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Thread: Some QUESTIONS about Intelligent Design!

  1. #1 Some QUESTIONS about Intelligent Design! 
    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    Now I realize that evolution raises a lot of questions and that some feel that Intelligent Designs can better answer them, so with your permission I will ask some questions that perhaps they can use Intelligent Design to answer for me. Since it explains things, I am asking to know more about what and how it explains things. . .

    First of all, I wonder if it is the God of the Bible, or is it just some force that has no human emotions and does not respond to prayers. If they have the answer to that, please tell me what reasoning they have for their answer.

    If it is the former, shouldn't they be more open about it and return to reference to God? By avoiding Him, it seems disrespectful to me. . . like they were ashamed to mention Him by name. Surely, the I.D. term cannot have been devised just to fool people . . .

    Or, perhaps Intelligent Design means the latter. It is just a teleological force or process which involved a sort of instant-evolution that arose the universe automatically. A force that has no “purpose.”

    Or, perhaps it is a “purposeful force” that does control the universe, the REAL god instead of the Jewish Worrior God of the Bible, a being who sort of IS the universe.

    It seems to me It has to be one of those. Am I right? So, which is it? Which one are the advocates of I.D. actually backing? Or is there division in their ranks and they can't agree?

    Finally, when they have answered the questions above, let's then get on the subject of “creation” as I have several dozen questions like those above which they must surely have the answers to . . .


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    charles has been watching too much jeopardy. He really hasn't asked any questions. He has merely supplied a list of potential answers for which the respondent must supply the questions.

    I don't think any of your suggested answers to your non questions are representative of anything anyone actually believes.

    I think the questions were 1. What is the nature of God? 2. What role, if any, did He have in creation?

    I believe these topics have been definitively resolved in various threads throughout the religion section of thescienceforum. :wink:


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    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  4. #3 Re: Some QUESTIONS about Intelligent Design! 
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    On the basis that Intelligent Design is rooted within science, yet bears some of the hallmarks of philsophy, let me respond thus.
    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    First of all, I wonder if it is the God of the Bible, or is it just some force that has no human emotions and does not respond to prayers.
    It is unlikely to be the God of the Bible. For one thing the Bible God went through at least three phases over as many millenia, from multiple Gods, to vengeful God, to self sacrificing/forgiving God.
    It is unlikely that the Intelligent Designer would have human emotions, but it is plausible that humans would have Intelligent Designer emotions. [So the writers of Genesis may have got that part correct. God made man in his own image.]
    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    If it is the former, shouldn't they be more open about it and return to reference to God? By avoiding Him, it seems disrespectful to me. . . like they were ashamed to mention Him by name. Surely, the I.D. term cannot have been devised just to fool people . . .
    A little ingenuous, don't you think Charles?
    ID merely posits the involvement of intelligence in the design of life, the universe, and everything. The identity of this intelligence is not discussed and is arguably incidental. Doubtless it might well have some of the characterisitics of conventional Gods. This might be coincidental or inevitable. It is not, however, required.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    My point was that Intelligent Design raises a lot of questions which no one has any way to answer. The "answers' that have been given here are based on nothing. They are just "opinions." It seems to me that those who believe in I.D. should be able to do better than that.
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    The difference here is not that there is no basis.

    The difference is that ID people and non-ID people observe the very same phenomena and come to different conclusions as to how and why it occurred.

    Chas. seems to think that because he has come to one conclusion and has found some like-minded people, he has obviously come to the correct solution.

    Those who have come to the other conclusion find the non-ID positon to be as baseless and meaningless as non-IDers claim ID to be. Creation is not a revealed exact science at the current point in our knowledge base.

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    "If god did create the universe, he made a bloody good job of convincing us he didn't!"

    I thought the best evidence I heard for non-ID was that discovered from DNA, humans have some inactive DNA in our species which is active in other species, this being the case is suggestive that whatever designed us was far from intelligent since a lot of it (our dna) is simply surplus.
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    Yes, and amongst many other rudimentary parts throughout the biological world.
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    I think that the question is self evident.

    Since we are the only green planet in the universe:

    and we cannot survive on other planets without assistance.

    Intelligent design comes into play.

    Whether we want to admit it or not: The facts are strange and
    make you wonder. When you wonder; you ponder the question of
    your existence and creation.

    If you think we have inadequacies; it's probably stemming from
    a higher power who requests your recognition.

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    Everlasting wrote:
    Since we are the only green planet in the universe:

    and we cannot survive on other planets without assistance.

    Intelligent design comes into play
    The universe is so vast; you cannot make a blanket statement like that.
    Evolution theory explains how earth become green and full of diversed lives. Intelligent design is a lazy way to explain things; it you don't know how, then it is designed by an extremely intelligent entity.

    If you think we have inadequacies; it's probably stemming from
    a higher power who requests your recognition
    Of course we have inadequacies. There are finite resources. Do you think a starving child in Africa will recognize the higher power? Get Real.
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    I'll have to agree with prasit on this one. "God did it" explanations are a lazy way of explaining things. While I do believe that "God did it", the explanation isn't as simple as that. "God did it" explanations don't explain the natural basis of things. I am more of the person who would discover a natural law and then say "God created that law". If we'd have just settled with "God did it", then there would have never been that amazing Big Bang theory, among other things.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Everlasting wrote:
    Since we are the only green planet in the universe:

    and we cannot survive on other planets without assistance.

    Intelligent design comes into play
    The universe is so vast; you cannot make a blanket statement like that.
    Evolution theory explains how earth become green and full of diversed lives. Intelligent design is a lazy way to explain things; it you don't know how, then it is designed by an extremely intelligent entity.

    If you think we have inadequacies; it's probably stemming from
    a higher power who requests your recognition
    Of course we have inadequacies. There are finite resources. Do you think a starving child in Africa will recognize the higher power? Get Real.
    Have you ever pondered your existence in the universe. You mention starving children in Africa. Do you really believe that their existence was destined to be; the way that it is? The roots of the African people were yanked up, and exposed. If you ever had part of your heritage removed, you might understand why people seek religion, and God. The systematic suppression and oppression by a power structure; that will admit to: "not knowing it all". Where was that humility when diverse people became ensnared; brought into a lifestyle and forced to watch their future unfold, at someone else's will. Until you have had it done to you; you will not understand. If you take the roots of the oppressed, and then marvel at the way that they adapt to any situation. You will find that God is at the middle of their struggle, and without the concept of religion; they would have no foundation.

    That being said.

    History documents many miracles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    I'll have to agree with prasit on this one. "God did it" explanations are a lazy way of explaining things. While I do believe that "God did it", the explanation isn't as simple as that. "God did it" explanations don't explain the natural basis of things. I am more of the person who would discover a natural law and then say "God created that law". If we'd have just settled with "God did it", then there would have never been that amazing Big Bang theory, among other things.
    Do you really believe that the void moved, and that from NO influence at all; the universe exploded, and each planet formed?

    Let alone without any structure or direction.

    And that we all ended up on this one planet, with no others like it in the universe; BY CHANCE?


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    i'm totally confounded that no-one has mentioned creationism yet - after all, that's what ID is : creationism in a different attempt at scientific respectability

    since there's no point addressing creationism as if it were science there's no point in treating ID likewise
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Everlasting
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    I'll have to agree with prasit on this one. "God did it" explanations are a lazy way of explaining things. While I do believe that "God did it", the explanation isn't as simple as that. "God did it" explanations don't explain the natural basis of things. I am more of the person who would discover a natural law and then say "God created that law". If we'd have just settled with "God did it", then there would have never been that amazing Big Bang theory, among other things.
    Do you really believe that the void moved, and that from NO influence at all; the universe exploded, and each planet formed?

    Let alone without any structure or direction.

    And that we all ended up on this one planet, with no others like it in the universe; BY CHANCE?


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    No. You seem to believe that I'm leaning more towards deist theory. In fact, I'm the exact opposite of the CHANCE theory. I don't see how atheistic scientists can believe that things just occurred by chance, that atoms just spontaneously combined in the correct way to make atoms. I expect scientists to be more reasonable than that. I do believe that everything was directed by God; however I don't believe "God did it" is sufficient to exclude scientific study. Like I said, if we settled with "God did it", we wouldn't end up with such great theories as the Big Bang. "God did it" explanations are for non-scientists and people too lazy to figure the physical cause for happenings.
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    You know, I've been thinking...

    The atheist theory of existence (chance) is a lot less rational than the theist theory of existence (God).

    The atheist theory is irrational for the above reason (atoms combining correctly by chance). Atheists seem to be leaning towards spontaneous generation, which is a ridiculous idea. Chance theory is completely unscientific and illogical.

    Theist theory, on the other hand, cannot be said to be irrational. The only argument atheists have against God is that they have no proof of his existence, thus he doesn't exist. This is another fundamental logical fallacy. It does not follow that because there is no proof of X, X does not exist. Thus this argument against God falls. Now they may find individual errors in specific religions, but this does not suffice to preclude the possibility of there being a God. It is in no way irrational to believe in a metaphysical being, especially in light of the complexity of living organisms. The atheists may argue that a metaphysical being is beyond what is physical, and thus we cannot even fathom such a thing. But there are many things beyond human reasoning that we have to accept as true. Such statements as 'everything has an origin' is based on our own a posteriori understanding, but that statement is not necessarily true. If we look to existence in and of itself, there must come a point where we have to admit 'this thing has no origin'; if we never approach that point, then we have to conclude that 'life has no origin'. This is also something atheists fail to understand. They claim that the theist assertion that God has no origin, and lives infinitely is ludicrous. But let us break this down: a) 'God has no origin': it has already been established (above) that there must come a point when we admit there is no origin for an entity, and that 'everything has an origin' is based solely on the most basic a posteriori reasoning, or analytic a priori, if you like. b) "God lives infinitely": Infinity exists, as is seen by numbers and time. Note that both of these are not physical things. Thus we can conclude that non-physical things (such as God) can exhibit the trait of infinite existence; and, consequently, the statement "God has no origin, and lives infinitely" is completely logical.

    The ultimate conclusion from all this is that "God did it", while not a scientific (or desirable) explanation for existence, is a feasible general explanation for our existence. Science is important to provide the specifics.

    Edit: I might come across as self-righteous, but whatever. I think that the newest theory (the one I thought I developed) is the most irrefutable religious theory: everything science reveals, God had a part in it. In this way, science and religion can mix, and science is no longer viewed as an exclusively atheist field. It avoids the error of saying God created everything "as it is", and portrays a God that created the laws of physics, and saw them through, and continues to see them through.

    marnixR, I don't think anyone is addressing ID as a form of science (anyone who does is an idiot).

    Megabrain, about the DNA, the above religious theory solves that problem. It may have been as a result of the evolutionary process. Furthermore, science has yet to find the use of the appendix. Does that mean it's completely useless? Science initially said the pineal gland has no function. Now we know it secretes melatonin. Draw your own conclusions from that.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Everlasting wrote:
    If you ever had part of your heritage removed, you might understand why people seek religion, and God.
    That does mean it will be religion and God real. People used to worship Rain God, Sun God, Thunder God. They even made sacrifice. Rain God, Sun God and Thunder God are not real.
    If you take the roots of the oppressed, and then marvel at the way that they adapt to any situation. You will find that God is at the middle of their struggle, and without the concept of religion; they would have no foundation.
    No, I don't find it.
    Without the concept of religion; they would have no illusion. They will realize that their lives are in their own hands.

    spt wrote:
    I don't see how atheistic scientists can believe that things just occurred by chance, that atoms just spontaneously combined in the correct way to make atoms.
    Please explain more. Which atom occurred by chance at what time? What do you mean by 'the correct way'? Could you give an example of 'incorrect way'?
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    spt wrote:
    I don't see how atheistic scientists can believe that things just occurred by chance, that atoms just spontaneously combined in the correct way to make atoms.
    Please explain more. Which atom occurred by chance at what time? What do you mean by 'the correct way'? Could you give an example of 'incorrect way'?
    whoops. What I meant to say was combined in the correct way to make complex organisms. By "correct way" I meant, for example, CO as opposed to CO2.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    spt wrote:
    whoops. What I meant to say was combined in the correct way to make complex organisms. By "correct way" I meant, for example, CO as opposed to CO2
    CO2 is more plentiful because there are circumstances that favor the generation of CO2 such as the burning of C with plenty of O2 around.
    But if you mean living organisms evolution theory explain how simple organism gradually tranform through the long line of replication to be complex organisms we see nowaday.
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    Ok I am vigorously opposed to ID but I will accept the supposition that all the species of "living" things on this planet are the result of intellegent design and make some observations.

    I will also make the assumption that this intellegent designer is also the infallable, all powerful and all knowing creator believed in by most Christians.

    First of all, I think that if something is designed by an infallable all powerful creator then it is logically inescapable that it must also be utterly predictable. It is the essence of design that something is constructed to look like and behave according to the intent of the creator. If the creation behaves in an unanticipated manner then this indicates a failing in work of design. Ok so you might ask, what if a thing is designed with for the specific purpose of acting in an unpredictable manner? After all do we not design games with random generators? Yes but these random generators are not truly unpredictable. If you know how it works and the intitial variables then they are completely predictable. Even non-linear equations such as are used to produce fractals are still mathematically determined so that if you know the initial variables the results are predictable, especially to an all knowing creator. Furthermore, the scope of the pseudo-random or nonlinear behavior is also strictly determined by its design, and therefore it cannot truly do anything unexpected by the infallable designer. In fact, in the case of an infallable all knowing and all powerful designer, that which He designs must necessarily be under His absolute control.

    If this is the case our sense of free will and responsibility are illusions, for we are like the non-player characters in a fancy computer adventure game, playing the roles designed for us by the game designer. In this case, promises of punishment and reward for what we do must be just another part of the plot and all exists and happens for no other purpose than for the amusement of others. Good persons and evil person should both be very proud (if actually capable of any such thing) of living according to the will of their creator, for any idea that they are in any way not acting according to the will of the designer is absurd.
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    quote="mitchellmckainOk I am vigorously opposed to ID but I will accept the supposition that all the species of "living" things on this planet are the result of intellegent design and make some observations.

    I will also make the assumption that this intellegent designer is also the infallable, all powerful and all knowing creator believed in by most Christians.
    I don't believe that the concept of Intelligent Design is the correct descriptor of man. Nor does the concept apply to man's evolution.
    Christian's don't believe that they were made perfect. That is why they seek knowledge, and truth. This is where myth meets religion. The transformation of the person; A frog turning into a prince! Where evolution and development meet up with the ID. Not to say that every un-evolved person can't make observations. Without knowledge and truth, how they respond to the stimulus or their environment; impacts intelligent design and other people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    spt wrote:
    whoops. What I meant to say was combined in the correct way to make complex organisms. By "correct way" I meant, for example, CO as opposed to CO2
    CO2 is more plentiful because there are circumstances that favor the generation of CO2 such as the burning of C with plenty of O2 around.
    I was just providing an example of what I mean by "correct combination". I wasn't implying that CO is more likely to form than CO2.
    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    But if you mean living organisms evolution theory explain how simple organism gradually tranform through the long line of replication to be complex organisms we see nowaday.
    Yes, but how did simple organisms form; it had to start from the atomic/molecular level. What I'm saying is that it's unlikely that the atoms just happened to align in such a way as to form the correct molecules, which then aligned in such a way to form the organism.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    The question of intelligent design vs. evolution comes mostly down to what you believe about probability. No chaotic system can stay in a state of chaos forever. Eventually it morphs through enough states to land on a sustainable form.

    Life is the most sustainable form because it can overcome the random forces of entropy by making enough copies of itself to continually beat the odds. The real question is whether life would evolve on its own, not whether life would ever form.

    In order for evolution to work upwards instead of downwards there are two probabilities we have to consider. 1) Mutations will happen from time to time. The odds of a random mutation being harmful are greater than the odds of a mutation being beneficial. 2) The odds of a good mutation having surviving offspring are greater than the odds of a bad mutation having offspring.

    If the odds of #2 favour good mutations by more than the odds of #1 run against them, then evolution is virtually certain to occur. If the odds of #1 outweigh the odds of #2, then evolution is virtually impossible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The question of intelligent design vs. evolution comes mostly down to what you believe about probability. No chaotic system can stay in a state of chaos forever. Eventually it morphs through enough states to land on a sustainable form.

    Life is the most sustainable form because it can overcome the random forces of entropy by making enough copies of itself to continually beat the odds. The real question is whether life would evolve on its own, not whether life would ever form.
    Uhh...actually, it's the other way around. Things naturally tend to go from a state of order (low entropy) to disorder (high entropy).
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The question of intelligent design vs. evolution comes mostly down to what you believe about probability. No chaotic system can stay in a state of chaos forever. Eventually it morphs through enough states to land on a sustainable form.

    Life is the most sustainable form because it can overcome the random forces of entropy by making enough copies of itself to continually beat the odds. The real question is whether life would evolve on its own, not whether life would ever form.

    In order for evolution to work upwards instead of downwards there are two probabilities we have to consider. 1) Mutations will happen from time to time. The odds of a random mutation being harmful are greater than the odds of a mutation being beneficial. 2) The odds of a good mutation having surviving offspring are greater than the odds of a bad mutation having offspring.

    If the odds of #2 favour good mutations by more than the odds of #1 run against them, then evolution is virtually certain to occur. If the odds of #1 outweigh the odds of #2, then evolution is virtually impossible.
    You indeed have the right idea. The answer is that the odds of bad mutation greatly greatly greatly outweigh the odds of a good mutation and the higher the lifeform the more this is true. But that is why the first big step for the development of life on this planet was to get control of this process themselves to enable them to quickly eliminate the damage that was unhelpful and preserve the damage that might make them more adaptable. Eventually life forms developed sexual reproduction and means of producing variation without any damage to DNA or copying mistakes at all. Go look up a text on mutagenesis in a university library and you find out that what I am saying is true.
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    spt wrote:
    Yes, but how did simple organisms form; it had to start from the atomic/molecular level. What I'm saying is that it's unlikely that the atoms just happened to align in such a way as to form the correct molecules, which then aligned in such a way to form the organism.
    Is this the only instance that you say unlikely to happen naturally?
    Given the extremely large number of planets and stars in the unverse the odds that it would happen in one or more of them may be favorable.
    It is much..much more likely than atoms (or whatever) happened to combine into a whole body of God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    spt wrote:
    Yes, but how did simple organisms form; it had to start from the atomic/molecular level. What I'm saying is that it's unlikely that the atoms just happened to align in such a way as to form the correct molecules, which then aligned in such a way to form the organism.
    Is this the only instance that you say unlikely to happen naturally?
    Given the extremely large number of planets and stars in the unverse the odds that it would happen in one or more of them may be favorable.
    It is much..much more likely than atoms (or whatever) happened to combine into a whole body of God.
    The large number of planets and stars in the universe does nothing for the odds of it happening...don't be foolish. The number of planets/stars and the possibility of occurrence are completely independent of each other; if you can prove otherwise, then go ahead.
    And nothing "formed" God. He's been around forever; i.e. He wasn't created. He's a metaphysical being.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    spt wrote:
    The large number of planets and stars in the universe does nothing for the odds of it happening...don't be foolish. The number of planets/stars and the possibility of occurrence are completely independent of each other; if you can prove otherwise, then go ahead.
    Elementary, my dear SPT.

    What is the chance of getting at least one head-up if you flip 1 coin? (answer: 50%)
    What is the chance of getting at least one head-up if you flip 2 coins? (answer: 75%)
    What is the chance of getting at least one head-up if you flip 3 coins? (answer: 87.5%)

    And nothing "formed" God. He's been around forever; i.e. He wasn't created. He's a metaphysical being.
    Ah.. How convenient! Everything else must have a cause. Somehow He is the only exception.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The question of intelligent design vs. evolution comes mostly down to what you believe about probability. No chaotic system can stay in a state of chaos forever. Eventually it morphs through enough states to land on a sustainable form.

    Life is the most sustainable form because it can overcome the random forces of entropy by making enough copies of itself to continually beat the odds. The real question is whether life would evolve on its own, not whether life would ever form.
    Uhh...actually, it's the other way around. Things naturally tend to go from a state of order (low entropy) to disorder (high entropy).
    Yes but it is only the total entropy of the universe which must increase according to the second law of thermodynamics. So in an environment that is far from equillibrium as part of a system where there is a great increase of entropy in the background (such as precisely the kind of environment where life develops), you can have a local decrease of entropy and increase of order. However, whether you can really consider the development of life an example of a decrease of entropy, let alone determine some measure of this decrease, is something I have my doubts about.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    He's a metaphysical being.
    without evidence, and no factual base, you're yet to prove a god is even theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    spt wrote:
    The large number of planets and stars in the universe does nothing for the odds of it happening...don't be foolish. The number of planets/stars and the possibility of occurrence are completely independent of each other; if you can prove otherwise, then go ahead.
    Elementary, my dear SPT.

    What is the chance of getting at least one head-up if you flip 1 coin? (answer: 50%)
    What is the chance of getting at least one head-up if you flip 2 coins? (answer: 75%)
    What is the chance of getting at least one head-up if you flip 3 coins? (answer: 87.5%)
    We're not dealing with simple probability here, but rather probability of combinations. Your above examples have nothing to do with combinations.

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    And nothing "formed" God. He's been around forever; i.e. He wasn't created. He's a metaphysical being.
    Ah.. How convenient! Everything else must have a cause. Somehow He is the only exception.
    Not everything must have an origin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Yes but it is only the total entropy of the universe which must increase according to the second law of thermodynamics. So in an environment that is far from equillibrium as part of a system where there is a great increase of entropy in the background (such as precisely the kind of environment where life develops), you can have a local decrease of entropy and increase of order. However, whether you can really consider the development of life an example of a decrease of order, let alone determine some measure of this decrease, is something I have my doubts about.
    I see what you're saying (the italicized one), but (the bold part) I wasn't saying the development of life is a decrease in order (I'm not sure whether that's what you were implying, just clearing that up in case you were).
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    He's a metaphysical being.
    without evidence, and no factual base, you're yet to prove a god is even theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    The very definition of a god is a metaphysical being (Kant would agree with me on this, and he knows his metaphysics).
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    spt wrote:
    We're not dealing with simple probability here, but rather probability of combinations. Your above examples have nothing to do with combinations.
    You changed the topic to avoid admitting you are wrong. My statement is the reponse to your reply that 'The large number of planets and stars in the universe does nothing for the odds of it happening...don't be foolish. The number of planets/stars and the possibility of occurrence are completely independent of each other'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    He's a metaphysical being.
    without evidence, and no factual base, you're yet to prove a god is even theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    metaphysical being (Kant would agree with me on this, and he knows his metaphysics).
    The very definition of a god is a supernatural thing, an appeal to authority, doesn't change, the lack of factual base, so kant is a c*** in this case.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    He's a metaphysical being.
    without evidence, and no factual base, you're yet to prove a god is even theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    metaphysical being (Kant would agree with me on this, and he knows his metaphysics).
    The very definition of a god is a supernatural thing, an appeal to authority, doesn't change, the lack of factual base, so kant is a c*** in this case.
    Apparently you don't know what metaphysical means.

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    spt wrote:
    We're not dealing with simple probability here, but rather probability of combinations. Your above examples have nothing to do with combinations.
    You changed the topic to avoid admitting you are wrong. My statement is the reponse to your reply that 'The large number of planets and stars in the universe does nothing for the odds of it happening...don't be foolish. The number of planets/stars and the possibility of occurrence are completely independent of each other'.
    I don't see where I changed the topic...sorry.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    He's a metaphysical being.
    without evidence, and no factual base, you're yet to prove a god is even theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    metaphysical being (Kant would agree with me on this, and he knows his metaphysics).
    The very definition of a god is a supernatural thing, an appeal to authority, doesn't change, the lack of factual base, so kant is a c*** in this case.
    Apparently you don't know what metaphysical means.
    is not metaphysical, pertaining to or of the nature of metaphysics.
    and metaphysics, the underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry.
    well then you have yet to prove a god is theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    He's a metaphysical being.
    without evidence, and no factual base, you're yet to prove a god is even theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    metaphysical being (Kant would agree with me on this, and he knows his metaphysics).
    The very definition of a god is a supernatural thing, an appeal to authority, doesn't change, the lack of factual base, so kant is a c*** in this case.
    Apparently you don't know what metaphysical means.
    is not metaphysical, pertaining to or of the nature of metaphysics.
    and metaphysics, the underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry.
    well then you have yet to prove a god is theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    Fairly close...

    Metaphysical:
    adj.

    1. Of or relating to metaphysics.
    2. Based on speculative or abstract reasoning.
    3. Highly abstract or theoretical; abstruse.
    4.
    1. Immaterial; incorporeal. See synonyms at immaterial.
    2. Supernatural.
    5. often Metaphysical Of or relating to the poetry of a group of 17th-century English poets whose verse is characterized by an intellectually challenging style and extended metaphors comparing very dissimilar things.

    Metaphysics:
    n.

    1. (used with a sing. verb) Philosophy. The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.
    2. (used with a pl. verb) The theoretical or first principles of a particular discipline: the metaphysics of law.
    3. (used with a sing. verb) A priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment.
    4. (used with a sing. verb) Excessively subtle or recondite reasoning.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Forum Masters Degree geezer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    He's a metaphysical being.
    without evidence, and no factual base, you're yet to prove a god is even theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    metaphysical being (Kant would agree with me on this, and he knows his metaphysics).
    The very definition of a god is a supernatural thing, an appeal to authority, doesn't change, the lack of factual base, so kant is a c*** in this case.
    Apparently you don't know what metaphysical means.
    is not metaphysical, pertaining to or of the nature of metaphysics.
    and metaphysics, the underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry.
    well then you have yet to prove a god is theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    Fairly close...

    Metaphysical:
    adj.

    1. Of or relating to metaphysics.
    2. Based on speculative or abstract reasoning.
    3. Highly abstract or theoretical; abstruse.
    4.
    1. Immaterial; incorporeal. See synonyms at immaterial.
    2. Supernatural.
    5. often Metaphysical Of or relating to the poetry of a group of 17th-century English poets whose verse is characterized by an intellectually challenging style and extended metaphors comparing very dissimilar things.

    Metaphysics:
    n.

    1. (used with a sing. verb) Philosophy. The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.
    2. (used with a pl. verb) The theoretical or first principles of a particular discipline: the metaphysics of law.
    3. (used with a sing. verb) A priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment.
    4. (used with a sing. verb) Excessively subtle or recondite reasoning.
    lets have a game of semantics shall we, the fact remains that numerous, if not all dictionaries define metaphysics thus, (see below) so my point remains valid.
    even yours posted agrees.( see bolded)

    Metaphysics;
    the branch of philosophy that treats of first principles, includes ontology and cosmology, and is intimately connected with epistemology.
    philosophy, esp. in its more abstruse branches.
    the underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry.
    (initial capital letter, italics) a treatise (4th century b.c.) by Aristotle, dealing with first principles, the relation of universals to particulars, and the teleological doctrine of causation.
    An underlying philosophical or theoretical principle.
    dictionary.com
    http://.reference.com/browse/metaphysics

    philosophy of being: the branch of philosophy concerned with the study of the nature of being and beings, existence, time and space, and causality ( takes a singular verb )
    underlying principles: the ultimate underlying principles or theories that form the basis of a particular field of knowledge
    encarta
    http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/featur...fid=1861629538

    The branch of philosophy that deals with the existence of things (ontology) and processes (cosmology); the study of being insofar as it is being (ens in quantum ens).
    The ancient science of philosophy, meaning a science that takes a scientific approach to philosophical and theoretical beliefs.
    wiktionary
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Metaphysics

    Philosophy The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.
    The theoretical or first principles of a particular discipline
    American Heritage
    http://www.bartleby.com/61/85/M0248500.html

    however if you believe metaphysical means non-existent/imaginary, then I bow down to your wisdom.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    He's a metaphysical being.
    without evidence, and no factual base, you're yet to prove a god is even theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    metaphysical being (Kant would agree with me on this, and he knows his metaphysics).
    The very definition of a god is a supernatural thing, an appeal to authority, doesn't change, the lack of factual base, so kant is a c*** in this case.
    Apparently you don't know what metaphysical means.
    is not metaphysical, pertaining to or of the nature of metaphysics.
    and metaphysics, the underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry.
    well then you have yet to prove a god is theoretical, let alone metaphysical.
    Fairly close...

    Metaphysical:
    adj.

    1. Of or relating to metaphysics.
    2. Based on speculative or abstract reasoning.
    3. Highly abstract or theoretical; abstruse.
    4.
    1. Immaterial; incorporeal. See synonyms at immaterial.
    2. Supernatural.
    5. often Metaphysical Of or relating to the poetry of a group of 17th-century English poets whose verse is characterized by an intellectually challenging style and extended metaphors comparing very dissimilar things.

    Metaphysics:
    n.

    1. (used with a sing. verb) Philosophy. The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.
    2. (used with a pl. verb) The theoretical or first principles of a particular discipline: the metaphysics of law.
    3. (used with a sing. verb) A priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment.
    4. (used with a sing. verb) Excessively subtle or recondite reasoning.
    lets have a game of semantics shall we, the fact remains that numerous, if not all dictionaries define metaphysics thus, (see below) so my point remains valid.
    even yours posted agrees.( see bolded)

    Metaphysics;
    the branch of philosophy that treats of first principles, includes ontology and cosmology, and is intimately connected with epistemology.
    philosophy, esp. in its more abstruse branches.
    the underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry.
    (initial capital letter, italics) a treatise (4th century b.c.) by Aristotle, dealing with first principles, the relation of universals to particulars, and the teleological doctrine of causation.
    An underlying philosophical or theoretical principle.
    dictionary.com
    http://.reference.com/browse/metaphysics

    philosophy of being: the branch of philosophy concerned with the study of the nature of being and beings, existence, time and space, and causality ( takes a singular verb )
    underlying principles: the ultimate underlying principles or theories that form the basis of a particular field of knowledge
    encarta
    http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/featur...fid=1861629538

    The branch of philosophy that deals with the existence of things (ontology) and processes (cosmology); the study of being insofar as it is being (ens in quantum ens).
    The ancient science of philosophy, meaning a science that takes a scientific approach to philosophical and theoretical beliefs.
    wiktionary
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Metaphysics

    Philosophy The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.
    The theoretical or first principles of a particular discipline
    American Heritage
    http://www.bartleby.com/61/85/M0248500.html

    however if you believe metaphysical means non-existent/imaginary, then I bow down to your wisdom.
    Note that I said your definition was close; that little part that you bolded does not mean that that's the key part of the definition of metaphysics. Regardless, a metaphysical being is one that's beyond the laws of physics. Furthermore, while the idea of God is not a scientific theory, it is a religious theory, so your definitions in no way exclude the study of the God theory from metaphysics. I'll also point out that "rational theology" is a branch of metaphysics. In any case, metaphysics literally means "beyond physics". It came from some of Aristotle's philosophical works which dealt with theoretical principles that transcended the laws of physics (the idea of God, for example). That's why when Hume came along, and tried to dispel the ideas of metaphysics, religion was in danger of being dispelled.

    But perhaps the of the word "metaphysics" is what's misleading you. Let's look at the word metaphysical in context:

    "Kant does so by holding that (i) scientific laws do involve necessity, but that (ii) this necessity is based not on (purely metaphysical and hence inaccessible) relations between universals, but rather on certain subjective, a priori conditions under which we can experience objects in space and time."
    -Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-science/

    "Thus metaphysics excludes itself from the realm of synthetic a priori judgments and has no scientific basis. So if we take a metaphysical concept, such as God, we cannot make any scientific (or verifiable) statement about him, because any categories we might apply are relevant only to experience."
    -Kant in 90 minutes by Paul Strathern

    "Theology is not simply a matter of interpreting scriptures, be it the Bible, the Koran, or the Tao Te Ching. Theology brings us the amazing concept of a metaphysical Force [God] that brought the universe into being. The universe is a physical expression of the metaphysical."
    -The Hidden Face of God: Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth by Gerald L. Schroeder. Excerpt here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0743...0G#reader-link

    "Is the Concept of a Maximally Perfect Reality Coherent? Is a Perfect Reality Personal? God's Metaphysical Attributes and the Concepts of Timelessness and Impassability."
    -http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?&isbn=0534527531&nsa=1
    Under:
    Publisher Photo Philosophy of Religion: \N (ISBN: 0534527531)
    William Wainwright,University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, "book description".

    "It is not God's moral nature, it is God's metaphysical nature. It is His being, that which makes that He be God and not another thing. My impossibility to be seen by nude sight at 10 km of distance has nothing to do with my moral character." -http://www.iidb.org/vbb/archive/index.php/t-83663.html

    P.S. I believe the word metaphysical means "that which transcends the physical."
    P.S.S. I'll bow down to your wisdom if you believe the word theory can only be applied to empirical observations.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Yes but it is only the total entropy of the universe which must increase according to the second law of thermodynamics. So in an environment that is far from equillibrium as part of a system where there is a great increase of entropy in the background (such as precisely the kind of environment where life develops), you can have a local decrease of entropy and increase of order. However, whether you can really consider the development of life an example of a decrease of order, let alone determine some measure of this decrease, is something I have my doubts about.
    I see what you're saying (the italicized one), but (the bold part) I wasn't saying the development of life is a decrease in order (I'm not sure whether that's what you were implying, just clearing that up in case you were).
    That was a typo. I meant "However, whether you can really consider the development of life an example of a decrease of entropy, let alone determine some measure of this decrease, is something I have my doubts about."
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Note that I said your definition was close; that little part that you bolded does not mean that that's the key part of the definition of metaphysics. Regardless, a metaphysical being is one that's beyond the laws of physics.
    well that explains it, it's imaginary.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Furthermore, while the idea of God is not a scientific theory, it is a religious theory,
    so it's an imaginary theory too, oh understood.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    so your definitions in no way exclude the study of the God theory from metaphysics.
    well I would not want it too, your entitled to imagine what you like.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    I'll also point out that "rational theology" is a branch of metaphysics.
    well that would be the only place it could be a branch of, the two are mutually exclusive.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    In any case, metaphysics literally means "beyond physics".
    or if you like, "imaginary physics"
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    It came from some of Aristotle's philosophical works which dealt with theoretical principles that transcended the laws of physics (the idea of God, for example). That's why when Hume came along, and tried to dispel the ideas of metaphysics, religion was in danger of being dispelled.
    well ain't that a pity, poor david, well at least he tried.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    "Kant does so by holding that (i) scientific laws do involve necessity, but that (ii) this necessity is based not on (purely metaphysical and hence inaccessible) relations between universals, but rather on certain subjective,
    exactly imaginary, kant's not such a c**t after all.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    metaphysics excludes itself from the realm of synthetic a priori judgments and has no scientific basis. So if we take a metaphysical concept, such as God, we cannot make any scientific (or verifiable) statement about him, because any categories we might apply are relevant only to experience."
    exactly imaginary, yes I'm changing my opinion in regard to kant.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    "Theology is not simply a matter of interpreting scriptures, be it the Bible, the Koran, or the Tao Te Ching. Theology brings us the amazing concept of a metaphysical Force [God] that brought the universe into being. The universe is a physical expression of the metaphysical."
    lol, "The universe is a physical expression of the metaphysical" lol, the universe can be anything you can imagine it to be, if you like.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    "Is the Concept of a Maximally Perfect Reality Coherent? Is a Perfect Reality Personal? God's Metaphysical Attributes and the Concepts of Timelessness and Impassability."
    Rotflmao, yes if you imagine it so.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    "It is not God's moral nature, it is God's metaphysical nature.
    as a god is imaginary it has no moral nature anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    It is His being, that which makes that He be God and not another thing.
    well a god can be a being if you wish or an animal like some other gods, infact what ever your mind can conjour up.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    P.S. I believe the word metaphysical means "that which transcends the physical."
    it can transend whatever you want, after all it is purely subjective.

    "I bow down to your wisdom."
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Kant would agree with me on this, and he knows his metaphysics
    What is there to 'know' about metaphysics that contains tangible evidence worth messing with? How can one believe his life from nothing more than theory after theory, but with nothing to even prove to himself that which he is speaking is true?
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Note that I said your definition was close; that little part that you bolded does not mean that that's the key part of the definition of metaphysics. Regardless, a metaphysical being is one that's beyond the laws of physics.
    well that explains it, it's imaginary.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Furthermore, while the idea of God is not a scientific theory, it is a religious theory,
    so it's an imaginary theory too, oh understood.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    so your definitions in no way exclude the study of the God theory from metaphysics.
    well I would not want it too, your entitled to imagine what you like.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    I'll also point out that "rational theology" is a branch of metaphysics.
    well that would be the only place it could be a branch of, the two are mutually exclusive.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    In any case, metaphysics literally means "beyond physics".
    or if you like, "imaginary physics"
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    It came from some of Aristotle's philosophical works which dealt with theoretical principles that transcended the laws of physics (the idea of God, for example). That's why when Hume came along, and tried to dispel the ideas of metaphysics, religion was in danger of being dispelled.
    well ain't that a pity, poor david, well at least he tried.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    "Kant does so by holding that (i) scientific laws do involve necessity, but that (ii) this necessity is based not on (purely metaphysical and hence inaccessible) relations between universals, but rather on certain subjective,
    exactly imaginary, kant's not such a c**t after all.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    metaphysics excludes itself from the realm of synthetic a priori judgments and has no scientific basis. So if we take a metaphysical concept, such as God, we cannot make any scientific (or verifiable) statement about him, because any categories we might apply are relevant only to experience."
    exactly imaginary, yes I'm changing my opinion in regard to kant.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    "Theology is not simply a matter of interpreting scriptures, be it the Bible, the Koran, or the Tao Te Ching. Theology brings us the amazing concept of a metaphysical Force [God] that brought the universe into being. The universe is a physical expression of the metaphysical."
    lol, "The universe is a physical expression of the metaphysical" lol, the universe can be anything you can imagine it to be, if you like.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    "Is the Concept of a Maximally Perfect Reality Coherent? Is a Perfect Reality Personal? God's Metaphysical Attributes and the Concepts of Timelessness and Impassability."
    Rotflmao, yes if you imagine it so.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    "It is not God's moral nature, it is God's metaphysical nature.
    as a god is imaginary it has no moral nature anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    It is His being, that which makes that He be God and not another thing.
    well a god can be a being if you wish or an animal like some other gods, infact what ever your mind can conjour up.
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    P.S. I believe the word metaphysical means "that which transcends the physical."
    it can transend whatever you want, after all it is purely subjective.

    "I bow down to your wisdom."
    So, in summary, you agree that God is a metaphysical being (regardless of whether you believe him to be 'imaginary' or not). Oh, yeah, and your definition of a theory is skewed. Thank you.

    Nanobrain,
    Read "Kant in 90 minutes" by Paul Strathern and you'll get your questions answered.
    Or you can read here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-metaphysics/

    Edit: this isn't really linked to metaphysics but it's interesting and kinda links to the ID theory.

    More specifically, Kant develops a philosophy of science that departs from (i) broadly empiricist views — such as David Lewis's, according to which purely contingent events in space and time (along with considerations of simplicity, etc.) determine what the laws of nature ultimately are — and (ii) certain necessitarian views — such as David Armstrong's, according to which the laws of nature consist of necessitation relations between universals, which place constraints on what events occur in space and time. Kant does so by holding that (i) scientific laws do involve necessity, but that (ii) this necessity is based not on (purely metaphysical and hence inaccessible) relations between universals, but rather on certain subjective, a priori conditions under which we can experience objects in space and time.
    - http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-science/

    Intelligent design:
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/creationism/#6
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    So, in summary, you agree that God is a metaphysical being
    yes and no, because although we established metaphyscal means insubstantial/imaginary/supernatural/mystical/immaterial/unreal.
    that has nothing to do with theoretical, (as a theory need a factual base).
    so calling a god a being, well you might want to call it that, I personally wont give something, quite clearly imaginary, that accolade.
    as I said I bow to your wisdom.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    So, in summary, you agree that God is a metaphysical being
    yes and no, because although we established metaphyscal means insubstantial/imaginary/supernatural/mystical/immaterial/unreal.
    that has nothing to do with theoretical, (as a theory need a factual base).
    so calling a god a being, well you might want to call it that, I personally wont give something, quite clearly imaginary, that accolade.
    as I said I bow to your wisdom.
    Quote Originally Posted by In response to geezer's skewed definition of theory, I
    P.S.S. I'll bow down to your wisdom if you believe the word theory can only be applied to empirical observations.
    Thank you.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Observations on past posts:

    Prasit said:
    My statement is the reponse to your reply that 'The large number of planets and stars in the universe does nothing for the odds of it happening...don't be foolish. The number of planets/stars and the possibility of occurrence are completely independent of each other'.
    One must be careful not to confuse probability with possibility. Let us say that in a 10-planet system, the probability is that one of them sustains life.

    If you look at a 10-planet system there is no reason, in the abstract, to believe that any one planet is more likely to sustain life than any of the others. The possibilities range all the way from zero planets having life to all 10 planets having life.

    However, the reasonable expectation would be that only one would sustain life, and once a specific planet was discovered to have life, it would be far more reasonable to expect the other nine lack life than to believe that any of the rest also have life. If anyone does not understand this, I would love to play some games that rely on strategical odds with him.

    Prasit is correct that the number of planets and stars do not impact the chances of life on any individual planet or within any given system. However, if the odds were one in x, with x representing the number of planets, one could reasonably conclude that life exists on only one planet in the universe. This would have no predictability as to which planet nor would any one planet have any more or less probability than the next. However, once a planet had been identified as having life, the odds drastically reduce the probability that life exists on an other planet. But it would do nothing to the possibilities that life exists on another planet(s).

    You could do this same analysis no matter what odds were calculated. That is if the odds were one in x/2 or x/3 or x/n, it would be reasonable to believe that n planets would have life. Could be more, could be less, but one would not be unreasonable to believe that n is close to the actual number.

    Which brings me to one of my pet theories. It seems to me that the scientific, mathematical oriented people would be the most skeptical toward extra-terrestrial life while the religious would be the most receptive. The odds against life occurring by chance have been calculated as so high as to produce a result that is basically considered zero chance.

    Those odds have been obviously been defeated, in at least one instance, on our planet. However, on a purely mathematical scale, with the odds are that it would not happen even once, the odds are even greater (twice as much) that it would not happen twice. So just in the mathematical sense, it seems even more improbable (but not impossible) that this would happened a second time.

    Meanwhile, if life were the result of some causative creative agent, there is no reason to believe or disbelieve that the creative agent stopped with one planet.

    Thus it would seem to me that those who believe in creation would more likely believe that other life exists in the universe than those who believe life occurred by pure chance. Yet, my observation is that just the opposite seems to be the case.

    The discussion on entropy seems to ignore recent observations which bring the current understanding of the concept into question. Entropy, as I understand it, would predict that the expansion of the universe would be slowing down. Observations via the Hubbell telescope, however, indicate that expansion is actually accelerating. Whether this would enhance or decrease the chances of atoms randomly organizing into an organized patter, I do not know. I mention this only to point out that it is possible that entropy is not longer relevant or predictive on this subject.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Meanwhile, if life were the result of some causative creative agent, there is no reason to believe or disbelieve that the creative agent stopped with one planet.

    Thus it would seem to me that those who believe in creation would more likely believe that other life exists in the universe than those who believe life occurred by pure chance.
    My original thought: Excuse my harsh tone, but this is complete crap.

    My revised thought: Actually...coming to think of it, it makes sense.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    daytonturner wrote:
    One must be careful not to confuse probability with possibility.
    Daytonturner does not further clarify the difference between the two. So let me try:
    Possibility is a crude measure of probability. We normally say it is impossible or it is possible. But we will say it has 75% probability, .0001 probability etc.

    However, the reasonable expectation would be that only one would sustain life, and once a specific planet was discovered to have life, it would be far more reasonable to expect the other nine lack life than to believe that any of the rest also have life. If anyone does not understand this, I would love to play some games that rely on strategical odds with him.
    I think he means statistical odds.
    I can devise a very simple game. When you flip a coin, there is a 50% probability of head-up and 50% of tail-up. If you flip the first coin and it turns head-up, does that mean the second coin will be more likely to turn tail-up? (answer: NO)

    Prasit is correct that the number of planets and stars do not impact the chances of life on any individual planet or within any given system.
    It is spt's statement, not prasit's.

    However, if the odds were one in x, with x representing the number of planets, one could reasonably conclude that life exists on only one planet in the universe.
    To see the error is Daytonturner's statement, above, we can simply replace the planet with 'dice' and life existence with '3' (or any number)
    The odds of getting '3' from throwing a dice is one in six. There are six dice. One could reasonably conclude that when we throw six dice, there will be only one dice turning up '3'. (?!!)
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    OK, let's say you have a bag with the numbers 1-100 on marbles inside it.

    The odds of drawing any specific number are 1 in 100. The odds of drawing any number from a specific set of 10 (1-10, 11-20,21-30. etc.) are one in 10.

    Let us now say you draw the number 5 and put it on the table.

    The chances of drawing No. 5 on the second draw are nil, nada, none. The chances of drawing a number from 1-10 are now one in 11.11111 which is less than the one in 10 on your first draw. But the odds of drawing any remaining specific number have now increased to one in 99 instead of one in 100.

    Now let us say that of the 100 marbles, 90 are blue and 10 random numbers are red. In any set of 10 numbers, the odds are that one of them will be red. Although it is possible that all 10 of them could be red, the odds before any marbles are drawn is that one in a set of 10 will be red. Which number, if any, is also one in 10.

    If you now draw No. 5 and it is red, it now becomes more likely that the other nine numbers from that set of 10 are blue. It is possible that all other nine are red, but highly improbable.

    If, however, we do not draw a red marble in that set of 10, we have increased the chances that we will draw two red marbles in any other specific set of 10 in the remaining sets of 10 and decrease the chances that another set will lack a red marble.

    Conversely, if we draw two red marbles from the first set of 10 we have now increased the chances that any given other set of 10 numbers will not have a red marble while decreasing the chances that any other set of 10 will have two red marbles.

    As you continue to draw more numbers, odds can be recalculated and may increase or decrease that a specific result is more or less likely to occur.

    The problem with Prasit's analysis is that he wants to put the marbles back into the bag for each draw. In such a scenario, Prasit is correct. The odds are always the same.

    Now, let us say the odds of life occuring on a planet are one in x/2 where x is the number of planets in the universe. This would mean that the odds are that only two planets in the universe have life.

    Without the knowledge that earth supports life, the odds that any given planet has life would be two in x. However, since we know that earth has life, the odds for any other planet now become one in x-1.

    To put it in simple numbers, if there were 100 planets, the original odds would be 2 in 100 (actually express as 1 in 50). Inserting the knowledge that earth is inhabited, the odds for any other given planet become one in 99 rather than remaining at one in 50 as Prasit suggests.

    However, if we also consider than 7 plants in our solar system do not have life, the odds can now be changed to 1 in 92.

    I remain of the belief that math and science should be more skeptical of other life in the universe than those who beleive in some creative agent. I have been unsuccessful in finding an article I once read in which a statistician calculated that the odds of God existing are greater than the odds that another planet has life.

    However, in keeping with the addage that there are three kinds of lies -- lies, damn lies and statistics -- I suspect you could find some statistical support for any position you wanted to adopt on the chances for other life in the universe.
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    your trying to equate the drawing of team's in a football competition, to life evolving on different planets.
    this is where you err.
    given thebilliions of years, and the billions of planets, and different possible combinations for life of some sort to evolve, your bag of marbles would have to be humongous, you would first need a humongous bag of particles to form life, and also a bag particles to form the planets, you would have to have so many humongous bags, inside your bag, you could still be drawing out marbles now, for any sort of possibility for life.
    the possibilitys are endless.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    While it is questionable whether geezer understands football at all, it seems obvious that he understands the statistical implications of my post and while he wants to believe Carl Sagan's suggestion that out of the "billions and billions" of possible planets, some of them must be inhabited, he does not want to accept that the best chance for them to be inhabited is if there is a God.
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    daytonturner wrote:
    Now, let us say the odds of life occuring on a planet are one in x/2 where x is the number of planets in the universe. This would mean that the odds are that only two planets in the universe have life.
    Your assumption is not logical. You say that the odds of life occurring on a planet are two in x, where x=no. of planets. That means the more number of planets the less likely life will occur in one planet. But the circumstances that enable life to occur in a certain planet are not dependent on the number of planets in the universe. The chance of a woman getting pregnant is not depending on whether how many other women in the world getting pregnant at the time.
    When you start with the assumption that there is only one unit available in the set (for example, no. 5), then the conclusion always end with one occurrence only.
    Think, instead, of the way the radioactive material decay. Each atom has equal chance of decay within a certain period. The decay of one atom does not decrease the chance of other atoms getting decay.
    I do not know how to get the message clearer than this. Mitch, can you help?
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    daytonturner wrote:
    Now, let us say the odds of life occuring on a planet are one in x/2 where x is the number of planets in the universe. This would mean that the odds are that only two planets in the universe have life.
    Your assumption is not logical. You say that the odds of life occurring on a planet are two in x, where x=no. of planets. That means the more number of planets the less likely life will occur in one planet. But the circumstances that enable life to occur in a certain planet are not dependent on the number of planets in the universe. The chance of a woman getting pregnant is not depending on whether how many other women in the world getting pregnant at the time.
    When you start with the assumption that there is only one unit available in the set (for example, no. 5), then the conclusion always end with one occurrence only.
    Think, instead, of the way the radioactive material decay. Each atom has equal chance of decay within a certain period. The decay of one atom does not decrease the chance of other atoms getting decay.
    I do not know how to get the message clearer than this. Mitch, can you help?
    Thanks for agreeing with me, and contradicting yourself, as you atheists often do. :wink:

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit earlier in this thread
    spt wrote:
    Yes, but how did simple organisms form; it had to start from the atomic/molecular level. What I'm saying is that it's unlikely that the atoms just happened to align in such a way as to form the correct molecules, which then aligned in such a way to form the organism.
    Is this the only instance that you say unlikely to happen naturally?
    Given the extremely large number of planets and stars in the unverse the odds that it would happen in one or more of them may be favorable.
    It is much..much more likely than atoms (or whatever) happened to combine into a whole body of God.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Prasit does not seem to understand how odds work in a closed system.

    If you play the lottery, the odds are the same for any set of numbers, before the first number is drawn. However, once the first number has been drawn, the odds that any ticket that does not have that number can win become zilch.

    Now let us say that the number pool is 55 numbers. If the first five numbers drawn match five of the numbers on your ticket, you now have a one in 50 chance of winning as opposed the one in several million you started with.

    With any number of planets in the universe, the odds for any one planet would merely be one over the the odds of life beginning by chance.

    Prasit exposed an error in my equation and is correct. The proper equation should be number of planets with life equals number of planets divided by the odds that life will occur by chance.

    What I have been saying is that if the odds of life occuring by chance were 1 in 100 and there were 100 planets, once you find a planet with life, the odds are that the other 99 will not have life. This does not preclude the possibility that one of the others has life, but it does decrease the odds that any one of the others would have life.

    Transferring this to reality is difficult for two reasons: 1. The calculated odds against life occuring by chance are so large that it is considered zero (but we are living proof that zero is an incorrect answer); 2. The calculated number of planets is also so large as to be meaningless in the other direction. Both numbers are, well, astonomical!

    Thus we are unable to actually calculate what the odds would suggest as the maximum number of planets with life. But we do know of one which has life and seven which do not.

    Another problem is that we do not know if life can form with any other chemical base other than carbon/oxygen.

    However, the calculations are irrelevant to my position which is only that the probability of life on other planets is greater with a creative causative agent than it is through random chance because a creative agent is not limited by the odds.
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    spt wrote:
    Thanks for agreeing with me, and contradicting yourself, as you atheists often do.
    Reread my example about flipping coins. And tell me whether you have any objections.

    daytonturner wrote:

    What I have been saying is that if the odds of life occuring by chance were 1 in 100 and there were 100 planets, once you find a planet with life, the odds are that the other 99 will not have life. This does not preclude the possibility that one of the others has life, but it does decrease the odds that any one of the others would have life.
    Why is that? How life in one planet influence the chance of other planets?
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    spt wrote:
    Thanks for agreeing with me, and contradicting yourself, as you atheists often do.
    Reread my example about flipping coins. And tell me whether you have any objections.
    I've already provided my objections.

    Reread your two statements and see if you don't contradict yourself.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    While it is questionable whether geezer understands football at all,
    well your right there, especially if you mean american football, however if you mean, football as in soccer, then I do know a little more.
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    it seems obvious that he understands the statistical implications of my post
    what implications?.
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    and while he wants to believe Carl Sagan's suggestion that out of the "billions and billions" of possible planets, some of them must be inhabited,
    it has nothing to do with belief, it is just more reasonable to see it that way.
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    he does not want to accept that the best chance for them to be inhabited is if there is a God.
    using a god did it scenerio, is just plain irrational/infantile.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    i wish people would stop misusing statistics for inappropriate purposes

    in the case of estimating the likelihood of finding life on other planets, this estimate suffers from usings stats on an extremely small sample (the only planet we can be 100% sure to contain life is earth) which completely invalidates the calculations

    in the case of the origin of life, 2 objections :

    1. Dawkins already showed how cumulative accretion of useful characteristics leads to recognisable outcomes far faster than completely random attempts
    2. as soon as chemistry gets involved, the behaviour of molecules and atoms is no longer random, and using statistics with the basic assumption of randomness is either ignorant or malicious
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    prasit asks:

    How [does] life in one planet influence the chance of [life on] other planets?
    Prasit and PST seem to start with the premise that any and all planets have the potential to support life, an hypothesis which would appear to be contrary to fact. Calculating the odds that life could occur by chance would necessary include the conditions under which life might spontaneously erupt. We do know that not all planets have an equal opportunity at life. But I am not sure that makes any difference, anyway.

    Conceding for the sake of argument, that all planets had the potential to sustain life, perhaps you could apply the "infinite number of monkeys etc." theory and, given an infinite amount of time, eventually populate every planet in the entire universe. Possibly, one could even calculate how long that would take.

    Once you begin to factor in the reality that not all planets have conditions conducive to life, you now decrease the opportunities for life to begin by chance. Then if you work in a time factor, you again decrease the possibilities of how many planets could experience spontaneous life over the suspected life of the universe.

    I have seen several different calculations attempting to project the odds. I do not recall what those calculations were. But let us say (and this is for example only) that the odds of life beginning spontaneously were one in 10 to the 247th power. Let us also say that the number of planets in the universe were calculated to be 10 to the 247th power. Based on those numbers you could reasonably believe that only one planet in the universe will ever experience life beginning spontaneously, no matter how long it took. It could happen on day one or it could happen the day before doomsday. But the odds remain than in any given period of time, only one planet would experience life.

    Now then, if you do not agree with that idea, let us put it down to simpler, more comprehendible numbers. Let us say that someone has, after considerable study and observation, calculated that the odds of any marble in existence being red is one in 100 and we agree that it is a reasonable calculation. Based on that calculation of probability, we can reasonably expect that if 100 marbles exist, one of them will be red. Or, if 1,000 marbles exist, 10 of them will be red. So the expectation in any random number of marbles would be that the count of red marbles would be total number of marbles divided by 100.

    Now let us say that we have a bag of 1,000 random marbles. You are going to draw marbles out of the bag one at a time. For each red one you draw, I will pay you $5. For each not-red one you draw, you will pay me $1.

    If you are willing to make that bet, then you do not understand odds. If you are unwilling to make that bet, then you should be able to understand my premise.

    This is totally different from flipping a coin where the odds are that in 100 flips you will get 50 heads and 50 tails, but if you toss 99 straight heads, it does not increase or decrease the odds that the next flip will be either heads or tails.

    So what does life on one planet have to do with the chances for life on another planet? Absolutely nothing. However, it does impact the odds concerning other planets.

    The odds, mathematically speaking, are that the universe is a very lonely place when it comes to living things. There is a better chance for more life with the introduction of a causative agent which is not bound by the mathematical odds.

    As to Marnix’s post.

    1. I do not understand this exposition on Dawkins.
    2. The second objection would seem to support the idea that chemicals would not randomly assembled themselves into living substance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    2. as soon as chemistry gets involved, the behaviour of molecules and atoms is no longer random, and using statistics with the basic assumption of randomness is either ignorant or malicious
    Exactly. Chemistry shows that certain reactions cannot just randomly occur. They need set conditions; in some cases conditions that rarely or never at all are met in nature.

    Prasit suggested that the vast number (or amount) of planets/stars in the Universe made this randomness possible. I was pointing out that the number of planets and stars do not affect the probability of combination of molecules/atoms, especially in so many instances as to form sustainable life.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Dawkins actually used the thought experiment of monkeys bashing away on typewriters and coming up with 1 line out of hamlet :

    METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL.

    he calculated that the odds against this happening as a random event is (1/27) to the power 28, or small enough to make it a very rare event indeed

    on the other hand, if you allow cumulative selection, that is, any accidental likeness of the original sentence to the one from Hamlet gets preserved and is used as the basis for the next attempt, then you converge on the correct sentence quite fast

    with computer runs following this type of logic, the correct sentence was built after between 40 and 65 loops - not a rare event at all

    all in all, he uses this to emphasise how different the likelihood of a certain event can be, depending on whether it is a truly random event or not
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    spt wrote:
    I've already provided my objections.

    Reread your two statements and see if you don't contradict yourself.
    I don't. Let's see whether I can make it clearer for you:
    1. There is a certain probability of life occurring naturally in a planet, albeit very, very low.
    2. The probability of life in one planet is independent of life in other planets, i.e. whether planet no. 1 has life does not change the probability of life in planet no. 2, 3 or any other.
    3. In a volume space of 1 billion planets, there is higher probability of life existing in at least one of them (EITHER one) than in a volume space of 100 planets.
    4. In summary, although planet A, B, C, ....Z each has the low probability of life occurring, and viewing them together as a group does not increase the probability of individual planet to have life, it does increase the probability of at least one of them having life. (see flipping coins experiment, stated earlier).

    daytonturner wrote:


    I have seen several different calculations attempting to project the odds. I do not recall what those calculations were. But let us say (and this is for example only) that the odds of life beginning spontaneously were one in 10 to the 247th power. Let us also say that the number of planets in the universe were calculated to be 10 to the 247th power. Based on those numbers you could reasonably believe that only one planet in the universe will ever experience life beginning spontaneously, no matter how long it took. It could happen on day one or it could happen the day before doomsday. But the odds remain than in any given period of time, only one planet would experience life.
    Let me put your statement in simple form to see how it works (or does not work)

    But let us say that the odds of a dice turning up no. 4 were one in 6. Let us also say that the number of dice were calculated to be 6. Based on those numbers you could reasonably believe that only one dice in the 6 will ever turning up no. 4, no matter how long it took. But the odds remain than in any given period of time, only one dice will turn up no. 4.

    So the remaining dice can only turn up no. 1,2,3,5 or 6?
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    I'm sorry, but that is just plain pure unadulterated horse pucky.

    If you can conceive that something may occur, you can use whatever information you have to calculate the odds that it will occur or will not occur.

    Someone else can question the reliability of those calculations and point out why they would find them unreliable.

    However, assuming that the objections have merit, that becomes additional information to place in the formula and the probabilities can be recalcuated to include that information.

    Even if an event requires a condition thought to be impossible, no one can guarantee that condition will never be met.

    Odds can be calculated concerning any event that is humanly conceiveable based on whatever knowledge is available. Those odds can be recalculated based on new information.

    About the only thing one could not calculate odds upon are those things which are 100 percent certain to take place -- physical death, for example, is probably unavoidable.

    My point here, is that if we can admit that it is possible that life may exist on another planet(s), we can calculate the odds concerning various aspects of that possibility. The odds may be inaccurate, but once it is shown how and why they are inaccurate, it is then possible to calculate odds that are likely to be more nearly accurate.

    Neither Dawkins nor anyone one else is able to set up a random loop which is unpredictable. Thus it cannot random. You cannot set up a computer simulation which will mimic an infinite number of monkeys typing for an infinite amount of time unless you have an infinite amount of time to run the program. If you properly write a program to show something, that is what it should show. A computer can only show what it has been told to show. (Although, the way my computer often does things I have not asked it to do and refuses to do things I told it to do, I am beginning to believe computers are developing sentience.)

    In the monkey scenario, it is possible that the first monkey could type the first act of Hamlet in his first series of key strokes. It is also possible that it would not occur even with an eternity of time. The premise is that a monkey would "likely" type the first act of Hamlet. No one can guarantee that the event would occur even in eternity. However, the odds that it would never happen are exactly the same as the odds that it would occur with the first monkey and his first keystrokes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    spt wrote:
    I've already provided my objections.

    Reread your two statements and see if you don't contradict yourself.
    I don't. Let's see whether I can make it clearer for you:
    1. There is a certain probability of life occurring naturally in a planet, albeit very, very low.
    2. The probability of life in one planet is independent of life in other planets, i.e. whether planet no. 1 has life does not change the probability of life in planet no. 2, 3 or any other.
    3. In a volume space of 1 billion planets, there is higher probability of life existing in at least one of them (EITHER one) than in a volume space of 100 planets.
    4. In summary, although planet A, B, C, ....Z each has the low probability of life occurring, and viewing them together as a group does not increase the probability of individual planet to have life, it does increase the probability of at least one of them having life. (see flipping coins experiment, stated earlier).
    Number 4 conveyed what you're trying to say; however let me point out that "increasing the probability of an individual planet having life" and "increasing the probability that at least one having life" are essentially the same. If you increase the probability that at least one planet has life, that means that the chances that all the planets' chances have increased. Whereas <hypothetically> before (with 3 planets) the chances of life occurring on planets X, Y, and Z were zero; increasing the number of planets, according to your theory, would perhaps jump it up to, say, 0.025. This means that the chances that life is going to occur on planet X is 0.025 (whereas before it was zero), the chances of life occurring on planet Y is 0.025 (before it was zero), and the chances of occurrence on planet Z is 0.025 (zero before). Clearly, then, the chances of life occurring on each individual planet is increased, and thus increasing the chances of life occurring on at least one planet affects all planets.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    spt wrote:
    Whereas <hypothetically> before (with 3 planets) the chances of life occurring on planets X, Y, and Z were zero; increasing the number of planets, according to your theory, would perhaps jump it up to, say, 0.025. This means that the chances that life is going to occur on planet X is 0.025 (whereas before it was zero), the chances of life occurring on planet Y is 0.025 (before it was zero), and the chances of occurrence on planet Z is 0.025 (zero before). Clearly, then, the chances of life occurring on each individual planet is increased, and thus increasing the chances of life occurring on at least one planet affects all planets.
    That's why I asked you to reread the flipping coins experiment.
    Each coin has 0.5 chance of getting head. By flipping 3 coins, individually each coins still has 0.5 chance of getting head.
    But the probability of having AT LEAST one coin getting head = 1-probability of having ALL 3 coins getting tails
    = 1 - (0.5x0.5x0.5) = 0.875

    If you don't believe in my calculation you can try experimenting it and note the outcome.
    The outcome may look like this:

    experiment no. ------outcome (Tail/Head)-----AT LEAST one Head?
    1-----------------------TTT--------------------------No
    2-----------------------TTH--------------------------Yes
    3-----------------------THT--------------------------Yes
    4-----------------------THH--------------------------Yes
    5-----------------------HTT--------------------------Yes
    6-----------------------HTH--------------------------Yes
    7-----------------------HHT--------------------------Yes
    8-----------------------HHH--------------------------Yes

    Total 8 experiments, getting AT LEAST one head= 7 times, average =7/8=0.875
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    spt wrote:
    Whereas <hypothetically> before (with 3 planets) the chances of life occurring on planets X, Y, and Z were zero; increasing the number of planets, according to your theory, would perhaps jump it up to, say, 0.025. This means that the chances that life is going to occur on planet X is 0.025 (whereas before it was zero), the chances of life occurring on planet Y is 0.025 (before it was zero), and the chances of occurrence on planet Z is 0.025 (zero before). Clearly, then, the chances of life occurring on each individual planet is increased, and thus increasing the chances of life occurring on at least one planet affects all planets.
    That's why I asked you to reread the flipping coins experiment.
    Each coin has 0.5 chance of getting head. By flipping 3 coins, individually each coins still has 0.5 chance of getting head.
    But the probability of having AT LEAST one coin getting head = 1-probability of having ALL 3 coins getting tails
    = 1 - (0.5x0.5x0.5) = 0.875

    If you don't believe in my calculation you can try experimenting it and note the outcome.
    The outcome may look like this:

    experiment no. ------outcome (Tail/Head)-----AT LEAST one Head?
    1-----------------------TTT--------------------------No
    2-----------------------TTH--------------------------Yes
    3-----------------------THT--------------------------Yes
    4-----------------------THH--------------------------Yes
    5-----------------------HTT--------------------------Yes
    6-----------------------HTH--------------------------Yes
    7-----------------------HHT--------------------------Yes
    8-----------------------HHH--------------------------Yes

    Total 8 experiments, getting AT LEAST one head= 7 times, average =7/8=0.875
    hmm...but reread my objection: you're talking about simple probability; I'm talking about probability of combination.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Something else to factor in is that, in the field or probability there is a concept called "The law of large numbers" It states that, when you roll a large enough number of dice, the odds bear out more and more perfectly the more dice you roll.

    Basically, if you roll 100 six sided dice, you might get a 6 30 times. That could happen.

    If you roll 1,000,000 six sided dice, you would never, ever get a 6 300,000 times. The odds are just insanely poor of that ever happening.

    This means that, in evolution, you don't have to worry about anything being a fluke. There are enough dice being rolled that whatever the odds are, they are guarunteed to run their course.
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    Admittedly, statistics and laws of probability are not my areas of expertise. It becomes obvious to me that no one else who has been commenting here on this turn of the thread knows much about them either.

    The biggest error I see being committed is the exposition of some (real or unreal) law of statistics or probability and then that law being applied to every kind of statistic or probability topic.

    Laws of probability change with the type of problem being investigated and with the number of factors that must be included in the equation.

    The laws of probability relating to coin flips are not the same as the laws of probability in playing a game of blackjack or any card game that I know of.

    The laws of probability relating to dice rolling are not the same as the laws of probability that a mutation will occur in a 10-chromosome animal.

    And you cannot use the laws of probability relating to any of those topics to define probability in one of the other areas, even though some factors from one topic may be useable in another topic, there will always be differences.

    That is what kojax has done in using his "law of large numbers" as they relate to rolls of dice and comparing that with evolution. There is absolutely no statistical basis to tell us how many evolutionary dice are being rolled, nor how many sides each of the evolutionary dice would have. Would the odds be the same for the four-chromosome fruit fly as they are for the 22-chromosome human?

    Einstein also disagreed with kojax when he said, "God does not play dice with the universe." Just as there is no crying in baseball, there is no dice rolling in the study of evolution.
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    kojax wrote:
    This means that, in evolution, you don't have to worry about anything being a fluke. There are enough dice being rolled that whatever the odds are, they are guarunteed to run their course.
    You are right about the law of large number. But your note on evolution is not applicable in the discussion here, because we (spt and I) are talking about the chance of the first life occurring in the universe. Evolution theory explains the phenomenon after the first life occurred.

    Daytonturner wrote:
    Admittedly, statistics and laws of probability are not my areas of expertise. It becomes obvious to me that no one else who has been commenting here on this turn of the thread knows much about them either.

    The biggest error I see being committed is the exposition of some (real or unreal) law of statistics or probability and then that law being applied to every kind of statistic or probability topic
    It is Daytonturner who tries to use his limited knowledge of statistics to explain that life can happen only once in the universe.
    While I and SPT agree that the chance of life occurring in one planet is independent of the life occurring in any other, Daytonturner believes otherwise, without a clear explanation on the across-the-galaxy influencing mechanism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    daytonturner wrote:
    One must be careful not to confuse probability with possibility.
    Daytonturner does not further clarify the difference between the two. So let me try:
    Possibility is a crude measure of probability. We normally say it is impossible or it is possible. But we will say it has 75% probability, .0001 probability etc.
    Incorrect.
    Possible means a probability greater than zero, although a probability less than 100% is also often implied. Impossible means a probability of 0%, however a probability of something like 10^-1000 is so vanishingly small that is often treated in science as 0% and we say that it is "practically impossible for all intents and purposes". This is often necessary because quantum mechanics tends to allow practically anything with such vanishing probabilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    What I have been saying is that if the odds of life occuring by chance were 1 in 100 and there were 100 planets, once you find a planet with life, the odds are that the other 99 will not have life. This does not preclude the possibility that one of the others has life, but it does decrease the odds that any one of the others would have life.
    That is a common fallacy in understanding probability to the destruction of many a gambler. Possibly you are confusing the situation of planets to that of a deck of cards where you know that there are exactly 4 aces. In the case of planets we do not know how many have life and so all other things equal the probabilities are equal and so it is more like the roll of dice than drawing cards. if you roll 2 dice the probability that any particular dice will turn up 6 is 1/6 the fact that one comes up a 6 does not in the least bit alter the probability that the other dice might come up 6 as well. The math is as follows: the probability that both come up six is 1/36 but if you find out that one is a six then we calculate the probability that both are sixes given that you know that one is a six is the probability of both being a six given (and therefore divide by the probability that) one is a six = (1/36)/(1/6) = 1/6.

    Two recent discoveries have had a great impact on this question of life on other planets. The first is the discovery that planets are quite common. The second is the realization that the all those planets that have been discovered cannot be anything like those of our own solar system. In other words, yes planets are common but all those discovered have orbits that make the existence of an earth-like planet impossible.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I remain of the belief that math and science should be more skeptical of other life in the universe than those who beleive in some creative agent. I have been unsuccessful in finding an article I once read in which a statistician calculated that the odds of God existing are greater than the odds that another planet has life.
    This does not make any sense, and it is simply not true. I think what you mean to say is that the belief in a creator added to the understanding of math and science only increases rather than decreases the likelihood of life on another planet. But there are still too many assumptions involved here, and I think you are a victim of unclear thinking.

    The crucial question here is given the proper environment, whether the evolution of intellegent life is an inevitable process or one that is so unlikely that the influence of an intellegent creator is required. In the first case it is then simply a matter of probability and given the overwhelming size of the universe it becomes a certainty that life exists elsewhere (although the possibility of contact or communication between them remains extremely unlikely). In the second case, it is no longer a matter of simply having the right environment, and the overwhelming size of the universe becomes almost irrelevant. In this case, it depends solely on the intentions, desires and involvement of this intellegent creator and I simply see no way in which probability is applicable. It becomes a much more reasonable proposition, in this case, that life on earth may indeed be the first occurence of intellegent life anywhere in the universe.

    I think your conclusion is based on an assumption of the second case which makes it rather obvious that intellegent life will not occur in the universe at all unless there is a creator and then, of course, it becomes quite true that addition of an intellegent creator increases rather than decreases the likelihood of life on another planet. LOL :shake head:
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Mitch,

    Thanks for helping out.

    I Just need one clarification:
    prasit wrote:
    daytonturner wrote:
    One must be careful not to confuse probability with possibility.
    Daytonturner does not further clarify the difference between the two. So let me try:
    Possibility is a crude measure of probability. We normally say it is impossible or it is possible. But we will say it has 75% probability, .0001 probability etc.
    Incorrect.
    Possible means a probability greater than zero, although a probability less than 100% is also often implied. Impossible means a probability of 0%, however a probability of something like 10^-1000 is so vanishingly small that is often treated in science as 0% and we say that it is "practically impossible for all intents and purposes". This is often necessary because quantum mechanics tends to allow practically anything with such vanishing probabilities.
    Your explanation is correct. But I do not know which of my statements is incorrect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Neither Dawkins nor anyone one else is able to set up a random loop which is unpredictable. Thus it cannot random. You cannot set up a computer simulation which will mimic an infinite number of monkeys typing for an infinite amount of time unless you have an infinite amount of time to run the program. If you properly write a program to show something, that is what it should show. A computer can only show what it has been told to show. (Although, the way my computer often does things I have not asked it to do and refuses to do things I told it to do, I am beginning to believe computers are developing sentience.)

    In the monkey scenario, it is possible that the first monkey could type the first act of Hamlet in his first series of key strokes. It is also possible that it would not occur even with an eternity of time. The premise is that a monkey would "likely" type the first act of Hamlet. No one can guarantee that the event would occur even in eternity. However, the odds that it would never happen are exactly the same as the odds that it would occur with the first monkey and his first keystrokes.
    sorry but you seem to keep misunderstanding what i'm trying to say : my main issue is that you can't use random probability calculations for the origin of life because it is driven by non-random forces such as chemistry and natural selection

    as for Dawkins, i obviously didn't bring the point across well enough - if you want to read the explanation by someone who is a better writer than me i suggest you read chapter 3 of The Blind Watchmaker
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    I’m not convinced that Mitchell has quite clarified the difference between possibility and probability but he has suggested a format in which I think it is possible to do so.

    Looking at his example of the aces in a deck of cards: The possibility that the top card of the deck is an ace is the same as that of any other card in the deck (third one down, 15th one down, 28th one down or whichever). The odds, however, are one in 13 that it will be an ace. This can be calculated by the knowledge that there are four aces among the 52 cards in the deck.

    If we turn that top card over and it is an ace, we have not changed the possibility that the next card is an ace, but we have changed the odds that it is an ace. It is no more or less possible that the second card is an ace than it was at the start. However, the odds that the next card is an ace have now decreased to one in 17 rather than the one in 13 we started with.

    (I hesitate to complicate this but someone is going to raise this objection. If the first four cards turn out to be aces, does that eliminate the possibility that there is an ace in the remaining 50 cards. The answer is no! In any statistical analysis, there is a margin of error. It is possible that the deck is defective and contains more than four aces. However, the odds are that the deck is out of aces.)

    Surely, somewhere, someone has calculated the estimated number of planets in the universe. At least, they have perhaps come up with a more nearly precise figure than the meaningless “billions and billions” Carl Sagan talked about.

    And, surely, somewhere, someone has calculated a figure for the odds of life occurring by chance. (I disagree with those who are saying this is an impossible calculation.)

    The accuracy of such calculations are always subject to question. But I am not really all that concerned with how accurate numbers are, only that they have been calculated. (I am sure that if several people have calculated these figures, several different calculations have been achieved. This is because there are numerous factors involved and each calculator may place greater or lesser importance on any particular factor.) Taken as a whole, the aggregate of the different calculations can produce a picture of how those numbers compare.

    From those numbers, it becomes possible to calculate a range of the number of planets one could expect life would start by chance, dividing the number of planets by the odds of life starting by chance.

    I have NEVER said, as prasit claims, that this results in the number one. I have merely suggested that based on various calculations I have seen on the number of potential planets and the odds of life occurring by chance, this would be a very low number.

    As Mitchell points out, our actual observations indicate that none of the planets we are aware of could support earth-like life. (This does not preclude the possibility that some other life forms could exist there.) And while some feel this sample is too low to be relevant to the entirety of the universe, I point out that random samples and polls take very small samples compared to an entire population and they are able to calculate, within certain tolerances, reasonably reliable results.

    I would disagree with Mitchell on the idea that the universe is like a deck of cards in which we do not know how many cards are in the deck nor what percentage of them are aces, that is, may support life.

    Prasit is absolutely correct that this result has no relationship to the possibility of any one planet to have life begin by chance. But it does give us a potentially reasonable picture of the probability of how many would exist.

    If one can understand the difference between the possibility of the next card being an ace, as opposed to the odds that the next card is an ace, one can understand the premise I posited earlier.

    The “law of large numbers” has kind of an impact in relation to the potential margin of error within the sample. The smaller the sample, the greater the likelihood for error in that sample; the larger the sample the greater the likelihood that the proportions will more closely resemble the predicted percentage.

    However, the law of large numbers has no impact on the total. If you have 10 decks of cards mixed together, it does not alter the possibility that the next card is an ace. It does, however, increase the number of aces in the deck and changes the odds in a different ratio. The odds at the beginning remain at one in 13. If the first card is an ace, the possibility that the second card is an ace has not changed one iota, but the odds have changed to one in 13.31 as opposed to the original one in 13 or the one in 17 we had with one deck.

    Again, one may contend it is impossible to calculate the potential number of planets in the universe or one may contend it is impossible to calculate the odds that life would result from random events One may suggest that such calculations produce meaningless numbers. I can only say I do not fit into any of those boxes.
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    The law of large numbers would apply if you were making a lot of draws from that deck. It doesn't depend on the number of cards there are, only the number of times you draw one.

    Usually the law is applied when there is no elimination of possibilities. Like if each time you drew from the deck, you reshuffled it. If you draw a billion times, approximately 1/13 of your draws will be aces.

    prasit
    PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:10 am Post subject:
    kojax wrote:
    Quote:
    This means that, in evolution, you don't have to worry about anything being a fluke. There are enough dice being rolled that whatever the odds are, they are guarunteed to run their course.

    You are right about the law of large number. But your note on evolution is not applicable in the discussion here, because we (spt and I) are talking about the chance of the first life occurring in the universe. Evolution theory explains the phenomenon after the first life occurred.
    Yeah, you're actually right about that. The law of large numbers applies only to what happened after the first life form. Whether the first life form would ever occur in the first place is a different question.

    But, once it occured, evolution would either be (nearly) guarunteed to happen, or (nearly) guarunteed to fail. There's really no in between.
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    kojax has provided an incite from which I can see a different way of thinking that no one has expressed which would alter what I have been suggesting.

    He talks about drawing a card and putting it back into the deck and reshuffling.

    Thus, I suppose it is possible that one might consider the idea that even though we can look at the planet Jupiter and say it is lifeless, we have not eliminated the possibility that life could form there. And, in such a senario, the odds for each planet would always be the same.

    This thinking breaks down on two fronts.

    First of all, we cannot change the spots on the cards. That is, if we draw a 6 (non-life planet), it will be a 6 (dead planet) every time we draw it. Never could it become an ace (living planet).

    In the alternative, (assuming cards could change their spots) it sets up a situation in which it must be considered that all cards will become aces (living planets). In keeping with the cards analogy, if we were to say that all cards have a one in 13 chance of becoming an ace (living planet), we must consider that in the eons of time, every planet will get at least 13 chances. This seemingly assures that all planets will spring life.

    This puts me back to my original premise. We can reasonably estimate a ballpark number of planets in the universe. We can reasonably calculate the ballpark odds of life occurring through random events. Using those two figures, we can reasonably calculate the ballpark number of planets we could expect to have life on them. We can all go to Yankee Stadium and watch an unpredictable ballpark game.
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    how many times do i have to repeat it : forget the law of large numbers

    as things stand we only know of one planet that contains life - that's far too small a sample to estimate whether this makes a probability close to 1 or close to 0

    if it turns out that the probability is something like 1 out of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000 what do you think the chance is that another planet with life exists in the whole universe ?

    it's no good talking about the humongous number of planets in the universe if you don't have an indication of the probability that life will evolve - which for the moment we don't

    on the other hand, should the search for life on Mars be successful, the picture might change completely : we would have at least some indication what the common parameters are that life as we know it requires
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    marnixR does not understand the premise as presented.

    The premise has nothing to do with a sampling of planets known to have or not have life and basing calculations on those numbers. The premise is no more or less valid no matter how many planets there are.

    The fact that earth has life provides proof that life exists. The idea that life began by some a random combination of events provides the impetus to develop a knowledge base of the events that were required to produce that result. From that data some people have calculated what they reasonably believe are the odds were that it would happen.

    We need only one sample. From that information we can also extrapolate or estimate the odds of other life forms coming into being by random events.

    How many mousetraps does one have to inspect to determine how it was made? I realize life is slightly more complex than a mouse trap, but one sample is enough to make some reasonable assumptions and conjectures as to what would have taken place if life was the result of random events.

    Those who support spontaneous generation of life make these assumptions in an attempt to show that it DID happen that way while those who do not support that view make their assumptions in an effort to prove it DID NOT happen by random events. Nevertheless, there is a knowledge base of data relating to the topic.

    marnixR is not alone in his belief that the assumptions drawn from one sample of life does not provide an accurate pattern. However, there are any number of people with varying degrees of expertise who have attempted to take we do know and make calcuations either to support or rebuke the concept of spontaneous life.

    The premise has nothing to do with evolution. As prasit, I think it was, pointed out, evolution deals with what happened after life began. It does not address the question of how life started.

    marnixR has some interesting points. I agree that the law of large numbers has little, if any, relevance in this discussion. I also agree that if we were to find signs of life on Mars, it would a very exciting and cause a lot of rethinking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Mitch,

    Thanks for helping out.
    Unfortunately daytonturner appears of ignored or failed to understand the essence of what I have said and so my effort has been largely wasted.


    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Daytonturner does not further clarify the difference between the two. So let me try:
    Possibility is a crude measure of probability. We normally say it is impossible or it is possible. But we will say it has 75% probability, .0001 probability etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Incorrect.
    Possible means a probability greater than zero, although a probability less than 100% is also often implied. Impossible means a probability of 0%, however a probability of something like 10^-1000 is so vanishingly small that is often treated in science as 0% and we say that it is "practically impossible for all intents and purposes". This is often necessary because quantum mechanics tends to allow practically anything with such vanishing probabilities.
    Your explanation is correct. But I do not know which of my statements is incorrect.

    Ok. I thought the statement in bold was strange and meant something other than what you intended, but reading it again I revise my opinion, for I think now I understand it in the way you meant it.

    I would disagree with Mitchell on the idea that the universe is like a deck of cards in which we do not know how many cards are in the deck nor what percentage of them are aces, that is, may support life.
    Huh? I think you need you read more carefully.
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    Sorry that Mitchell feels he was wasting his breath. But it was never clear from his posts what his objections were nor what his position was.

    There are two basic areas in which one can disagree. 1. One can disagree with the numbers – that is, the idea that meaningful, realistic projections can be made on the potential number of planets and the chances that life would develop by chance. 2. One can disagree with the applications of those numbers.

    In the case of objection one, it must eventually boil down to a yes we can, no we can’t confrontation from which there is likely little chance at resolution. However, to accept this position, you must believe that there are an infinite number of planets with an infinite number of opportunities to develop life and an infinite amount of time to have done so.

    On the one hand, Mitchell seemed to suggest that he did not think it possible to estimate the number of planets in the universe. In that case, any attempt to apply any numbers to anything is futile. And without numbers, the coin flip and dice rolling analogies are as good as any. Each planet must be considered independent of all the others. However, you must consider that if it is like flipping a coin, the odds are always one in two and if it is like throwing dice, the odds are always one in 36, so how do you decide which of these odds should be used?

    But if you have a estimate of the numbers of planets and odds on the frequency of life, it is a different type of equation and is more like drawing from a deck of cards in which you know how many aces there are. In this scenario, each time you draw a card, it changes the odds.

    So lets go back again to square one where we have a number of planets and the odds that life will occur. To keep it simple, let us say we know that there are 1,000 planets and we have calculated the odds of life occurring at one in 100. Simple division will tell you that out of the 1,000 planets you could expect 10 to be living. But let us say that we also have a margin of error of 10 percent. That now means you could find 11 or 9 living planets and still be within your expectations.

    So let’s just call this point A. If there are objections to this application of the numbers, object to point A and explain why this formula is unworkable with the massive numbers of planets we must have and the extremely thin odds of life beginning by chance.

    Let us now say that we are physically able to check out the planets. If we inspected half the planets and found that 4, 5 or 6 of them were living, I think it would then be reasonable to believe our numbers are correct and that we would expect the final total to be 9, 10 or 11. If, after inspecting half the planets, we had found 25 living, it would show that our calculations were way off, but I think it reasonable to believe the other half would also have approximately 25 living planets.

    Call this point B. If there are objections to these expectations based on the numbers, explain why.

    I think that sums up what I have suggested on this topic although I have explained it in many ways.

    My ultimate point was that whether you flip coins or draw cards, the chances of having numerous living planets are greater if there is a creative agent involved than if things are left to chance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Sorry that Mitchell feels he was wasting his breath. But it was never clear from his posts what his objections were nor what his position was.
    Whereas your post leaves me utterly mystified about how what I wrote could lead to such a response. For example you say,
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    On the one hand, Mitchell seemed to suggest that he did not think it possible to estimate the number of planets in the universe.
    When did I say any such thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    There are two basic areas in which one can disagree. 1. One can disagree with the numbers – that is, the idea that meaningful, realistic projections can be made on the potential number of planets and the chances that life would develop by chance. 2. One can disagree with the applications of those numbers.
    Or one can disagree concerning the most basic assumptions.

    So let proceed one step at a time here and ask this one simple question:

    Given the right conditions (the right environment) is the development of life and/or intellegent life inevitable or extremely unlikely? Or to put it another way, do you think life could have developed on this planet without the actions of a creator?
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    i think it's time to close this thread - the conversation seems to go on endlessly like ships passing in the night

    either most people fail to read what the others write or they consistently misinterpret / misunderstand what has been written

    i smell a strong hint of closed minds
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    Mitchell, you wrote:

    In the case of planets we do not know how many have life and so all other things equal the probabilities are equal and so it is more like the roll of dice than drawing cards. if you roll 2 dice the probability that any particular dice will turn up 6 is 1/6 the fact that one comes up a 6 does not in the least bit alter the probability that the other dice might come up 6 as well. The math is as follows: the probability that both come up six is 1/36 but if you find out that one is a six then we calculate the probability that both are sixes given that you know that one is a six is the probability of both being a six given (and therefore divide by the probability that) one is a six = (1/36)/(1/6) = 1/6.
    OK, in the first sentence, I read through your words "have life." Or else I read into it something somebody else had suggested or implied. Even when reading those words into the quote, I am not sure if you are saying it is impossible to predict that number or we just have not done so, yet. But my premise is based on the idea that the number of planets with life occurring by chance is a predictable number. So would it change your thinking if we projected the number of planets that should have life?

    I continue to disagree that rolling dice is a proper analogy to this equation. When you roll dice, you pick them up and roll them again with the very same odds.

    I see it more like an actuary chart. If the chart tells you that one person in 100 will live to be 100, then as each person dies, they are removed from the equation. Only those left stand a chance of being the one who reaches 100. That is why the older you get, the greater are your chances to live to an older age. That is, if you are 60, the odds that you will live to be 80 are greater than they were when you were 50.

    If you have calcuated odds that one in 100 planets should have life, then for every planet that has life, you can reasonably believe there are 99 someplace without life. You cannot predict which ones any more than you can predict which of 10,000 babies will live to be 100.

    As to your question: I have read calculations of the odds of life beginning by chance. Assuming mathematical calculations have any validity, then one must concede the mathematical possibility. However, the calculated odds are so low that they virtually render the probability to be as close to zero as you could get. So if the odds are closer to zero than they are to one, then the odds are more that it would happen once than that it would happen twice.

    Based on those, I believe it more likely that some external intelligence was behind the beginning of life. With the insertion of an intelligent cause, the mathematical odds fly out the window.

    As to ending the thread, I suppose it will end when I inally run out of ways to explain it.
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    Daytonturner wrote:
    I see it more like an actuary chart. If the chart tells you that one person in 100 will live to be 100, then as each person dies, they are removed from the equation. Only those left stand a chance of being the one who reaches 100. That is why the older you get, the greater are your chances to live to an older age. That is, if you are 60, the odds that you will live to be 80 are greater than they were when you were 50.
    This reminds me of a joke about a surgeon, who has the successful rate of 6 out of 10 surgical operations. This year he has operated on 4 patients so far, all died. So the next 6 patients can be confident that they will all be fine!

    The disagreement in this thread is that Daytonturner thinks one occurrence of life in one planet reduces the possibility of occurrence of life on others. I, Mitch and spt think otherwise. Each side has tried to convince the other with lengthy explanation. Both side fail. From past experience in this forum, the success rate of converting the adversary's opinion is zero. No surprise here. But it is fun to observe that someone can be so fixated to his belief that he could not accept the simple logical argument.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    In the case of planets we do not know how many have life and so all other things equal the probabilities are equal and so it is more like the roll of dice than drawing cards. if you roll 2 dice the probability that any particular dice will turn up 6 is 1/6 the fact that one comes up a 6 does not in the least bit alter the probability that the other dice might come up 6 as well. The math is as follows: the probability that both come up six is 1/36 but if you find out that one is a six then we calculate the probability that both are sixes given that you know that one is a six is the probability of both being a six given (and therefore divide by the probability that) one is a six = (1/36)/(1/6) = 1/6.
    OK, in the first sentence, I read through your words "have life." Or else I read into it something somebody else had suggested or implied. Even when reading those words into the quote, I am not sure if you are saying it is impossible to predict that number or we just have not done so, yet. But my premise is based on the idea that the number of planets with life occurring by chance is a predictable number. So would it change your thinking if we projected the number of planets that should have life?
    Ahh I see. No you cannot do that. That particular comment was basic math in probability. You cannot start with a estimate and base a probabilistic argument based on such an estimate, for the estimate is already assuming the most likely and therefore rejecting the less probable. The very fact (given everything else equal) that the probablity of life on one planet is independent of life on another is why this is like dice and not like cards. And so like dice it is most definitely NOT true that life on one planet reduces the probability of life on another planet.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I continue to disagree that rolling dice is a proper analogy to this equation. When you roll dice, you pick them up and roll them again with the very same odds.
    But whether you pick the dice up or not is irrelevant. You can simply start with 10000+ dice and always roll a new one. The difference from the cards is not the finite number of cards but that each card is different and you already know what all of the cards are, you just don't know their order. The planets would only be like the cards if your deck of cards could be any combinations of cards, so that you do not know how many of any kind of card there is. But in that case the probability of drawing an ace is not affected by the fact that the previous card was an ace. Again this basic probability math.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I see it more like an actuary chart. If the chart tells you that one person in 100 will live to be 100, then as each person dies, they are removed from the equation. Only those left stand a chance of being the one who reaches 100. That is why the older you get, the greater are your chances to live to an older age. That is, if you are 60, the odds that you will live to be 80 are greater than they were when you were 50.
    Ahh but that example is different. In that case it would be like knowing your dice dice cannot be a 1 which would indeed increase the probability of rolling a 6. You can set this up by having someone else roll the dice and telling you (honestly) that the result is not a 1. In this case the probability that he rolled a 6 changes from 1/6 to 1/5. The math is as follows: the probability of the die being a 6 (1/6)given that (and therefore divided by the probability that) it is not a 1 (5/6) is (1/6)/(5/6) = 1/5.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If you have calcuated odds that one in 100 planets should have life, then for every planet that has life, you can reasonably believe there are 99 someplace without life. You cannot predict which ones any more than you can predict which of 10,000 babies will live to be 100.
    But just because it is likely that exactly 1 planet in a 100 would have life does not rule out the possibility that none have life or that all of them might have life. Low probability is not zero probability, for that low probability is exactly the probability lost in a deck of cards. In other words in a completely random deck of cards you should have on average 4 kings, while in a regular deck you know you have 4 kings, right. Well when you draw a card from both decks and both turn out to be kings then the probability of the next card being a king in the real deck drops from 1/13 to 3/51, but in the random deck it remains 1/13. Part of this is because once you draw a king from the the random deck the probability of that deck having more than four kings greatly rises.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    As to your question: I have read calculations of the odds of life beginning by chance. Assuming mathematical calculations have any validity, then one must concede the mathematical possibility. However, the calculated odds are so low that they virtually render the probability to be as close to zero as you could get. So if the odds are closer to zero than they are to one, then the odds are more that it would happen once than that it would happen twice.

    Based on those, I believe it more likely that some external intelligence was behind the beginning of life. With the insertion of an intelligent cause, the mathematical odds fly out the window.
    In any case you are dismissing the possibility that given the right environment the development of higher forms of life might actually be inevitable. I actually believe that the development of higher forms of life is extremely unlikely in agreement with you but I also do not know if this can be proven and so I do not dismiss the previously mentioned possibility.

    I any case I think you are arguing this from the back end forward. Either a creator is necessary or not. If the creator is necessary then it is no longer a matter of probabilities but a matter of the will of the creator, and it becomes much more reasonable to believe that we might be the only intellegent life int he universe. This does, of course not mean that we are, we simply cannot say unless the creator tells us, right? But if the creator is not necessary then it is just a matter of probability and as a result it becomes a bit unreasonable to suppose that we are the only intellegent life in the universe. It is that simple.
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    OK, I yield.

    As the oft quoted and multi attributed claim says, "There are lies, damned lies and statistics."

    But I still cling to my belief that if life is from God, it is more likely that He populated large multiples of planets than that life sprang up on large multiples of planets as the result of random events.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    OK, I yield.

    As the oft quoted and multi attributed claim says, "There are lies, damned lies and statistics."

    But I still cling to my belief that if life is from God, it is more likely that He populated large multiples of planets than that life sprang up on large multiples of planets as the result of random events.
    In the past I would have agreed with you but now I am not so sure. The 13.7 billion year age of the universe seems like a long time compared to 6000 years the YEC believe in, but compared to the life span of a star it is really nothing. When you take into account the fact that the elements on our planet are believed to be the products of supernovae, then suddenly that 13.5 billion years seem like a very very short amount of time. Even with the help of a creator skewing the probabilities, I am not so sure that creating life on one planet in only 13.5 billion years is such a trivial task.

    But in any case it is somewhat irrelevant anyway. The Minkowsky structure of space time basically means that rest of the universe only has any reality for us within the past light cone. This means that for intellegent life on other planets to have a substantial reality as far as we are concerned they would have had to have a tremendous head start on us and would have had to have survived an incredibly long time as well.
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    mitch wrote:
    This means that for intellegent life on other planets to have a substantial reality as far as we are concerned they would have had to have a tremendous head start on us and would have had to have survived an incredibly long time as well.
    (I know I am nitpicking). I think incredibly long time is not necessary for them to be observed by us, as long as their past light cone envelop our planet now.
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    So, Mitchell, are you saying, scientifically speaking and religiously speaking, that the universe is probably a very lonely place for humanity?
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    mitch wrote:
    This means that for intellegent life on other planets to have a substantial reality as far as we are concerned they would have had to have a tremendous head start on us and would have had to have survived an incredibly long time as well.
    (I know I am nitpicking). I think incredibly long time is not necessary for them to be observed by us, as long as their past light cone envelop our planet now.
    The only way for us to be in their past light cone is for them to be in our future light cone and that has more to do with them seeing us or with us visiting them. Conversely aliens could only visit us (here and now) if they are in our past light cone.

    Well this brings up a correction to what I said before: I should say that they could only have substantial reality to us NOW if they are in our past light cone. But of course you could say that our future light cone is always shrinking while our past light cone is expanding in the the sense that as we move forward in time, regions of space-time are constantly passing out of our future light cone and other regions of space-time into our past light cone.

    So perhaps what you meant is that, assuming that human beings continue to exist long enough on the earth or in this region of space, then if this region of space is in any alien's future light cone then we may eventually become aware of them.

    In that case, good point.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    So, Mitchell, are you saying, scientifically speaking and religiously speaking, that the universe is probably a very lonely place for humanity?
    Scientifically speaking if we are looking for company out there, then we are rather likely to be disappointed. Religiously speaking, if there is anybody out there, then they are none of our business. Generally speaking, if you cannot see God out there, then I would say yes the universe is probably a very lonely place.

    I say all this despite the fact that I am a huge science fiction fan. But I think our great science fiction stories (media) have more to do with the exploration of another kind of space that is waiting for us.
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    As far as life ever happening:

    It's true that with only one planet to look at that we can only make wild guesses at the probabilities. This is like a reshuffled deck in the sense that, if favourable conditions exist, and life doesn't happen in one million year stretch, well....... it can always try again during the next million years.

    It's like a one time shuffled deck in the sense that, we've observed in our own solar system that it's very uncommon for planets to be like ours. There's no saying a different kind of life couldn't happen on a place like Jupiter, but carbon based life similar to ours probably couldn't happen there.

    So, you only get one chance for a planet to have favourable conditions in the first place.



    As far as evolution:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchellmckain
    In any case you are dismissing the possibility that given the right environment the development of higher forms of life might actually be inevitable. I actually believe that the development of higher forms of life is extremely unlikely in agreement with you but I also do not know if this can be proven and so I do not dismiss the previously mentioned possibility.
    This is where the law of large numbers has its application. After the first life form comes into being, and starts multiplying and spreading, after a while you've got like 100 billion amoebas on Earth. At that point, we're in a law of large numbers situation.

    If the odds favour gradual advancemnt. , then gradual advancement is virtually guarunteed. If they don't, then gradual advancement is virtually guarunteed not to happen, and the amoebas will gradually reverse evolve until they die off.

    Life is either going to be improving or declining. It's too unlikely that it would ever stand still.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    As far as evolution:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchellmckain
    In any case you are dismissing the possibility that given the right environment the development of higher forms of life might actually be inevitable. I actually believe that the development of higher forms of life is extremely unlikely in agreement with you but I also do not know if this can be proven and so I do not dismiss the previously mentioned possibility.
    This is where the law of large numbers has its application. After the first life form comes into being, and starts multiplying and spreading, after a while you've got like 100 billion amoebas on Earth. At that point, we're in a law of large numbers situation.

    If the odds favour gradual advancemnt. , then gradual advancement is virtually guarunteed. If they don't, then gradual advancement is virtually guarunteed not to happen, and the amoebas will gradually reverse evolve until they die off.

    Life is either going to be improving or declining. It's too unlikely that it would ever stand still.
    Sorry I should be more precise. That's the difference between unlikely and extremely unlikely. The law of large numbers only works with unlikely, and this actually makes life somewhere in the universe inevitable does it not? By extremely unlikely I am talking about probabilities like 10^-100 in which case there are not enough atoms in the universe let alone enough planets to make the development of higher forms of life anywhere in the universe an even remotely probable event.

    The idea behind higher forms of life being extremely unlikely is that the development of life to higher lifeforms runs into numerous road blocks like evolutionary dead ends with only the most unlikely circumstances leading to progress beyond these points. If this is the case we may find that very primitive life exists elsewhere in the universe but that these never lead to any higher forms of life as has been the case on the earth.
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    What large numbers does is make marginally unlikely into extremely unlikely, and marginally likely into virtually certain. Everything becomes an extreme.

    In evolution, progress depends on random chance, but the odds against and the odds for are based on separate things. The odds against are based on the simple fact that negative mutations are more likely than positive mutations. The odds for are based on the fact that negative mutations have a hard time finding mates.

    If one of those forces is just barely 0.01% stronger than the other, the law of large numbers will make that marginal difference into a mountain of difference.

    The model I use is the march of human technology. We have gradually gone from low tech to high tech over the course of a few thousand years. There's no indication that this process was anything but spontaneous. Every time a new and better way was discovered to make or do something, and it was widely known about it very quickly spread to the whole world.

    Invention is much like evolution. For every one good idea a would-be inventor has, they typically have thousands of bad ideas they never try to put into practice.
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    There has been a new discovery with a bearing (if a bit small) on this issue. A planet has been discovered that is only 5 times the mass of earth in the right temperature zone around a really cool star. So the star would fill most of the sky of this planet. This is the closest that we have found to a planet that could support life. There are of course many many other factors and we may never actually discover whether this planet meets any of the other requirements.

    But what do you think? Can higher forms of life develop on a planet with 5 times the gravity of earth? Perhaps underwater life only?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Can higher forms of life develop on a planet with 5 times the gravity of earth?
    correction : the planet is 5x as massive as the earth, but the surface gravity is only twice that of the earth - maybe less of an obstacle ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Can higher forms of life develop on a planet with 5 times the gravity of earth?
    correction : the planet is 5x as massive as the earth, but the surface gravity is only twice that of the earth - maybe less of an obstacle ?
    Oops, I forgot that the radius would also be larger. That was careless of me. At the same density as the earth, the gravity would be only 1.71 times that of earth so with a slight increase of density the gravity could be up to twice that of the earth and we cannot really expect that the gravity will be any higher than that. Of course this is assuming that this is a rocky planet like the earth rather than a gas giant type planet. If it is a gas giant the density could be much lower than the earth.

    But is there any indication that this is not a gas giant? Five times the mass of the earth is more than a third the mass of uranus. Most of the gas giants in this solar system are in a much farther cooler region but we know that their are many gas giants with rather close orbits in other star systems.

    There are just so many things we still do not know.
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  94. #93  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    presumably too close to the sun for a gas giant ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    I think there are Gas Giants near the sun in other solar systems so I dont think its a given that its too close to be a gas giant.

    As mentioned theres still too much we dont know

    speculative ramblings;
    what if a large earth like planet orbited within an asteroid field like the one between mars and jupiter, asteroids could cluster on the planet increasing its mass without attacting the large amounts of gas that early formation might gather
    If the moon is the result of a planetoid that crashed with earth, another option is that that planet formed following the collision of two planets?
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    I wonder sometimes if maybe Earth was a lot further out from the Sun before the collision? Pluto and Charon are a case somewhat similar to ours, except smaller, and further out.

    One thing about finding planets in other star systems is that the process they use makes it hard to find small planets like ours. So it could be a while before they detect one.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Perhaps this is more appropriate to the Biology section but I think it is quite relevant to the topic of this thread.

    For those interested in origin of life research, an article can be found in the June issue of Scientific American entitled "A Simpler Origin of Life". "Nobel laureate Christian de Duve has called for 'a rejection of improbabilisties so incommensurably high that they can only be called miracles, phenomena that fall outside the scope of scientific inquiry.'"(pg 50) This moves theory in the direction of the ideas of Erich Jantsch in his "A Self Organizing Universe", which suggests that modern life based on DNA and RNA could have been preceeded by dynamic organizations of simpler molecules. The article explain a lot of these ideas including the results of more recent research involving chemical networks.

    There is still an old school versus new school division in the scientific community representing continued resistance to this paradigm shift. The old school is the replicator (RNA) first theorists who try to explain the failures of the Miller experiment (1953) to produce anything more complex than amino acids as due to differences from the actual mixture in the "soup" and differences in the environment. The new school is the metabolism first theorists that think that chemical reaction cycles can by themselve evolve to greater complexity and eventually provide the environment and catalysts that allowed the creation of replicator molecules like RNA.
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