete crania's!!!

(((facepalm)))

Er UR....crania is already plural, the plural of cranium.

You can't make up this stuff folks, you just can't.

4. Can't make what up? Stupid probability problems that are pointless and have no relevance in the argument at hand? It is completely funny to me that in your massive intelligence the only response you have is no response at all, but to poke fun at a typo. You better be extremely cautious from now on in your posts lest you fall prey to the grammar and spelling Nazi's. As we've all seen too many times on this site, when all else fails for you, just resort to personal attacks to deflect your total lack of relevance.

15. sorry, the formula given was for the second problem, first formula should be (1/6)^n since order does not matter it is a permutation

16. the answer to your your last question is "I don't f'ing know. Lol you really can't argue a negative.

17. oops.....its a combination not a permutation

18. So what's the ultimate point for evolutionists here? If living organisms were composed of coins, then life is a remote possibility? LOL

Evolutionists underestimate what it takes for life to exist, yet they seriously think that they are up to the task of calculating the odds of something they don't understand. Life is much more than the sum of its components, just as a network router is more than a box of wires and silcon. It's all a meaningless exercise in probability until you know what exactly you're equation should be.

19. Tedford the idiot

Evolutionists underestimate what it takes for life to exist, yet they seriously think that they are up to the task of calculating the odds of something they don't understand. Life is much more than the sum of its components, just as a network router is more than a box of wires and silcon. It's all a meaningless exercise in probability until you know what exactly you're equation should be.

Psst...hey idiot...it's only the Creationists who have put forward probability arguments in their knee-jerk attacks against evolution. Scientists have been telling the morons for years they don't have enough information to even make WAGs at actual probabilities.

It's all a meaningless exercise in probability until you know what exactly you're equation should be.

I guess even an idiot gets it right once in a while by accident. Or did the 5W bulb in your pitch black noggin finally turn on?

1. Wow, Thorton. I haven't posted on here in months but here you are, still slugging away at the ID Theorists, poking fun and calling them Creationists. You think you would have come up with some new material by now. You really need to get a life.

2. And by the way, that 5 watt bulb is an LED model.

20. Thorton:

It's the same old stupid 'lottery' issue. If all 1 million lottery tickets are sold then any one number has a small chance (1 in a million) of winning. But the probability of some number winning is 100%.

Dembski addresses this very issue. He talks about "probabilistic resources." This is very basic stuff. Why not read NFL?

21. CH:

The argument’s next appearance is in a forthcoming journal article and the evolutionist doesn’t even try to clean it up. It’s the same old argument that if you toss a coin 500 times there are 2^500, or a one with about 150 zeros after it, different possible sequences of heads and tails. Therefore whatever sequence of heads and tails you end up with had an astronomically tiny—one in 2^500—chance of happening. Such a tiny probability is usually considered to be impossible, and yet it happened.

As I see it, here's the real problem: If you flip a coin 500 times, the probability of coming up with a sequence consisting of 500 heads and tails in whatever configuration is 1.0. IOW, if you flip a coin, noting a heads by 1, and a tails by 0, and you do this 500 times in a row, I guarantee you that you will end up with a "bit" string 500 bits long. Probability=100%

However, the probability that someone else will toss a coin and record 500 such tosses, and come up with the exact same sequence as you did, is 1 in 2^500.

Even Darwinists can't get around this basic fact.

1. PaV Lino

However, the probability that someone else will toss a coin and record 500 such tosses, and come up with the exact same sequence as you did, is 1 in 2^500.

Even Darwinists can't get around this basic fact.

Since that "basic fact" has absolutely ZERO to do with evolutionary theory or any observed real world biological phenomena, what's your point?

2. Thorton:

But I do, indeed, believe it has application to biological systems.

Regardless of whether you disagree with this or not, nevertheless, the way in which probabilities are downplayed by Darwinists does not leave the impression of a high level of acumen on their part. Rather, it seems like they're trying to run away from the truth---sorry to say.

3. PaV Lino

But I do, indeed, believe it has application to biological systems.

Sure you do. You just can't explain or produce any evidence for such an application.

Regardless of whether you disagree with this or not, nevertheless, the way in which probabilities are downplayed by Darwinists does not leave the impression of a high level of acumen on their part. Rather, it seems like they're trying to run away from the truth---sorry to say.

You IDC pushers have never produced a probability calculation that doesn't fall apart under the first bit of scrutiny. That includes all the verbose BS from Dembski and Hoyle.

I'm right here PaV. Go ahead and produce some of those ToE killing probability calculations you keep crowing about. Better be sure you can back up any assumptions you make though, or I'll make you look like an even bigger IDiot.

22. PaV Lino

Thorton: It's the same old stupid 'lottery' issue. If all 1 million lottery tickets are sold then any one number has a small chance (1 in a million) of winning. But the probability of some number winning is 100%.

Dembski addresses this very issue. He talks about "probabilistic resources." This is very basic stuff. Why not read NFL?

I just shuffled two decks of cards together and dealt them out. The odds of that particular deal are 1 in 104! Oops! I just created a probability that exceeds Dembski's "probabilistic resources" for the whole universe. Fact is, it's trivially easy using combinatorial probabilities to exceed Dembski's limit. His "probabilistic resources" are just so much hot air.

Dembski also made the same stupid mistakes in NFL that CH and other IDiots are repeating to this day. He assumed that all the proteins in a bacteria flagella had to self-assemble all at once (instead of through an iterative, cumulative process) and he assumes those proteins are the only possible configurations that supports like.

There are any number of detailed technical beat-downs of Dembski's stupidity online, like Not a Free Lunch.

These are indeed basic issues that Dembski fell flat on his face on. There's a reason he's a laughingstock in both the scientific and mathematics communities.

BTW PaV, I notice you didn't try my little probability problem either. I guess you know your limitations.

1. Thorton:

I just shuffled two decks of cards together and dealt them out. The odds of that particular deal are 1 in 104! Oops! I just created a probability that exceeds Dembski's "probabilistic resources" for the whole universe. Fact is, it's trivially easy using combinatorial probabilities to exceed Dembski's limit. His "probabilistic resources" are just so much hot air.

I'm supposing that you meant 2^104; but maybe you meant 104 factorial?

The probability would have to do with how many separate hands your dealing out, and whether you dealt out all of the cards. Whatever the "odds" of that particular deal are as part of the set that contains all possible dealt hands dealt out under such circumstances, the probability of dealing out that hand is still 1.0. The odds of dealing out the same exact hands would be 1.0 over the total number of combinations/permutations contained in the above set.

To see the difference---and this is crucial in Dembski's analysis---have someone write down, at random, the distribution of the cards dealt out in such fashion(number of cards, number of hands), which can be done rather simply; and, then, let that be your "pattern"---or"target" that you're trying to hit in Dembski's analogy.

What are the odds that your deal will match the one written down? Astronomically low. Again, 1.0 over the number of elements in the set of all such possible deals.

This is the situation Dembski treats mathematically, and the one germane to biology.

He assumed that all the proteins in a bacteria flagella had to self-assemble all at once (instead of through an iterative, cumulative process) and he assumes those proteins are the only possible configurations that supports like.

Let's simplify.

Sir Fred Hoyle used the cytochrome C protein, a protein without which cells cannot divide, and which is highly conserved over all phylum, as his test case.

It's a short protein as far as proteins go. But, 22^110 (roughly the number of conserved amino acids) is a huge number; and from this calculation alone, one of the great minds--and an agnostic--of the 20th Century convinced himself of the inadequacy of Darwinian theory.

And, of course, if I stacked all the parts that go into a toaster, one on top of the other, how long would I have to wait before the toaster appeared fully assembled? Having all the parts "on hand" isn't sufficient; and possibly, not even necessary.

And I haven't seen your "probability problem" yet. I'll look for it. But I am on vacation this week, and I just might find that I want to use my time in other ways.

2. PaV Lino

To see the difference---and this is crucial in Dembski's analysis---have someone write down, at random, the distribution of the cards dealt out in such fashion(number of cards, number of hands), which can be done rather simply; and, then, let that be your "pattern"---or"target" that you're trying to hit in Dembski's analogy.

Evolution doesn't have a 'pattern' or 'target' to hit. All that matters is what works in the current environment. What Dembski calls a 'specification' is actually an after-the-fact description. Another one of Dembski's many bone-headed mistakes.

Hoyle's calculation has the same flaw as Dembski's - assuming all the parts had to appear and assemble simultaneously instead of evolving slowly over millions of years - and was roundly rejected by science for the same reason. His mistake was so bad it even has a name - Hoyle's fallacy.

For as much pontification as you do it's amazing how little you actually know on the topic.

3. Thorton:

If I make one roll of five fair six-sided dice, what is the probability I will roll all 6s?

These are independent events, each with a probability of 1/6. Odds: (1/6)^5 = 1/7776.

T:If I'm allowed to keep any 6s that come up and re-roll just the remaining dice,
what is the probability I'll have all 6s after three turns?

The odds of any one of the die to be a "six" is (1/6). If any of the five dice are a "six", then they are put aside; if not, then they are re-rolled. But, since we're asked about the odds that all five of dice are "six", then that means that each die will be rolled three times, or less. The odds of a die rolling a "six" in three rolls is (3/6)=1/2. The odds, then, of all five being a "six" is, using the Counting Theory, (1/2)^5 = 1/32 =about 3%. Let's hear it for........Yahtzee!!!

So, at this point, Thorton, you'll want to point out just how dramatically the improbability has shrunk. But we have no evidence that life is a game of Yahtzee!

T:What is the general formula for calculating the probability of all 6s after N such turns?

(N/6)^N

Yes, of course: If we roll the dice just six times, we'll get all "sixes" without having to roll them together 7776 times, as at first suggested. Let's hear it for "Methinks it is a Weasel." This has been thoroughly discredited, beginning with Dawkins himself.

T:Now the hard one:

You walk into a room and see I have all 6s setting front of me.
How do you calculate the probability that I fairly rolled them
(as opposed to just placing them) without knowing the history or rules of the game?

First of all, you're positing the presence of an intelligent agent in all of this. Yes, indeed, an intelligent agent can change the "odds" of what would otherwise be random processes. This is exactly what ID posits as the only way to overcome such improbabilities. Yet, tacitly, you've admitted this.

But, moving on, let's all together take away the possibility that an intelligent agent is in any way involved. I would think you would be amenable to this for obvious reasons.

Now, what do we see? We see five dice with a "six" facing up. We would need to know, absent the manipulations of an intelligent agent, what natural processes can give rise to the "rolling of a die". Further, we would need to know if there were any type of bias, or biases, in such natural processes. We simply don't know enough to make any kind of calculation.

Yet this isn't the case when it comes to DNA. We know that the addition of any nucleotide base is the same as any other. There are no known biases.

But there's more. As Stephen Meyers makes clear in "The Signature in the Cell", IF such a bias occurrred, then DNA would lose its ability to encode information. It's precisely the degrees of freedom that nucleotide bases possess that opens up the possibility of these bases to be carriers of information. Absent these degrees of freedom, the conveyance of information would be precluded.

Yet, at the same time, these same degrees of freedom allow us to calculate the improbabilities of proteins and such. We know about physical degrees of freedom; and we know how information is constructed; and we know that DNA is the main information repository of the cell. And all of this allows us to make straight-forward calculations, and having made these calculations, to then dismiss Darwinism--just as Sir Fred Hoyle did after calculating the improbability of Cytochrome C coming about through random processes.

4. Thorton:

Evolution doesn't have a 'pattern' or 'target' to hit. All that matters is what works in the current environment. What Dembski calls a 'specification' is actually an after-the-fact description. Another one of Dembski's many bone-headed mistakes.

If what you say is correct, i.e., that "evolution doesn't have a 'pattern' or 'target' to hit," then why not change two or three conserved amino acids and see how a protein (and the organism) function. You seem to be of the opinion that there's the wide-open space out there, and evolution can just work its magic. But, of course, this is an Origin of Life question, which you eschew. Let's face it, unless certain proteins work in some specified way, life itself cannot exist. All of this is assumed by you when you say "All that matters is what works in the current environment." But how did this come about? How did it ever reach its current environment?

In the absence of any credible OoL scenario, what your position amounts to saying that without a replicative ensemble, somehow "success," (however that is defined) steadily increases. How is this anything more than wishful thinking?

OTOH, the whole point of Dembski's work is to make very plain that the 'patterns' found in biological systems represent an almost infinitely small portion of the 'wide-open' space you think is out there and can be traversed via some kind of random sampling.

Hoyle's calculation has the same flaw as Dembski's - assuming all the parts had to appear and assemble simultaneously instead of evolving slowly over millions of years - and was roundly rejected by science for the same reason. His mistake was so bad it even has a name - Hoyle's fallacy.

Without Cytchrome C, cells can't replicate themselves. So how can "evolution" take place if cells can't replicate? So, your error is assuming replication, and hence 'evolution', can take place in the absence of Cytochrome C. Hoyle knew what he was doing.

5. Thorton:

look here.

Scroll to the bottom, where they admit Musgrave was wrong in his calculations.

6. Here's the pertinent section:

From IM's article: "Then the Ghadiri ligase could be generated in one week, and any cytochrome C sequence could be generated in a bit over a million years". Since his prebiotic soup is 1000-10.000 times larger than the real one, the correct value will be projected to over 1-10 billion years which is in contradiction with his original point. I don't want to start a discussion regarding this and other details, just to let you know that IM's article doesn't meet the scientific criteria required for an encyclopedia.SirGalahad (talk) 01:46, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

"Your point is accepted. We're just trying to decide what to do about it. His arithmetical flaw occurs in what he admits is a straw man argument - his two other main points are valid, namely that (1) creationists assume natural selection doesn't start until a single working cell is created and that (2) they assume no other viable constructs exist apart from those that actually occured."--Michael C. Price

So, Musgrave erred big-time, and even the censors at Wikipedia admit this.

The illogic of Price's last two points should be apparent to all. They represent an argument from ignorance.

7. PaV Lino

T:What is the general formula for calculating the probability of all 6s after N such turns?

(N/6)^N

LOL! You really don't have a clue, do you?

With your formula, what is the probability when N=6? How about when N=7? How do you get a greater than unity probability?

Stick to C&Ping UD IDiot articles PaV. When you try to freelance is when you faceplant the greatest.

8. PaV Lino

look here.

Scroll to the bottom, where they admit Musgrave was wrong in his calculations.

LOL! man PaV, your desperation is stinking up the building!

You link to comment about a Musgrave typo, one that was removed from the article over two years ago, and that has zero relevance to the current Wiki post.

Relevant quote from a NY Times science article bright scientists, dim notions

"Creationists still gleefully pounce on a quote from the Cambridge University astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, who late in his career compared the likelihood of a living cell arising through evolution to “a tornado sweeping through a junkyard” and assembling a Boeing 747. This caricature of the evolutionary process led to the coinage of the term Hoyle’s Fallacy. Dr. Hoyle also promoted the notion that epidemics are caused by viruses hitchhiking on the tails of comets."

Hoyle's views are not taken seriously by anyone in the scientific community. Why do you uncritically swallow the hooey?

9. Thorton:

LOL! You really don't have a clue, do you?

With your formula, what is the probability when N=6? How about when N=7? How do you get a greater than unity probability?

If I roll a six-sided die 24 times, what is the probability that I will get a six? Is it 1.0? Or is it greater than 1.0?

It's 24 x 1/6 = 4.0 IOW, if you roll the die that many times, you're likely to have "six" come up FOUR times. Does that seem strange to you?

For example, if you're at a Craps Table in Vegas, and there are two dice that someone keeps rolling, the odds of a "seven" coming up is something like 1/3. According to your prohibition, if someone rolls the dice a hundred times, "seven" can come up only once, since its probability can't exceed 1.0. The only time probabilities have to add up to 1.0 is when the probabilities are normalized.

As to your example, instead of rolling it three times, let's say you roll them six times. This means that each die can be rolled up to that many times, if necessary. Then that means each die, if necessary, has a 6 x 1/6 times of being rolled. Which means that the probability of getting all sixes, under your scenario, is 1.0 if you have six rolls. If N>6, this only means that you'll end up with "six" coming up more than just six times. Does this surprise you?

So, instead of LOL, why don't you show where my formula, and analysis, fails. Or are you up to that?

10. PaV Lino

If I roll a six-sided die 24 times, what is the probability that I will get a six? Is it 1.0? Or is it greater than 1.0?

It's 24 x 1/6 = 4.0 IOW, if you roll the die that many times, you're likely to have "six" come up FOUR times.

Damn but you're a clueless idiot.

If you roll a six-sided die 24 times, the probability that you will get a six is

1-(5/6)^24, or 0.987

It's NOT 24 x 1/6. It's NOT 1.0, and it's NOT greater than 1.0

A probability of 1.0 means absolute certainty. You can't have a probability greater than 1.0 BY DEFINITION.

The most likely expected number of a certain result over N trials is NOT the probability that you will see that result at least once.

Go read a high school primer on probability. Come back when you can quit embarrassing yourself. Right now your ignorant posturing is just a waste of time.

11. Thorton:

You're returning to your "know-it-all" ways. Not very nice.

Here's what you wrote:

LOL! man PaV, your desperation is stinking up the building!

You link to comment about a Musgrave typo, one that was removed from the article over two years ago, and that has zero relevance to the current Wiki post.

How you know that, I'm not sure.

I just went to Talk.Origins and looked at Musgrave's little treatise.

RIGHT THERE in Talk.Origin's website is the VERY SAME ERROR!!!

Musgrave used the volume of water in the oceans as 1.0 x 10^24 litres; which someone pointed out was off by a factor of 1,000 to 10,000, and which changed his calculation for the build-up of Cytochrome C from 1 million years to 1 billion to 10 billion years. (If we accept Musgrave's analysis--more on that later)

Interestingly, Musgrave's "paper" is entitled: "Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics and Probability of Abiogeneis Calculations." Maybe it should read: "Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics and ERRORS in the Probabilities of Abiogeneis Calculations.

As to the quote you include, it's completely irrelevant since I made no allusion to the quote from Hoyle regarding a 747.

Looking a little bit more closely, I notice that Musgrave, in the most important part of his calculating, writes this (again, it's still on Talk.Origins UNCORRECTED):

So how does this shape up with the prebiotic Earth? On the early Earth it is likely that the ocean had a volume of 1 x 10^24 litres. Given an amino acid concentration of 1 x 10-6 M (a moderately dilute soup, see Chyba and Sagan 1992 [23]), then there are roughly 1 x 10^50 potential starting chains, so that a fair number of efficent peptide ligases (about 1 x 1031) could be produced in a under a year, let alone a million years. The synthesis of primitive self-replicators could happen relatively rapidly, even given a probability of 1 chance in 4.29 x 10^40 (and remember, our replicator could be synthesized on the very first trial).

Where does Musgrave come up with the figure of 1 x 10^50 starting chains? I can only presume that he means that each a.a. can act as a 'starting chain' , and that there are 1 x 10^50 a.a.s in the prebiotic ocean. Let's do the calculation for amino acids. If the concentration of the prebiotic ocean is assumed to be 1 x 10^-6 M, then: 10^-6 moles of amino acid/litre x 10^24 litres x 6.021 x 10^23 molecules/mole = 6 x 10^41 amino acids. Where does 1 x 10^50 come from? (It's almost like he used 10^6 M instead of 10^-6 M.) He's off by almost 10 orders of magnitude! Coupled to the mistake in the early ocean's volume, this would require 10 trillion, billion years for a small ligase to form by chance. (This sounds about right if you think about it.)

Musgrave then says: "so that a fair number of efficent peptide ligases (about 1 x 10^31) could be produced in a under a year, let alone a million years."

It's entirely unclear to me what kind of calculation he's making here. Where are these numbers coming from? why doesn't he specify where these numbers are coming from instead of just throwing them out as rock-solid?

And let's look at the fact that entropy will cause the amino acids to become dilute in the ocean. The number of a.a. per mole, and the number of litres are roughly the same. So, for a molar concentration of 1 in a million (10^-6), this means each a.a. will be surrounded by a million litres = million x 1,000 c.c., = cube root of 10^9 divided by 8 radial distance = 125 cm. = 48 in. roughly. So EACH a.a. is 4 feet from the nearest next amino acid. How can they get close enough to form a bond exactly?

As the Darwinists say: Musgrave's paper "hasn't been peer-reviewed."

And this is supposed to undermine Hoyle? I don't think so.

12. This comment has been removed by the author.

13. PaV Lino

I have a very nice college-level book on probability at home. I am now 600 miles away from home. I certainly will re-read the pertinent sections when I get back.

Maybe you should have done that before you stuck your foot in your mouth. That major flub of yours is an all time Creationist classic!

Nevertheless, what is your point in all of this?

The OP is about probability. My points are

1) The Creationist "ToE is too improbable!! argument is worthless because Creationists have neither sufficient data nor employ the proper models for calculating such probabilities, and

2) The rank and file Creationist is too ignorant of probability theory to understand just how bad the "it's too improbable" argument sucks.

Tip of the cap to you for illustrating both of my points in spades.

BTW PaV, when are you going to disclose the name of the Designer you claim to know, along with the supporting evidence? Or were you just making that up too?

14. Thorton:

The formula is:
{1-[(5/6)^5N]} = 0.9351

So, now I guess you must take ID arguments seriously. This is exactly the kind of elitist thinking that continues to prop up the failed Darwinian paradigm.

As to the Designer, try to follow the logic. You invoke mysterious forces. We invoke a "designer". We have the fact that only intelligent agents can effect information, coupled to the fact that DNA possesses information. It's therefore logical to infer a "designer". Paul Davies does as much. Hoyle believed in Panspermia. This is much more logical than saying there must be some mysterious force somewhere in Nature that has outwitted improbabilities.

Let's remember than the fundamental premise in Lyell's gradualism, upon which is based the gradualism of Darwin, is that present-day forces can be assumed to have been present for huge amounts of time. Computers have only existed for a century or so. Where are the forces in Nature that today are overcoming huge improbabilities? Where do we see them active in biological life?

It's you who has to point out where such a force can be seen at work, or ID has the upper hand.

15. Thorton:

The rank and file Creationist is too ignorant of probability theory to understand just how bad the "it's too improbable" argument sucks.

You have nowhere demonstrated how the "it's too improbable" argument is "bad". Never.

So, it's time to put up, my friend.

16. PaV Lino

The formula is:
{1-[(5/6)^5N]} = 0.9351

5/6 raised to the 5N power for N rolls?

BWAHAHAHAHA!!

I even gave you the formula above and you still screwed it up!

You're an inspiration to IDiots everywhere PaV, you really are.

We have the fact that only intelligent agents can effect information, coupled to the fact that DNA possesses information.

What intelligent agent put the information into starlight PaV?

Everything possesses 'information' just by existing. What intelligent agents can produce are ABSTRACT SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATIONS of information. DNA base pairs still aren't abstract symbols, and DNA isn't an abstract code PaV, no matter how many times you bleat out the claim.

Where are the forces in Nature that today are overcoming huge improbabilities? Where do we see them active in biological life?

They're right in front of your face PaV, like plate tectonics and biological speciation events. You can see them or read about them at any college or university. The only issue is that while still detectable, they happen very slowly and take much longer that a human lifetime to produce lager scale easily observable results.

It's you who has to point out where such a force can be seen at work, or ID has the upper hand.

LOL! The only place ID has the upper hand is when you IDiots get into a circle and stark tugging.

17. PaV Lino

You have nowhere demonstrated how the "it's too improbable" argument is "bad". Never.

Sure I have. You're just way too ignorant of both probability and biology to understand it.

On the other hand, your woeful incompetent *IS* something you have demonstrated, repeatedly.

18. Thorton:

5/6 raised to the 5N power for N rolls?

BWAHAHAHAHA!!

I even gave you the formula above and you still screwed it up!

If you don't understand why I used 5N, then you don't understand the problem. Run it by one of your mathematics friend. He'll explain it to you.

What intelligent agent put the information into starlight PaV?

As usual, you misunderstand. That starlight has certain characteristics which allow humans to understand what kind of star is producing them is only possible because an intelligent agent is involved. The real question is: who put the intelligence into humans? Only intelligent agents understand when they're dealing with information.

L:
Where are the forces in Nature that today are overcoming huge improbabilities? Where do we see them active in biological life?

Th: They're right in front of your face PaV, like plate tectonics and biological speciation events. You can see them or read about them at any college or university. The only issue is that while still detectable, they happen very slowly and take much longer that a human lifetime to produce lager scale easily observable results.

Sorry, but this is just nonsense. You can't seem to defend yourself.

19. Thorton:

As usual, when I point out your errors, you run and hide, just like the intellectual bully that you are.

You're rolling 5 dice, that's why it's 5N, and not just N. You should have known that.

And, you still have not responded to the fact that Talk.Origins has not corrected Musgrave's error.

But that's you: when you goof up, it's off to somewhere else you go.

20. PaV Lino

As usual, when I point out your errors, you run and hide, just like the intellectual bully that you are.

I'm right here PaV, waiting for you to tell us who the Designer is, along with your evidence.

You're rolling 5 dice, that's why it's 5N, and not just N. You should have known that

The rest of your formula is wrong too Mr. "probability = 4.0" Folks over at ATBC got a good laugh out of your blustering stupidity though.

That's the great thing about IDiots like you PaV. You produce the most unintentionally hilarious nonsense, and your oversized ego just won't let you shut up.

Go on PaV, tell us who the Designer is! Make ID proud!

21. PaV Lino

L:Where are the forces in Nature that today are overcoming huge improbabilities? Where do we see them active in biological life?

Th: They're right in front of your face PaV, like plate tectonics and biological speciation events. You can see them or read about them at any college or university. The only issue is that while still detectable, they happen very slowly and take much longer that a human lifetime to produce lager scale easily observable results.

Sorry, but this is just nonsense. You can't seem to defend yourself.

So plate tectonics and speciation events are "just nonsense". I suppose to someone as scientifically ignorant and clueless as you they must appear to be nonsense.

That says much more about you PaV that it does about science. I guess there really isn't any scientific topic you're not incompetent in.

22. Thorton:

The rest of your formula is wrong too Mr. "probability = 4.0" Folks over at ATBC got a good laugh out of your blustering stupidity though.

I see your "friends" over at ATBC couldn't help you out, so you're going back to something else.

If you roll a six-sided die 24 times, the probability that you will get a six is

1-(5/6)^24, or 0.987

It's NOT 24 x 1/6. It's NOT 1.0, and it's NOT greater than 1.0

A probability of 1.0 means absolute certainty. You can't have a probability greater than 1.0 BY DEFINITION.

Now, let's ask a question. Your formula here is that our level of certainty about something happening is 1 - (the probability that something won't happen)^ raised to the power equal to the number of events that probability is involved in.

Therefore, let's pose this question. And we'll evaluate the formula I gave and the formula you've stated (which comes from the great inner circle of enlightened statisticians---the all-knowing ones)

At the Bellagio hotel, after 400 million rolls of the dice at the "craps table", how many "sevens" and "elevens" will have come up?

If we use your formula, then it is 1 - [(3/4)^400 x 10^6]. Well, this is a decimal point followed by almost 400 million zeroes, and then the start of some digits.

IOW, after 400 million rolls of the dice at the Bellagio, your formula says that we're still not "certain" that even ONE (!!!) "seven" or "eleven" has turned up.

OTOH, my formula says that (400 x 10^6) x (1/4) "sevens" and "elevens" have turned up. That is, a "seven" or an "eleven" has shown up 100 million times!

My guess is that between you and me, the Bellagio will use my formula to figure out their future cash flow.

23. Pav Lino

Therefore, let's pose this question. And we'll evaluate the formula I gave and the formula you've stated (which comes from the great inner circle of enlightened statisticians---the all-knowing ones)

At the Bellagio hotel, after 400 million rolls of the dice at the "craps table", how many "sevens" and "elevens" will have come up?

If we use your formula, then it is 1 - [(3/4)^400 x 10^6]. Well, this is a decimal point followed by almost 400 million zeroes, and then the start of some digits.

Damn but you're still an ignorant moron.

The original problem as stated and the correct formula I gave is the probability of *A* six (meaning at least one) coming up in N rolls.

You gave the wrong formula PaV. You face planted. You screwed the pooch. You FAILED.

You just can't stand the idea that you hosed up such a simple problem so badly. And in your desperate attempt to save face you are now wrong again in applying my formula to your "new" problem. Just how effen stupid are you anyway?

Did I mention that you're a moron PaV?

You're an absolute moron.

23. Lino, As I see it, here's the real problem: ....

Except we have yet to determine if probability is even meaningful the way you're attempting to us it. You've just assumed this is the case.

How exactly is this a rational approach?

Again, probabilities are only meaningful in the sense you're trying to use them if you know all the possible outcomes, such as heads or tails, Russian Roulette, etc. As such, probability is only useful in the case of evolutionary theory if you know all the possible outcomes.

Are you claiming that you somehow know all the possible outcomes across all possible paths of evolution? Do you know there is only one set of proteins that could perform any particular role in all possible forms of life that could have evolved?

If so, how do you know this? What evidence such an assumption based on?

If not, then it's unclear how probability is relevant in regards to evolutionary theory is likely to be true.

But, by all means, please enlighten us as to how it would be relevant, in detail.

Furthermore, theories with more information content are preferred, because they contain more ways by which they could be found false. The less "likely" they are, with out being falsified after significant criticism, the more preferred they are.

This is because we create knowledge by conjecture an refutation.

However, if a theory has essentially no information content, such as "god did it", then it's essentially impossible to be found in error. At which point, the entire process of problem solving grinds to a Halt.

As a result, we cannot make progress because progress requires finding errors in theories and discarding them.

1. Scott:

Are you claiming that you somehow know all the possible outcomes across all possible paths of evolution? Do you know there is only one set of proteins that could perform any particular role in all possible forms of life that could have evolved?

But Darwinists claim that, despite outward appearances, some kind of non-random action is taking place. So, you too claim the presence of mysterious forces.

We could leave it there, and call it a stand-off. But we live in the "information age," and we know with certainty that DNA is the carrier of information. And the only known producers of information are intelligent beings. And, so, from an information perspective, it is logical to conclude that an intelligent agent is involved---should the improbabilities involved in the information be sufficiently small.

IOW, it's much more logical to conclude that the information found in DNA is the result of an unseen intelligent agent then it is to conclude that it is the result of unseen--and unknown--physical forces. Gravity has, until now, never been known to produce 'source code'.

2. PaV Lino

And the only known producers of information are intelligent beings.

Sorry PaV, but that is demonstrably false. Starlight for example contains information about the chemical composition of the star it came from.

Intelligent beings are the only known producers of ABSTRACT SYMBOLIC representations of information. But DNA base pairs are not abstract symbols, and DNA itself is not an abstract code.

3. Scott: Are you claiming that you somehow know all the possible outcomes across all possible paths of evolution? Do you know there is only one set of proteins that could perform any particular role in all possible forms of life that could have evolved?

Lino: But Darwinists claim that, despite outward appearances, some kind of non-random action is taking place. So, you too claim the presence of mysterious forces.

Just because you think the creation of knowledge is "magic", doesn't mean I do as well. Knowledge is created by a form of conjecture and refutation. Specifically, conjecture, in the form of genetic variation, and refutation, in the form of natural selection.

Any scenario that is substantially dependent on the creation of knowable is subject to this same problem.

For example, people in the 1900's didn't consider nuclear power or the Internet "unlikely", They simply didn't conceive of them at all, as they didn't exist yet. As such, they couldn't possibility have predicted the impact nuclear power or the Internet would have on our future. Specifically, since this knowledge had yet to be created, they did not know what knowledge they could bring to bare to make progress or solve problems along the way. As such, this would impact the future in ways they could not predict.

In the same way, if the knowledge of how to build the biosphere was created over time, the ways in which life could have adapted would reflect the specific options that had been conjectured at each step. Specifically, the options by which an organism had at it's disposal at any time depended on what adaptations it could apply any particular environment. And these adaptations would have depended on which knowledge had be conjectured at each step.

So, it's unclear how one can assume the biosphere we observe represents the only possible options by which to form probabilities.

Lino: But we live in the "information age," and we know with certainty that DNA is the carrier of information. And the only known producers of information are intelligent beings. And, so, from an information perspective, it is logical to conclude that an intelligent agent is involved---should the improbabilities involved in the information be sufficiently small.

First, so you're conceded Cornelius' argument in this context just a red herring. Thanks.

Second, the question ISN'T: where was this knowledge located before it was placed in the genome. This serves no explanatory purpose as one could more simply state that organisms, just appeared, compete with the knowledge of how to build themselves, already present.

Rather, the question IS: how was the knowledge, found in the genome, created.

Lino: IOW, it's much more logical to conclude that the information found in DNA is the result of an unseen intelligent agent then it is to conclude that it is the result of unseen--and unknown--physical forces. Gravity has, until now, never been known to produce 'source code'.

Again, just because you think the creation of knowledge is "magic", doesn't mean I do as well. Knowledge is created by a form of conjecture and refutation. which isn't an "unknown" process.

4. Thorton:

Sorry PaV, but that is demonstrably false. Starlight for example contains information about the chemical composition of the star it came from.

What you say in the above paragraph, you contradict in the following:

Intelligent beings are the only known producers of ABSTRACT SYMBOLIC representations of information. But DNA base pairs are not abstract symbols, and DNA itself is not an abstract code.

Starlight contains a spectrum of lines, and from that spectrum humans can deduce the type of star it is. The information is strictly something understood on the part of humans; it's not present in starlight. There is a physical process taking place in the star, and dependent on its age and constitution, along with its position in space, all these considerations fully determine those lines.

DNA, OTOH, has nucleotide bases which are interchangeable, not determined in the least by any "laws of physics." Humans have deciphered the significance of its sequencing. And it is entirely possible for humans to represent DNA in "abstract symbols," just like it's possible for humans to take Italian and translate it into Russian.

Starlight is very different from the DNA code. As I've mentioned more than once, degrees of freedom are present in the DNA string, while degrees of freedom are not present in the spectral lines of starlight in the same way, which are datum, more or less, completely determined by the physics involved.

You have to do better than that, Thorton.

5. Scott:

For example, people in the 1900's didn't consider nuclear power or the Internet "unlikely", They simply didn't conceive of them at all, as they didn't exist yet.

You'll notice that both of these examples are examples of what human intelligence has wrought. Ironic, no?

6. PaV Lino

Starlight contains a spectrum of lines, and from that spectrum humans can deduce the type of star it is. The information is strictly something understood on the part of humans; it's not present in starlight.

It's present every bit as much as 'information' is present in DNA.

There is a physical process taking place in the star, and dependent on its age and constitution, along with its position in space, all these considerations fully determine those lines.

There is a physical process taking place with DNA, and depending on the conditions and molecules involved, along with the laws of chemistry and physics, all these considerations fully determine the end amino acid that is produced.

Can't have it both ways PaV.

And it is entirely possible for humans to represent DNA in "abstract symbols," just like it's possible for humans to take Italian and translate it into Russian.

Being able to represent a physical object with abstract symbols doesn't make the original object an abstract symbol PaV. Are you really that dense?

Starlight is very different from the DNA code. As I've mentioned more than once, degrees of freedom are present in the DNA string, while degrees of freedom are not present in the spectral lines of starlight in the same way,

"degree of freedom" is not a determinant in whether something is information or not.

How many degrees of freedom are in a thermometer's mercury PaV? Does the mercury's volume contain information about the surrounding temperature?

Is there any science or math topic you're not incompetent in PaV? Any at all that we could discuss?

7. Thorton:

There is a physical process taking place with DNA, and depending on the conditions and molecules involved, along with the laws of chemistry and physics, all these considerations fully determine the end amino acid that is produced.

Can't have it both ways PaV.

You seem to have completely missed the point I was making. Who was talking about a protein molecule? I was talking about DNA. You've switched the topic.

Being able to represent a physical object with abstract symbols doesn't make the original object an abstract symbol PaV. Are you really that dense?

Thorton, go to the next room and put on your "thinking cap." Please represent starlight to me then with abstract symbols. But I can use codons as equivalent to amino acids. How can you at once talk about the DNA "code", and not say that we're dealing with something that is abstract?

"degree of freedom" is not a determinant in whether something is information or not.

This betrays a very shallow understanding of information. If there isn't freedom, then the conveyance of information is impossible. Please type your next post here using ONE LETTER. Have I been sufficiently clear?

Have you taken classes in Advanced Differential Equations, or Quantum Mechanics? I have.

You have a giant size opinion of yourself and your intellect---as most liberals do.

8. Lino: You'll notice that both of these examples are examples of what human intelligence has wrought. Ironic, no?

That all you've got? really?

Also, given that It's impossible not to utilize human intelligence when presetting an argument about absolutely anything, is every argument about evolution ironic?

24. I'd note that probability is useful in attempting to determine how one closely related protein may have evolved into another. However, this is because we're working with specific start and end points for with there are a relatively limited number of branches.

On the other hand, this research is NOT designed to somehow prove evolution is true based on probability. This is a projection made by creationists as they're attempting to cast doubt on the theory based on probability.

25. Thorton said, "Since that "basic fact" has absolutely ZERO to do with evolutionary theory or any observed real world biological phenomena, what's your point?"

That basic fact has everything to do with evolutionary theory. We can generate Billions of combinations of amino acids but which combinations peform a function? Which combinations result in a protein that is responsible for a life process? To say that we don't have any possible outcomes is just "ignant". We can start with the 9 "essential" amino acids for humans. The "Creationists" didn't just pull probability arguments out of thin air as both your lying tongues would suggest. The probability arguments are based on the claims of Darwinists and Materialists. It was not Creationists that came up the Campbells theory. I don't see Darwinists coming up with any possible explanations for how the amino acids and proteins self-assembled. The probability arguments arise out of notion that the building blocks were present in the soup, or in the ocean and their combinations were randomly generated. How else did they form??? Isn't the best Darwinists party line is that they just "floated" together? Once again I have to remind you foolish Darwinists that even your high priests, like Dawkins and Hawkins, don't have any answers for the origin of life, or for the origin of the original amino acids, proteins, or digital code in DNA. They have no answers, no possible method for which these basic building blocks came into existence. By probability arguments, the Creationists are refuting the simple and basic stupidity of the foolish sect of the Darwinists religion that claim they have any clue about how life began or their assertions that they just "floated" together. Come on!! Really??? You will have to come up with something better. Again, in science we start with what we know. We know which combinations produce actual functions in the cell. It is these combinations that we can apply our probability arguments to. We have the heads and tails. We have a suggestion for the rules by our ignorant Darwinist friends. If we use their rules and what we have, we get, well, impossible odds. And that is all this dumb cop has to say about that.

1. Ultimate Reality

UR, will you please show me these Creationist probability calculations you keep talking about, and walk me through the steps? Don't forget to provide support for any assumptions you make.

You can produce them, can't you? I'd hate to think you're just a dumb cop talking out of his nether regions.

2. Sure. Here you go...

26. UR: That basic fact has everything to do with evolutionary theory.

If you think this is the case then you clearly do not have a grasp of evolutionary theory. It's unclear how you can effectively criticize a theory you do not understand. Then again, perhaps I'm being charitable in assuming you actually want to understand the theory in the first place.

UR: We can generate Billions of combinations of amino acids but which combinations peform a function?

As compared to what? In which context? Evolution doesn't include an assumption that the biosphere we end up with is what was planed from the start. This means that something that doesn't function in the current context could function in some other context.

What I find particularly telling is how creationists take only a small part of evolutionary theory serious, while ignoring the rest of evolutionary theory in favor of their own creationist assumptions, yet still expect the theory to make sense. When we point out that some particular assumption isn't found in evolutionary theory, they then take only that part serious - again ignoring the rest for their own creationist assumptions.

Exactly how is this reasonable or even rational approach?

UR: We can start with the 9 "essential" amino acids for humans. The "Creationists" didn't just pull probability arguments out of thin air as both your lying tongues would suggest.

You're confusing a claim that these probability arguments were based on thin air, with pointing out that probably arguments based on these specific options is invalid given the underlying explanation of evolutionary theory.

For example, why start with the amino acids for human beings since the theory doesn't say human beings were an intended goal? How do you know where it ends? Some event could have change evolutionary history and human beings might not have existed. Or they might have existed, but not in the form as we know them.

Now, if one were to assume creationism was true, in that it was all planned from the start, then yes, it would be valid. But this would be yet another example of how Cornelius "claims" to be neutral on the subject, but is clearly not.

Again, What I find particularly telling is creationists take only a small part of evolutionary theory serious, while ignoring the rest of evolutionary theory in favor of their own creationist assumptions.

It either represents a clear lack of scientific understanding or an attempt at disingenuous misrepresentation.

27. Thornton said: “CH is wrong … He assumes that because the probability of one *specific* result is extremely small, that means the probability of having *any* result must be extremely small.”

TJ: No he doesn’t. He simply pointed out the fallacy of this guy’s argument.

TH: It's the same old stupid 'lottery' issue. If all 1 million lottery tickets are sold then any one number has a small chance (1 in a million) of winning. But the probability of some number winning is 100%.

TJ: I hope you are not claiming that the probability of life evolving is 100! That would be hilarious!

In the game of life, you cannot prove that all the lottery tickets including the winning one have been sold. Plus, in the game of life, the same ticket can be sold unlimited times. We don’t really even know IF there is a winning ticket. Sure, there will be random interactions taking place in the environment all the time, but why do you think that these random interactions must necessarily lead to life? Lots of results, but all negative so far. This just goes to show that the odds are tremendous. So far, the results support the ID side. The probability of having *any* result is 100% only if you include failures. So what? What does that prove? What we need is a positive result and this is not yet forthcoming, nor do we know if it ever will be.

TH: All the IDCers still using this "probability" example fail because

1) they haven't shown the genetic sequences we see now are the only possible ones to support life (i.e the only possible 'winning lottery ticket')

TJ: Good point. I don’t think it is possible to do that. OK, question for you. Can you show that there are other genetic sequences that are able to support life? How many are there? Enough to make the odds surmountable?

Obviously you can't. So let’s start with what we do know. Sure, go ahead and experiment and search for other genetic sequences, but let’s be honest about where we are. At this point we know of none. At this point the evidence points to astronomical odds.

TH: 2) they don't understand that you can't calculate the probability of a long term cumulative process by taking a snapshot of the current results. That's what the dice problem showed, although not a single one of you grasped the concept.

TJ: Nice try, but to say that, first you have to show that this is a long term cumulative. You have to have a way for the molecule to know what it wants to become so it can save up the sixes as it were. Or, if you are claiming that each 6 is an improvement on something before and is therefore selected, you need to prove that as well. How do you know? Test it and prove it. Create life for us. Works great on paper, but …. How can chemicals preserve themselves in the long process? How can it keep from breaking down along the way? There is no such thing as survival of the fittest at this point in the development of life. All you have are brainless chemicals that form and unform by random processes headed in no particular direction at all.

I go back to this point that I made in another post. You are right in saying that I would not know how your 5 sixes came to be if I just walked in the room and saw them aligned there. Like you said, for all I know, they could have been placed there by someone instead of rolled by chance.

Thank you for that concession! I guess we can say the same thing for humans, now can't we? You don’t know how we came to be, do you? When you walked in the room so to speak, humans were already there. For all you know, someone could have just created them as is! Hmm. Sounds like you are open to creation. Congratulations! You have just pointed out one of the biggest problems with evolutionary science! No one saw it happen so you really don’t know how it happened. It is all guess work.

Like I said, you have your faith, we have ours.

1. tokyojim

At this point the evidence points to astronomical odds.

No, at this point the evidence is insufficient to establish ANY probabilities. We have a sample set of 1 in a universe that is 99.9999999999999999999999% unexplored.

That's why all this IDC idiocy about "evolution is TOO improbable" is such rot. No one, NO ONE has enough evidence to come even remotely close to calculating an actual probability.

Nice try, but to say that, first you have to show that this is a long term cumulative.

There's 150+ years of positive evidence from hundreds of different scientific disciplines that points to changes being cumulative over the last 3 billion years

I guess we can say the same thing for humans, now can't we? You don’t know how we came to be, do you? When you walked in the room so to speak, humans were already there.

Yes, I do actually, to a high degree of certainty. Humans were there along with millions of years' worth of evidence of what came before. We evolved from earlier hominid ancestors like H. habilis and H. erectus which in turn evolved from even earlier mammalian ancestors. That's what the genetic and fossil evidence shows.

No one saw it happen so you really don’t know how it happened. It is all guess work.

So I suppose detectives can never solve a crime based on the recovered evidence, only if they have an eyewitness. The FAA can never discover why a plane crashed by investing the wreckage.

When a creationist says something that stupid all I can do is shake my head.

2. At this point the evidence points to astronomical odds.

TH: No, at this point the evidence is insufficient to establish ANY probabilities. We have a sample set of 1 in a universe that is 99.9999999999999999999999% unexplored.

TJ: OK, you can base your faith on as of yet undiscovered alien life if you want.

I prefer to start with what we know from experience - that life is difficult to evolve. We have not been able to do it. We have no idea how it could have happened. We see information in the cell. We see irreducibly complex systems in the cell. We see amazing designs in the cell. We see miniaturization on the level that we can only gawk at. We see thousands of coordinated machines and systems working in the cell. Everything we know about machines, information, complexity, design, miniaturization points to Intelligence. So again we start with what we do know and can see and examine. Life is amazingly complex, full of design, information, codes, software, and it is fragile. If you have the faith to believe this could all evolve by chance, be my guest!

TH: That's why all this IDC idiocy about "evolution is TOO improbable" is such rot. No one, NO ONE has enough evidence to come even remotely close to calculating an actual probability.

TJ: Well, in saying that, you are assuming there is life out there and thus far, it seems that is questionable. Again, we need to start w/what we do know, w/what we can see, & w/what we can examine & research.

Nice try, but to say that, first you have to show that this is a long term cumulative.

TH: There's 150+ years of positive evidence from hundreds of different scientific disciplines that points to changes being cumulative over the last 3 billion years

TJ: Yes, I understand that is how you interpret the evidence.

I guess we can say the same thing for humans, now can't we? You don’t know how we came to be, do you? When you walked in the room so to speak, humans were already there.

TH: Yes, I do actually, to a high degree of certainty. Humans were there along with millions of years' worth of evidence of what came before…. That's what the genetic and fossil evidence shows.

TJ: Yes, interpreted through your worldview. Even then, since you didn’t see it happen, you cannot be 100% sure that it happened like you think it did. That is your best guess based on the evidence you have on hand at this point? Are you missing some evidence? Could be! Could there be future evidence found that upsets this? Possibly!
Plus I really doubt that the genetic evidence supports evolution too well. Homology and genetics often clash. It is not near as clear as we are told.

No one saw it happen so you really don’t know how it happened. It is all guess work.

TH: So I suppose detectives can never solve a crime based on the recovered evidence, only if they have an eyewitness. The FAA can never discover why a plane crashed by investing the wreckage.

TJ: I didn’t say that and I’m not trying to imply that. But that kind of science is much less precise than the kind where you can repeat the experiment, observe the actual process, and verify the results. You know, the kind you can use the scientific method on. Proof of this is that the theory of evolution has changed so much over the past 150 years. What was used as evidence of evolution at the Scope’s Trial is almost all now known to be junk science. So, it is not anywhere near as precise as rocket science and stuff you can do in the lab. Trying to piece together the past involves lots of assumptions and guesses out of necessity. Sometimes forensics get it right, but the interpretation might be wrong and the wrong guy is convicted, right?

TH: When a creationist says something that stupid all I can do is shake my head.

TJ: I know it is tough not to ridicule and put creationists down, but atheists are supposed to be moral people too right so I’m sure you can do it if you try. I know some good advice: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

3. TH: No, at this point the evidence is insufficient to establish ANY probabilities. We have a sample set of 1 in a universe that is 99.9999999999999999999999% unexplored.

TJ: OK, you can base your faith on as of yet undiscovered alien life if you want.

Except, Faith has nothing to do with it. Probability *demands* that you know all possible combinations. It's really that simple. Just because your intuition might tell you otherwise, doesn't mean such a probability would be relevant without it.

An example of where probability *is* useful is a game of russian roulette. This is because you know exactly how many cylinders there are in the gun, how many are loaded with bullets, how many times the trigger would be pulled etc.

If, for some horrible reason, one was forced to choose between specific variations of russian roulette, with specific variations the number of chambers, bullets and trigger pulls, one could use game theory to determine which specific variation would have the least risk. And you could do so in a mechanical fashion.

You can believe whatever you want regarding specific outcomes of the biosphere being pre-selected. However, saying "evolutionary theory is unlikely" isn't even false as evolutionary theory does not make this assumption. Period. It's a blatant misrepresentation.

Again, What I find particularly telling is creationists take only a small part of evolutionary theory serious, while ignoring the rest of evolutionary theory in favor of their own creationist assumptions.
It either represents a clear lack of scientific understanding or an attempt at disingenuous misrepresentation.

TJ: But that kind of science is much less precise than the kind where you can repeat the experiment, observe the actual process, and verify the results. You know, the kind you can use the scientific method on.

Except, all science is like this due to the problem of induction. We create theories using conjecture, then test those theories for errors using observations.

In the case of evolutionary theory, we use conjecture to create a theory of how things *are*, in reality, that would have *necessary* consequences for the current state of the biosphere. And part of those theories include how things *were* in the distant past. We then use empirical observations to look for those consequences today.

TJ: Proof of this is that the theory of evolution has changed so much over the past 150 years.

Why would you expect predictions made 150 years ago to not be updated based on new discoveries? Why are you assuming that scientific predictions are prophecy, in that they could somehow take into account an infinite number of unrelated, yet parallel events that could change what we'd experience in the future.

TJ: I know some good advice: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

And If I was making the same ignorant arguments

4. And If I was making the same ignorant arguments, I'd want someone to correct me as well. One can only be so patient for so long.

28. Just as our brains have a tendency to fill in the blind spot in our eye, our brains also over estimate the usefulness of probability.

In the same sense, just as it's possible to become aware our blind spots, it's also possible to realize when we underestimate how invalid probability is in scenarios when we do not know all the possible outcomes.

Of course, in both cases, his only works if you try.

29. Thorton, some valid arguments for you to respond to...

www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Signature

30. carm.org/secular-movements/evolution/problem-genetic-improbability

1. Ultimate Reality

carm.org/secular-movements/evolution/problem-genetic-improbability

Sorry UR, but this and the other Creationist videos you linked too all make the same dumb error, trying to calculate probability of a genome (or protein) self assembling all at once instead of being slowly build in a long term iterative feedback process.

Science will never take any of these clowns seriously when they keep modeling and calculating assuming a 'POOF' mechanism that no biologist or geneticist in the world thinks happened.

These bogus probability calculations aren't offered to make a scientific case. They're done to dupe ignorant laymen by sounding "sciency". How does it feel to know you're being played for such a fool?

2. Whatever. Your ignorance is showing. Just like your stupid probability problem has no bearing on the discussion, there has been absolutely no evidence presented that these long chains assembled over time. Answer the questions!!! How can a long chain be assembled over time? What influencs force it to keep a molecule when it is half way assembled. It is you who is being played. The best guess your side could come up with was that they floated together in the soup. Add that to the fact that some of your high priests have even suggested it was carried here on an asteroid... panspermia... What a joke!!! Can't you git it through your concrete crania's ( :) ) that it has to be assembled in one piece, and there is no mechanism known to man to suggest that it could happen any other way. You can sit there and say they are bogus, but you have no other viable explanation. If you do, then feel free to present it. However, these probability arguments aren't duping anyone. They are merely disproving the stupid hypothesis that Darwinists suggested for the origin of information. So the result of the probability arguments is "You'll need to do better than that to be taken seriously". Religion drives science, and it matters.

3. Thorton:

Sorry UR, but this and the other Creationist videos you linked too all make the same dumb error, trying to calculate probability of a genome (or protein) self assembling all at once instead of being slowly build in a long term iterative feedback process.

I think you're relying here on the RNA-World scenario, which has now been thrown under the bus. Here.

31. Thorton: "Correct! The answer is you can't calculate the probability of an iterative feedback process by taking a one-time snapshot of current results. You have to have complete knowledge of the history and working of the process itself."

Your "Methinks it is like a weasel" analogy aside, taking a snapshot of the current results does not affect the probability anyway. You can calculate the probabilities of getting a royal flush without dealing any cards at all. Ditto for your example.

For 1d6 after allowed 2 throws, it's 1/6+(5/6)*(1/6) which is aprox .30555556

For 2d6 after allowing 2 throws, it's 1/36+((10/36)*(1/6))+((25/36)*(1/36)) which is approx 0.0933642

The first expression is hitting the target outright, the second sums all the chances of getting one six on the first and one six on the second roll, and the last expression sums the chances of getting neither six on the first roll but both on the second. At what number of dice and after how many rolls is it supposed to be impossible to have a probability and why?

It seems your argument is both irrelevant AND wrong.

1. John

It seems your argument is both irrelevant AND wrong.

Big time FAIL for you there John. First off, the problem was with 5 dice, not 2. Second, even with your dumbed-down version that you brute forced you still needed complete knowledge of the system at each step in the process, exactly as I said.

You can calculate the probabilities of getting a royal flush without dealing any cards at all.

Then please do so. You walk into a room and I've got a royal flush sitting in front of me. Please calculate the probability it was dealt to me given that you don't know if I was playing 1) straight poker 2) draw poker 3) 'Thorton poker' where I am allowed to discard and redraw as many times as I want.

Go ahead and compute an accurate probability without knowing the rules or history of the game.

2. Thorton:

'Thorton poker' where I am allowed to discard and redraw as many times as I want.

Does this mean the deck you're drawing from is infinitely large? Where do such decks exist?

3. PaV Lino

Thorton:'Thorton poker' where I am allowed to discard and redraw as many times as I want.

Does this mean the deck you're drawing from is infinitely large? Where do such decks exist?

In 'Thorton' poker only one hand is played at a time, and when less than three cards remain in the deck the discards are reshuffled and reused.

So tell me how you can calculate the probability of getting a royal flush without taking into account the rules of the game. No one else has been able to.

4. Thorton:

So tell me how you can calculate the probability of getting a royal flush without taking into account the rules of the game. No one else has been able to.

But we know what rules nucleotide bases follow when bonding together. So this is a pointless analogy.

5. PaV Lino

Thorton: So tell me how you can calculate the probability of getting a royal flush without taking into account the rules of the game. No one else has been able to.

But we know what rules nucleotide bases follow when bonding together. So this is a pointless analogy.

But you don't know the history of the system - how many generations there have been since self-replication began, how many changes have occurred since then, what the external selection pressures were at each step.

You need all that data to compute an accurate probability and guess what PaV - you guys don't have it.

Now when will you be providing the identity of the Designer you claim to know, along with your supporting evidence? That's a tremendously important piece of info you're selfishly withholding from the science community.

6. Here's another one you cowardly ran from PaV. Not that I expected anything different, given your track record.

When the going gets tough, PaV's bladder gets going!

7. Thorton:

But you don't know the history of the system - how many generations there have been since self-replication began, how many changes have occurred since then, what the external selection pressures were at each step.

Thorton, this is an inept reply. It doesn't warrant a response.

32. Scott said, "For example, why start with the amino acids for human beings since the theory doesn't say human beings were an intended goal? How do you know where it ends? Some event could have change evolutionary history and human beings might not have existed. Or they might have existed, but not in the form as we know them."

This makes absolutely no sense. In evolution of course there is no intended goal. However, we have humans present and we have 9 essential amino acids we know are absolutely required for humans to exist. Are you really saying we care about the odds of a non functional amino acid for some un-discovered or fairy tale organism? Darwiner please!!! You would never apply this kind of bass ackwards science to any other field but evolution. Darwin and Lyell weren't even that stupid. They believed in studying the present to learn about the past.

1. UR: However, we have humans present and we have 9 essential amino acids we know are absolutely required for humans to exist.

And this tells us what, exactly? How is it possible to extrapolate empirical observations without first putting them into an explanatory framework, such as some designer designed the entire space of all amino acids so that only these nine could be used to support life?

UR: Are you really saying we care about the odds of a non functional amino acid for some un-discovered or fairy tale organism? Darwiner please!!! You would never apply this kind of bass ackwards science to any other field but evolution. Darwin and Lyell weren't even that stupid. They believed in studying the present to learn about the past.

"Care"? What do one's preferences have do with what's *necessary* for developing valid predictions?

Again, probability is only valid, in the sense you've trying to us it, in scenarios such as Russian Roulette, where we know exactly how many chambers there are in the gun, how may of those same chambers are loaded with bullets, how many times the trigger will be pulled, etc.

Specifically, if you were provided with several different variations of Russian Roulette with different, but specific, number of chambers, bullets, trigger pulls, etc, you could use probability to determine which variable is most favorable in a mechanicalistic manner.

Do you dispute this? if so, please present a specific argument as to how this would work in detail.

If not, please enlighten us as to how evolution fits this same model. Please be specific.

33. Thorton, since you assert the probability arguments have no bearing, please present a scientifically veriafiable hypothesis on how the long chain proteins assembled. Obviously, it can't happen over time because they are irreducibly complex. They don't fucntion half completed or with pieces missing. That throws out NS as a viable explanation because, just like your stupid probability argument, NS can't act on an incremental step until multiple steps have enacted a function that will be retained. I'm patiently waiting.

34. Basically, what are your proposed rules? What can you point to presently that would clue us in about what happened in the past regarding the amino acids, proteins and DNA code.

35. Thorton: "Big time FAIL for you there John. First off, the problem was with 5 dice, not 2."

I see you were unable to answer my question about what the difference would be.

Thorton: "Second, even with your dumbed-down version that you brute forced you still needed complete knowledge of the system at each step in the process, exactly as I said."

Um, brute force means I have no knowledge. If I had the knowledge, I wouldn't need the brute force by definition.

1 in 649,740

Thorton: "You walk into a room and I've got a royal flush sitting in front of me. Please calculate the probability it was dealt to me given that you don't know if I was playing 1) straight poker 2) draw poker 3) 'Thorton poker' where I am allowed to discard and redraw as many times as I want."

Thorton:"Correct! The answer is you can't calculate the probability of an iterative feedback process by taking a one-time snapshot of current results. You have to have complete knowledge of the history and working of the process itself."

I calculated the probability of an iterative feedback process like the one you already specified. If you say, maybe I placed the dice that way just before you walked in the room, well, that is the design inference. If the chances of getting all sixes were extremely low given your lifespan, then I would make the design inference. Since it's not, the choice is more ambiguous. But then we go to how well does your analogy reflect observed natural processes, and why you didn't answer another question I asked you, "What was the first 6 length amino acid chain that was selected for while on the way to the first replicating chain?"

36. John

Thorton: "Second, even with your dumbed-down version that you brute forced you still needed complete knowledge of the system at each step in the process, exactly as I said."

Um, brute force means I have no knowledge. If I had the knowledge, I wouldn't need the brute force by definition.

John brings the FAIL again. You still needed knowledge of the state at each step to do the brute force. How are you going to do that for a process like evolution with billions of steps over millions of years?

1 in 649,740

Bigger time FAIL John. You forgot to show your work, and list/justify your assumptions.

I calculated the probability of an iterative feedback process like the one you already specified.

No, you didn't calculate the one I specified.

If you say, maybe I placed the dice that way just before you walked in the room, well, that is the design inference. If the chances of getting all sixes were extremely low given your lifespan, then I would make the design inference.

You don't have enough information to accurately calculate a probability. But your floundering to avoid the problem is amusing.

1. Crickets chirping. That is the sound of Thornton not responding to my questions above.

Here is the huge point that Thorton's world is missing. We can still calculate probabilities without knowing the rules. The solution is very easy... we just have to examine the worst case scenario until such time someone comes up with some concrete evidence that there is another process at play that would lessen the odds. So there you have it. Imagination drives Darwinists, and it matters.

2. Thornton said, "You don't have enough information to accurately calculate a probability. But your floundering to avoid the problem is amusing."

But he has enough information to calculate a probability. He doesn't need to know your rules. Let me lay it down for you how real science would work. I would merely bring some fingerprint dust in with me and I would see that you handled some dice many more than others. In fact, when you used your thumb and forefinger to set the six up dice aside, this would have been the freshest print. By using science, I could ascertain the "rules" that were used to get to the 5 dice sitting with sixes up. Now please enlighten me with some real scientific evidence on how long chain proteins formed outside of totally random chance in the pre-biotic Campbells chicken noodle.

3. Ultimate Reality

Crickets chirping. That is the sound of Thornton not responding to my questions above.

The answer is "science doesn't know". Science is honest enough to admit when there's not enough data and doesn't get make stuff up on the fly like Creationists do.

Here is the huge point that Thorton's world is missing. We can still calculate probabilities without knowing the rules.

LOL! No UR, you can't. No one can. That's why these bogus made-up probability numbers you guys keep vomiting out get laughed at by real scientists.

Apparently being played for a fool by the Creationist professional liars doesn't bother you. Oh well, there's one born every minute.

4. You are a silly, foolish man. To deny that you can't calculate the worst case probability is laughable and definitely not based in reality. But then again, that is where most of so called evolutionary science lives.

5. Thornton:
I may have missed it, but your question appears to have gone un-answered.

The answer I'd give to the 5-dice 3-throws question you put (where correct scores are retained for subsequent throws) is 0.0133.

A simple method of calculationg this is to find the probability that at least one die will roll the required score in three throws, then multiply the result by the probability that the next die will also roll the required score, and so on for each of the 5 dice.

Thus P = (1-(1-1/6)^3)^5

where P is the overall probability required.

Your criticism of CH puzzles me: the 'blunder' to which he refers is to confuse a pre-specified outcome with an unspecified outcome; his criticism is sound.

Your apparent point, that we cannot put meaningful probabilities to the workings of evolution (because of insufficient data), even if it were true, does not rectify the blunder: it's another point entirely.

37. Ultimate Reality

You are a silly, foolish man. To deny that you can't calculate the worst case probability is laughable and definitely not based in reality.

You can state the worst case probability without doing any calculations at all. It's 0. Which doesn't tell you a single thing about how to calculate an actual probability.

Poor UR, still being played for a clueless fool.

38. Poor Thornton, projecting again. Your logic could be applied to any problem and determine there is not a solution. But your dice example has options and outcomes. Yes, if you make up some dumb rule that says you have to roll a six 50 times before you leave the six up then yes, you could eventually come up with a stupid rule that drives the probability to zero chance. But let a little common sense prevail in your example and we can apply logic to acheive a "probable" probability. Ha!!! Of course the probability of DNA occurring in nature without Intelligent influence is zero, so maybe your first answer is correct.

39. PaV: "The number of a.a. per mole, and the number of litres are roughly the same. So, for a molar concentration of 1 in a million (10^-6), this means each a.a. will be surrounded by a million litres = million x 1,000 c.c., = cube root of 10^9 divided by 8 radial distance = 125 cm. = 48 in. roughly. So EACH a.a. is 4 feet from the nearest next amino acid. How can they get close enough to form a bond exactly?"

What is with creationists and moles? Did you notice you have a million liters occupying a few cubic feet after some "math."

FYI, a concentration of one micromolar has about 600 million molecules per nanoliter.

1. RobertC:

What is with creationists and moles? Did you notice you have a million liters occupying a few cubic feet after some "math."

FYI, a concentration of one micromolar has about 600 million molecules per nanoliter.

First of all, I divided by 2^3 = 8, instead of just by 2 (since I had already taken the cube root). But it isn't a "few cubic feet." It's 512 cf; which seems like a lot more than "a few".

Secondly, Avogadro's number was taken care of in the first sentence; i.e., 10^24 litres of ocean, and 10^23 molecules/mole.

And, of course, that fact that this is so dilute that Musgrave's numbers are meaningless, doesn't seem important. The only thing that seems important is that as I calculated the number I divided by 8 instead of 2, a mistake that made Musgrave's numbers slightly more plausible than they actually are.

This is a one-sided view of the world, isn't it?