Author Topic: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted  (Read 12946 times)

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Offline relativetruth

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2010, 05:08:28 AM »
randomness is a purely mathematical concept.

It is possible that every event that occurs/has occurred/will occur  in the universe can be determined by a set of laws.

So, maybe,  mutations are not random in the pure sense but are only following rules more fundamental then those that have been discovered in nuclear physics.

How can you calculate odds when you do not know even what all the underlying factors may be?

Lottery draws are a very very good approximation of randomness at a human level but there are still physical laws in place.

God(s) exist and are imaginary

Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2010, 06:46:55 AM »
"Redefine the cosmos"? I don't even know what you mean by this but:
Redefine the cosmos, as in, if you've got a universe of clouds of inanimate debris which has all the possibility and potential of dust on the moon or a sea of ball bearings (bb's btw...little trivia break there), but then suddenly you've got a molecule that's replicating itself and creating other complex molecules, then your cosmos is no longer what it was before life emerges - the cosmos, and it's possibilities have been redefined.

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If it can happen, given an infinite (or really big) amount of time, it WILL happen

Cool. I look forward to Cthulhu manifesting out of a 50 gallon drum of pingpong balls in the far future.

"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
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Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2010, 06:49:07 AM »
How can you calculate odds when you do not know even what all the underlying factors may be?

Yes.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2010, 07:03:38 AM »
How can you calculate odds when you do not know even what all the underlying factors may be?
Yes.

Is this a reading error on your part, or are you just trolling/stonewalling now?
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Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2010, 07:32:31 AM »
What else do you suggest?  What evidence (apart from your assertion that it's necessary for life) do you have for its existence?
I suggest that life is an irreducible phenomenon, for which the possibility exists in certain organic molecules a priori.The potential for life has always existed under the proper conditions. Life itself did not need to 'evolve', but rather the conditions for it's evolution had to be present.

Evidence? I just have logic that says you can only make life out of very specific ingredients so that randomly we should observe life showing up elsewhere in the universe. Galaxies. Buckets of nails. If it's random, why just organic molecules turn into cells?

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Life self-evidently exists.  We've drawn the Ace of Mirrored Kaleidoscopes from the deck and placed it face up on the table in front of us.  How can you say the AoMK was not "in the cards?" 
That's what I'm saying. All the draws from all decks in the world won't help you pull the AoMK unless it's already in one of the decks to begin with.

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There is a great deal of evidence that life and consciousness are matter/energy phenomena, and no credible evidence (that I know of) that "spirit" or "pixie dust" or some other non-energy energy or non-material stuff is either necessary or present.
Life and consciousness is a matter/energy phenomenon. From the exterior. From the interior, as we ourselves are evidence, it's a meaning/feeling phenomenon. They are the same coin. Two different sides.

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To test the claim that your consciousness is a neuro-chemical phenomenon, you can simply sit down with a bottle of Scotch--a perfectly mundane chemical fluid--and start drinking.  I am quite confident that sooner rather than later your consciousness will be rather profoundly affected.  How is this possible if consciousness is something other than matter/energy?
Most definitely. (see above). If consciousness was ONLY matter/energy then scotch wouldn't exist because there's no nutritional point in consuming the distilled fluids of spoiled grains if it didn't cause you to feel something.

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I don't get this.  "Only because we can sit here and reverse engineer the actuality of an automobile engine being realized can we imagine that such a thing is the result of groupings of inert parts."  Do you think there must be some metaphysical essence of engine-ness in order to make it possible for a collection of chunks of metal, rubber, and plastic to turn gasoline into kinetic energy?
I might if I myself was an engine and was contemplating my origins.

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I'm not really sure what you're getting at here.  Sure, sub-atomic particles have certain properties that give them the potential to be organized into an incredibly complex entity called "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart."  Are you saying that such a thing is only possible if every particle has some "inherent property of Mozart-ness" within it?
The particle doesn't have to make Mozart, it just has to make organic molecules. The organic molecules have to be able to make cells, the cells have to precipitate organisms, organisms to animals, mammals, primates, homo sapiens, homo sapiens with exceptional atypical neurologies. Mozart is an interior phenomenon, at this point, a celebrity-archetype in our Western European historical schema, but in his life, we presume, he was a sentient being who inhabited/sourced from an exceptional brain and whose identity intersected with the zeitgeist in a particularly memorable and effective way.

Mozart's identical twin today might be working at WalMart and may never have the opportunities that Mozart had. Different times, different conditions.

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I'm not sure of the precise boundaries of your disagreement with "materialism" here.  Are you suggesting something like this?  The link goes to a proposed model I wrote in another thread arguing for a "consciousness all the way down/all the way up" way of looking at Universe that could lead to a concept of "God" without supernaturalism.
I think it's still an objective model of consciousness which leaves out the most important parts. Feeling, seeing, thinking, valuing. I like the part about "The electron could be viewed as having an extremely low level of consciousness." and that's precisely what I'm saying although it's pretty hard to speculate on the interiority of an electron, however the visible spectrum seems like it could be fairly isomorphic to that. It's beauty and order on the inside, whizzing particle/wave thing on the outside. I'm in agreement that supernaturalism is unnecessary but I see consciousness as infra/ultra to material.

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Analogy: If you pour ping pong balls over an open, empty egg carton, ping pong balls will eventually nest in the pits in the carton.  Even though the motion of the ping pong balls is basically random, the result is a non-random array of 12 ping pong balls arranged 6 x 2.  It's the shape of the egg carton that provides a non-random arrangement of ping pong balls within it.  Likewise, it's the conditions of a given environment that create niches for some creatures, and drive others to extinction.
That's a great analogy. If taken back to the dawn of life though, it supports my point of the need for a priori egg cartons for self-replication, organization, and sentience.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
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Offline One Above All

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2010, 07:36:49 AM »
Cool. I look forward to Cthulhu manifesting out of a 50 gallon drum of pingpong balls in the far future.

That can't happen since the odds of that happening are 0

And you're comparing the appearance of a fictional character from stuff that it's (supposedly) not made of to the odds of life appearing from stuff that it IS made of
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2010, 07:39:36 AM »
But I guess I'm not seeing the validity of the comparison.
Yes. You're not seeing the validity of the comparison.   :)

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I'm also not familiar with "forces of randomness". What are those?
Ok, 'implications of randomness'.

What mathematical principle makes amoebas more likely than Cthulhu to come out of inanimate, inorganic matter?

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Like, why do trees grow fruit and not monkey wrenches...
Yeah, I'm just pointing out that there is a reason that there's no wrench trees which pure randomness and probability doesn't explain. The cosmos is order. Why pretend random chaos is the only possible source of order?
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
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Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2010, 07:47:55 AM »
That can't happen since the odds of that happening are 0
What were the odds of life happening before life happened? Why wouldn't it be 0?

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And you're comparing the appearance of a fictional character from stuff that it's (supposedly) not made of to the odds of life appearing from stuff that it IS made of
I'm comparing the odds of sentient life springing from a kind of inanimate matter to the odds of any kind of sentient life springing from any kind of inanimate matter to reveal how improbably it really would be.

It's easy to see life and say 'it must have developed this way', but if you go back to the beginning and drop all of your assumptions about what happens, you can see that randomness alone doesn't create order. Randomness is part of order, but order is not part of randomness.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2010, 07:51:16 AM »
Ok, 'implications of randomness'.

If through the course of blind duration, the implications of randomness alone cause protons to turn into atoms, atoms to molecules, and molecules to living, self-replicating cells, then why not sand to polysandharides to Evil Godcells?

The substitution doesn't make sense when actually used, does it?
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Offline Dragnet

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2010, 07:51:22 AM »
Evidence? I just have logic that says you can only make life out of very specific ingredients so that randomly we should observe life showing up elsewhere in the universe. Galaxies. Buckets of nails. If it's random, why just organic molecules turn into cells?


Neither logic nor science say that.
Science states that life as we have been able to observe so far was constructed out of available materials. NOTHING is preventing life from forming out of different materials.
You are not using logic. You are using contrary position.
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Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2010, 07:51:36 AM »
How can you calculate odds when you do not know even what all the underlying factors may be?
Yes.

Is this a reading error on your part, or are you just trolling/stonewalling now?

I have never trolled or stonewalled.

I'm just agreeing with him. Yes. 'How can you calculate odds when you do not know even what all the underlying factors may be?', as in, how can you presume that life has any odds whatsoever of emerging if you don't know allow the pre-existence of underlying factors to support life?
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline Dragnet

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2010, 07:53:12 AM »
Who is arguing that conditions did not exist prior to life emerging?
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Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2010, 07:56:07 AM »
Neither logic nor science say that.
Science states that life as we have been able to observe so far was constructed out of available materials. NOTHING is preventing life from forming out of different materials.
You are not using logic. You are using contrary position.
No, I'm mocking the position that position. I think it should be obvious that there is something which prevents life from emerging out of different materials. Maybe not every possible material, but surely most materials don't have the potential to assemble themselves into a living organism, right?
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #42 on: May 28, 2010, 07:56:30 AM »
I have never trolled or stonewalled.

I'm just agreeing with him. Yes. 'How can you calculate odds when you do not know even what all the underlying factors may be?', as in, how can you presume that life has any odds whatsoever of emerging if you don't know allow the pre-existence of underlying factors to support life?

Immediacracy, your response to relativetruth didn't answer his question.  It wasn't a yes-or-no question.  If you meant to say "you're right, I can't" - then that would have answered his question.  "Yes" doesn't do it.  Nex ttime, why not give an answer that addresses the question actually being asked, instead of giving an answer that addresses a question that was not being asked?
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Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #43 on: May 28, 2010, 07:58:10 AM »
Who is arguing that conditions did not exist prior to life emerging?

If you have life potentiating conditions, who needs randomness? Why have this thread? The whole OP is to prove that odds aren't as long as you might think and that it's not so outrageous to claim the emergence of life through randomness alone.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2010, 07:58:40 AM »
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If through the course of blind duration, the forces of randomness alone cause protons to turn into atoms, atoms to molecules, and molecules to living, self-replicating cells, then why not sand to polysandharides to Evil Godcells?

Who has ever claimed this, other than creationists?

This should be easy to answer, Immediacracy.  From who did you hear this characterization?

EDIT:  Looking at your last post, it seems you think that the OP said this.  Yet, I can't find such an assertion from the OP, nor does the OP describe that to which you refer.  Do you misunderstand the OP, or are you lying about it?
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Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #45 on: May 28, 2010, 08:02:22 AM »
Immediacracy, your response to relativetruth didn't answer his question.  It wasn't a yes-or-no question.  If you meant to say "you're right, I can't" - then that would have answered his question.  "Yes" doesn't do it.  Nex ttime, why not give an answer that addresses the question actually being asked, instead of giving an answer that addresses a question that was not being asked?
He wasn't asking me a question as far as I know. I just saw his comment on the thread and wanted to give him props. Next time, why don't you read who they asked before you accuse me of not answering.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
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Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #46 on: May 28, 2010, 08:05:00 AM »
Do you misunderstand the OP, or are you lying about it?
Are you perpetrating a loaded question fallacy, or are you a pseudoskeptic?
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #47 on: May 28, 2010, 08:05:39 AM »
He wasn't asking me a question as far as I know. I just saw his comment on the thread and wanted to give him props. Next time, why don't you read who they asked before you accuse me of not answering.
He didn't indicate anyone as the target for his question.  You volunteered to be that target when you pretended to answer.  If you meant to say "good question!", or "good point!", then that would have made sense as a response as well - and made it clear that you had no intention of answering the question.  "Yes" made no sense in context.
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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #48 on: May 28, 2010, 08:08:15 AM »
Are you perpetrating a loaded question fallacy, or are you a pseudoskeptic?
Those two are the only reasonable options I can think of.  If you can think of another, then by all means give it.  I asked the loaded question because you had loaded it for me, so to speak:  If you think that the OP made the claim to which you are responding in that quote, then you are either misunderstanding the OP, or you are misrepresenting (lying about) the OP.

Now, do you have an answer to the simple question that I had posed to you on the first page, and which I have now re-quoted to you?  You seem to be using the "loaded question" issue as an excuse to avoid the question I had asked (and have re-quoted).
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Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #49 on: May 28, 2010, 08:12:08 AM »
"Yes" made no sense in context.
It made sense to me. Maybe not everyone got it, but it's standard English. He posed a good question. I say 'yes'. So what? I guess that makes me guilty of some kind of crimes against vocabulary.

I'm sure glad that you are here to point out that important fact, while taking no responsibility for your misinterpretation.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
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Offline Wootah

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #50 on: May 28, 2010, 08:16:34 AM »
First of all, my name is Blaziken. You may call me Blaziken; Z; Blaz; Lucifer; Fallen Angel; Bringer of Light or Lightbringer

Now as we all know, some theists make the argument that life is just too unlikely for it to just have happened. In this short post I will refute it.

Instructions:
Grab a 52 card deck;
Grab another deck;
Grab 18 more decks;
Shuffle them all together.


Now the odds that you will get an ace of spades belonging to the first deck while drawing just a single card are 1/1040. Seems impossible, right?
However, if you keep drawing a card, putting it back and shuffling the deck, eventually you WILL get the ace of spades, even if it takes you an infinite amount of time

My point is: The mere fact that you say "the odds of _____" means it CAN happen on its own, no matter how unlikely it seems. Given an infinite amount of time (or a few million years), that thing WILL happen eventually
As an example I created a program for the TI-83+ which generates a random number between 1 and 1000 and if the number is 257[1] you win. It will keep generating numbers until hitting 257, no matter how long it takes. It also records how many tries it took and registers that number
At first I got it after about 1200 tries. I kept trying until I got it in only 25. Then I got it in over 3300 tries. Then I got it in two tries
So once again, no matter how unlikely something seems, the fact that you even say that the odds of it happening exist, means it CAN happen
 1. Blaziken's pokédex number, although that has nothing to do with it  &)

OK so what can't happen according to this logic?
Just letting you know ... I am Christian.
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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #51 on: May 28, 2010, 08:17:26 AM »
It made sense to me. Maybe not everyone got it, but it's standard English. He posed a good question. I say 'yes'. So what? I guess that makes me guilty of some kind of crimes against vocabulary.

Well, when someone poses a question, and someone else responds "yes", it is generally taken to be a response to the question.  Is that a strange idea to you?  (FYI:  This is a yes-or-no question)

I'm sure glad that you are here to point out that important fact, while taking no responsibility for your misinterpretation.

I am not responsible for misinterpreting your post.  You are responsible for typing a nonsense-answer.
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Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #52 on: May 28, 2010, 08:20:09 AM »
If you think that the OP made the claim to which you are responding in that quote, then you are either misunderstanding the OP, or you are misrepresenting (lying about) the OP.
I don't know or care whether or not someone makes a claim. I don't do debate. I'm only interested in the truth of the idea. The OP had to do with randomness and it's role in the origin of life, so that's what I'm commenting on. If that's ok with you. I don't need to make the OP wrong to satisfy my ego, I agree with him that randomness is easy to underestimate, I'm just saying that it's still not enough to generate life...which, if that's not what he said, I'm pretty sure it's what a lot of people want to believe.

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Now, do you have an answer to the simple question that I had posed to you on the first page, and which I have now re-quoted to you?  You seem to be using the "loaded question" issue as an excuse to avoid the question I had asked (and have re-quoted).
Asked and answered. The defense rests and motions that the case be thrown out of court on the grounds of logical fallacy and badgering the witness.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #53 on: May 28, 2010, 08:22:12 AM »
OK so what can't happen according to this logic?

What almost-can't happen are unlikely things that become less likely as time goes on.  Life doesn't fit into that category.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #54 on: May 28, 2010, 08:26:00 AM »
What were the odds of life happening before life happened? Why wouldn't it be 0?

No. Look at my deck of cards example in the OP

I'm comparing the odds of sentient life springing from a kind of inanimate matter to the odds of any kind of sentient life springing from any kind of inanimate matter to reveal how improbably it really would be.

No, you're comparing the odds of sentient life springing from inanimate matter that isn't involved in its composition to the odds of any life springing from matter which is involved in its composition. As an example: Carbon is probably the most important element in life. If it did not exist, life as we know it could not exist

It's easy to see life and say 'it must have developed this way', but if you go back to the beginning and drop all of your assumptions about what happens, you can see that randomness alone doesn't create order. Randomness is part of order, but order is not part of randomness.

Randomness can create order from chaos by being random
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #55 on: May 28, 2010, 08:26:57 AM »
OK so what can't happen according to this logic?

Things which are impossible. For example, drawing a card that is missing from the deck, getting a grade above the max etc
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Immediacracy

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #56 on: May 28, 2010, 08:29:37 AM »
OK so what can't happen according to this logic?
What can't happen is that this logic can ever fail to be relied upon to explain the existence of anything.

It's 'God's Will' logic in reverse. 'Randomness' Pristine Lack of Will'.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Online Azdgari

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Re: "The odds of life are too low for it to just have happened" refuted
« Reply #57 on: May 28, 2010, 08:33:21 AM »
I don't know or care whether or not someone makes a claim. I don't do debate. I'm only interested in the truth of the idea.
Oh, get off your high horse and stop lying through your teeth.

The OP had to do with randomness and it's role in the origin of life, so that's what I'm commenting on. If that's ok with you. I don't need to make the OP wrong to satisfy my ego, I agree with him that randomness is easy to underestimate, I'm just saying that it's still not enough to generate life...which, if that's not what he said, I'm pretty sure it's what a lot of people want to believe.
Your comment responded to the idea that "the forces of randomness alone" are responsible for generating life.  This is, indeed, not what he said.  And answering my question with the bolded text above shows that you have no clue who actually holds to the idea against which you were arguing, other than "a lot of people".  Well, who are these people?  Do you think that any of them are present in that thread?  If not, then why didn't you just start your own thread, or make it clear that you weren't writing on-topic?

Quote
Now, do you have an answer to the simple question that I had posed to you on the first page, and which I have now re-quoted to you?  You seem to be using the "loaded question" issue as an excuse to avoid the question I had asked (and have re-quoted).
Asked and answered. The defense rests and motions that the case be thrown out of court on the grounds of logical fallacy and badgering the witness.

The answer is vaguely "A lot of people", which is a dodge of my question again.  Where did you come across the idea to which you objected in that post?  Does it exists strictly in your mind, or was it presented to you from elsewhere?

EDIT:  By the way, you're really a slippery one.  Getting intellectual honesty from you is like trying to squeeze a tomato seed between one's fingernails.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 08:35:59 AM by Azdgari »
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.