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Offline screwtape

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physics, life, probability and god
« on: June 07, 2012, 08:52:41 AM »
This is a continuation of a discussion in the introduction area.

Well what I meant, sorry that my terminology lacks proper definition, is that the path in which the Earth takes in its movement around the sun does not vary (or at least much at all?) from its elliptical shape.

First of all, it is not perfectly elipitcal.  It is mostly eliptical.  The earth is acted upon by other gravatational forces, like the moon and other planets, that causes slight deviation.[1]  In any case, that is irrelevant.  You should know from dynamics that gods are not needed to keep bodies in eliptical orbits.  Only momentum and gravity. So I have no idea where you were headed with this. 

Yes I guess you can describe it that way, but my belief is that the probability of many things that happen in this universe that we take for granted exceed the possibility of happening (i.e. it will not happen)... That is my belief, and because of that belief, I believe that a God had to and continues to play a roll in this universe.

What sort of things are you saying are so improbable as to be impossible, yet have happened anyway? 

Engineers should not be thinking such things.  You study natural laws.  You have an understanding of How Things Work, and in none of your equations does a god come into play.  Yet, for some reason you feel the need to say that a guy - let's face it, god is a guy with super powers - started and continues to keep in motion the universe. 

Be specific - what things is god currently controlling?  Does god pick the lotterty numbers?  Does he guide the right sperm cell to the correct ova to ensure the right people are born?  Does he make sure you make the decisions you need to make in order to fulfil his Plan?   

And the corker is, you have not assigned a probability to a guy with super powers existing "outside space and time" with enough juice to start and maintain the cosmos.  Why is that?

Sorry I realized the error as I was closing my laptop, was in a hurry for my final.... In engineering, we use mathematical analysis and other such analytical methods to design, solve, etc....  Now to me, I believe there are things that have occured, are occuring, and will occur that lack any kind of analytical explanation that we can come up with, other than the belief that there is a God.

Your communication skills need work.  I gather from this paragraph that you think there are things that can only be explained by a guy with super powers.  What things?   

Please elaborate, as I was unaware that in the field of mechanical engineering, I am introduced to uncontrolled probability theories...

I've never heard of an uncontrolled probability theory.  Which is weird, because I've had more statistics than your average engineer. I'm not saying there is no such thing.  I am sure engineering school has changed in the 100 years since I graduated.  Google yields no hits on that term. So I need you to point me toward some information on the topic if I am to understand what that is. 

if by chance it happened to fall into the position that it is in presently,

My attempt to paraphrase - the position of our planet in the solar system is improbable.  Correct me if I am wrong.

My response is, so what?  No gods are needed for improbable events. 

Play a game of Pinochle.  There is nothing miraculous about it.  But looking back, it is incredibly improbable and may seem miraculous, but it isn't.  Each time you shuffle a deck of cards, the probability of the order of cards is 1 in 8.0658 x 1067.  And after you've dealt the cards each player has a whole array of choices for playing cards, which adds to the improbability.  Multiply that out over 6 or 7 hands and you have odds so astronomical that it boggles the mind.  So, did that mean god had to have scripted that game and controlled every aspect of it?

You are looking backward in time, seeing it as the desired outcome. But there is no desired outcome.  It is only when you look back at how it turned out and view that ouctome as a target that the mundane appears miraculous.

I question the odds of everything falling right out of that position

? galaxies (planets, whatever) just fall out of position?  For no apparent reason?  One day angular momentum is whirling us around the sun and the next, voom, we are slung out by Jupiter?  Either your communication skills need work or you are not applying your knowledge very well. In what class did the professor stand at the white board and say "okay, remember Newton's First law?  Well, sometimes it is violated, just by chance, and things fall out of position."

(which to me would seem to be far more likely to happen, thus according to probability, I believe that we shouldn't be here).

Where should we be?  It is as if you are telling the lottery winner the odds of her winning were too improbable and should not have happened, so some guy with super powers must have rigged it for her.  But someone wins, right?  It is the same with life sustainging planets.  You talk about how improbable it is - and it is - but the only place it is going to happen is where it can happen. 

You are a puddle,  and I do not say that as an insult.
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles#Orbital_shape_.28eccentricity.29
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 12:39:53 PM »
Bookmark.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 12:46:53 PM »
BM
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline WeZzZzRURR

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2012, 05:50:26 PM »
First of all, it is not perfectly elipitcal.  It is mostly eliptical.  The earth is acted upon by other gravatational forces, like the moon and other planets, that causes slight deviation.[1]  In any case, that is irrelevant.  You should know from dynamics that gods are not needed to keep bodies in eliptical orbits.  Only momentum and gravity. So I have no idea where you were headed with this.

What sort of things are you saying are so improbable as to be impossible, yet have happened anyway? 

Engineers should not be thinking such things.  You study natural laws.  You have an understanding of How Things Work, and in none of your equations does a god come into play.  Yet, for some reason you feel the need to say that a guy - let's face it, god is a guy with super powers - started and continues to keep in motion the universe.

Be specific - what things is god currently controlling?  Does god pick the lotterty numbers?  Does he guide the right sperm cell to the correct ova to ensure the right people are born?  Does he make sure you make the decisions you need to make in order to fulfil his Plan?
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles#Orbital_shape_.28eccentricity.29

No, I don't believe he "guides" such things, to state that would assume that we do not have our own free will... Below I will explain. 

And the corker is, you have not assigned a probability to a guy with super powers existing "outside space and time" with enough juice to start and maintain the cosmos.  Why is that?

When determining if something that we cannot not see directly with our own eyes (and the other 4 senses of the body), I do not believe that we can put a number on it.  i.e., what is the probability that a giant invisible to the senses worm follows you all around where you go?  How can you put a number on that?

Your communication skills need work.  I gather from this paragraph that you think there are things that can only be explained by a guy with super powers.  What things?   

Things such as a solider going off to Iraq for 2 years, leaving his dog at home, and when he gets back, the dog remembers him, and cries and weeps for over 4 minutes out of excitement of him being back.....  I do not see how we could even begin to describe the feeling that that dog has for that man, and how those feelings were even possible to come to be...  This is just one example of many things in this life that I fail to see an analytical explanation for.

I've never heard of an uncontrolled probability theory.  Which is weird, because I've had more statistics than your average engineer. I'm not saying there is no such thing.  I am sure engineering school has changed in the 100 years since I graduated.  Google yields no hits on that term. So I need you to point me toward some information on the topic if I am to understand what that is. 

lol, then maybe I'm charting new territory?  I believe that there are two kinds of probability, controlled probability, and uncontrolled probability.  I will touch base on that in the bottom.

My attempt to paraphrase - the position of our planet in the solar system is improbable.  Correct me if I am wrong.

My response is, so what?  No gods are needed for improbable events. 

Let me correct you in paraphrasing me, "the position of our planet in the solar system is impossible without controlled probability, again I will touch on that in the bottom.

Play a game of Pinochle.  There is nothing miraculous about it.  But looking back, it is incredibly improbable and may seem miraculous, but it isn't.  Each time you shuffle a deck of cards, the probability of the order of cards is 1 in 8.0658 x 1067.  And after you've dealt the cards each player has a whole array of choices for playing cards, which adds to the improbability.  Multiply that out over 6 or 7 hands and you have odds so astronomical that it boggles the mind.  So, did that mean god had to have scripted that game and controlled every aspect of it?

Again, see the bottom.

You are looking backward in time, seeing it as the desired outcome. But there is no desired outcome.  It is only when you look back at how it turned out and view that ouctome as a target that the mundane appears miraculous. 

How am I looking back in time for a desired outcome, I am providing you an example why I believe there is a God.

? galaxies (planets, whatever) just fall out of position?  For no apparent reason?  One day angular momentum is whirling us around the sun and the next, voom, we are slung out by Jupiter?  Either your communication skills need work or you are not applying your knowledge very well. In what class did the professor stand at the white board and say "okay, remember Newton's First law?  Well, sometimes it is violated, just by chance, and things fall out of position."

No, not for no apparent reason.  At any given moment in time there are a huge amount (putting numbers on this would only be a failed attempt) of particles moving in this universe.  With all these different particles moving (including bodies of many particles), it once again seems highly likely to me that over the course of the past 2,000 years, with all these bodies of many particles in movement in our galaxy, let alone the universe, that something would have happened to throw it all off.

Where should we be?  It is as if you are telling the lottery winner the odds of her winning were too improbable and should not have happened, so some guy with super powers must have rigged it for her.  But someone wins, right?  It is the same with life sustainging planets.  You talk about how improbable it is - and it is - but the only place it is going to happen is where it can happen. 

Again, see below.

You are a puddle,  and I do not say that as an insult.

Let me touch on everything that I told you to come down here for.  This all has to do with my belief on controlled and uncontrolled probability.

I will use your example of a deck of cards....  Now, with a deck of cards, it is very easy to put a number on the probability of a deck being shuffled in a certain order, because that deck of cards has what I would like to coin as boundaries for its probability.  Even in something as simple as a deck of cards, something that has controlled probability, you can quickly see how the probability skyrockets through the roof.

Now, to uncontrolled probability....  freeze every single thing in this universe for a single moment of time.  If you were to try and observe every single thing happening in this universe, especially on the smallest level, and then were to try and put a number on the probability that everything is in the position it is in for that single moment of time, and not the other infinite positions that those particles could be in, you wouldn't be able to, as the number is infinite. 

The lottery has controlled probability, even though the likelihood of one of us winning the lottery is very low (it says on the back of lottery tickets the probability), it is still possible to do so, being it has boundaries.... If you had to pick an infinite number of numbers, would anyone win?

To me, this is the difference between controlled and uncontrolled probability.  Even take into account how you were procreated....  At the time of your father's sperm entering your mother's egg, they were both of a certain health, the particles of their bodies affected by their lives and the world around them, all of these things played factors in the procreation of you...  Now, their health, their lives, and the world around them, again were affected by past events and events happening elsewhere in the world at the time.  It is a never-ending contribution to the procreation of you.  Now, taking all of that into mind, and add in the other factors in which made you and are still making you the person you are right now, what is that probability?  Likewise, taking into factor all the conditions in the universe, all the particles, EVERYTHING, tell me, what is the probability that we are here today? that the alignment of the solar system could happen?
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 05:54:17 PM by WeZzZzRURR »
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2012, 06:11:38 PM »
I wonder what the odds are that not one planet in the entire universe could be found that was our size, with our chemical content, our potential atmosphere, our water/land ratio, our temperature range, our seasons, our moon, our conditions for life.

What are the odds that such a thing couldn't possibly happen? Right now, very early into our ability to research extra-solar system planets, it appears that there are at least 160 billion planets within the milky way. And our galaxy is considered normal sized. We know that there are at least 100 billion galaxies. That means that in order for no planet to have our conditions, all 1,600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 would have to have other, non-earth conditions.

And if one did exist, what are the odds that those lucky enough to live on it not being in awe? With some wanting to give credit to a sky pal for the whole thing, no matter why it happened?

Well, at least we know the answer to that last one. 100%.

Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline screwtape

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2012, 08:46:27 PM »
When determining if something that we cannot not see directly with our own eyes (and the other 4 senses of the body), I do not believe that we can put a number on it.  i.e., what is the probability that a giant invisible to the senses worm follows you all around where you go?  How can you put a number on that?

Pretty easily:  0.  I need some reason to believe it is the case.  I don't.  That is like asking the probability leprechauns exist.  0. Mermaids. 0.  Yeti. 0.  Zeus.  0.  yhwh.  0.

Things such as a solider going off to Iraq for 2 years, leaving his dog at home, and when he gets back, the dog remembers him, and cries and weeps for over 4 minutes out of excitement of him being back.....  I do not see how we could even begin to describe the feeling that that dog has for that man, and how those feelings were even possible to come to be...  This is just one example of many things in this life that I fail to see an analytical explanation for.

I have to admit, I was not expecting this.  I am at a loss for words.  I expected so much more. 

Assuming your ridiculous example were meaningful, I still do not see how that makes you believe in a god.  In what way is god making this possible?


How am I looking back in time for a desired outcome, I am providing you an example why I believe there is a God.

One or both of us is misunderstanding the other's point.  I'm pretty sure I understand yours.  I think you are not understanding what I am saying.

No, not for no apparent reason.  At any given moment in time there are a huge amount (putting numbers on this would only be a failed attempt) of particles moving in this universe.  With all these different particles moving (including bodies of many particles), it once again seems highly likely to me that over the course of the past 2,000 years, with all these bodies of many particles in movement in our galaxy, let alone the universe, that something would have happened to throw it all off.

Then show your work.  Draw the free body diagram.  Show the forces at work.  Show how impossible it is.  I've already shown how fractally wrong you were about the elliptical orbit of the earth.  If you are saying it is going to be thrown off, then you should understand it requires forces to do that.  Show those forces and where they are coming from.

And besides that, 2000 years is nothing in the scales you are talking about.

Let me touch on everything that I told you to come down here for.  This all has to do with my belief on controlled and uncontrolled probability.

I will use your example of a deck of cards....  Now, with a deck of cards, it is very easy to put a number on the probability of a deck being shuffled in a certain order, because that deck of cards has what I would like to coin as boundaries for its probability.  Even in something as simple as a deck of cards, something that has controlled probability, you can quickly see how the probability skyrockets through the roof.

What you are calling "controlled" is simple, quantifiable probability.  And what you are saying about it - that the probability skyrockets through the roof - is that outcome X - the game we just played - was exquisitely improbable.  And by the logic you are using, that game must have been controlled by a god.  If it was not, then in what way does that improbability imply a god?

Now, to uncontrolled probability....  freeze every single thing in this universe for a single moment of time.  If you were to try and observe every single thing happening in this universe, especially on the smallest level, and then were to try and put a number on the probability that everything is in the position it is in for that single moment of time, and not the other infinite positions that those particles could be in, you wouldn't be able to, as the number is infinite. 

Yeah, you are making stuff up. 

Your premise is wrong in two ways. First, the probability of each particle being in the position it is in is 1.  They are in fact where they are.  There is no other position any particle could have been in at that moment.  The universe in which we live follows predictable patterns, which we call "laws".  And these laws dictate how matter and energy behave.  You study these laws. 

So you should understand that if a cue ball is at a given point in space at a given time, it is because everything that happened to it prior to that moment - force, momentum, velocity, friction etc -  dictated it and it could not possibly have been any other way.  Similarly, if we stop time and observe the position of particle xyz, the probability of it being anywhere else in the entire universe is 0.  It had to be where it is because of the forces that had acted on it prior. 

Otherwise, if what you are saying were true - that particles could otherwise have been at an infinite number of points at a given time - then particles would appear and disappear and reappear randomly throughout the universe.  Momentum would be meaningless.  Newton's first law would not exist.  Then the probability of any given particle being where it is at any given moment truly would be incomprehensibly small.

Second, trying to put a number on the likelihood of positions of particles is not uncontrolled.  It is unknowable.  This is one of the major problems xians have when they talk about the probability of the right atoms combining to make the right molecules.  Their estimates of probability are ALWAYS guesses and have no basis for them.  They usually treat each atom as being as likely to bond with any other atom and that is not the case. 


TEven take into account how you were procreated....  At the time of your father's sperm entering your mother's egg, they were both of a certain health, the particles of their bodies affected by their lives and the world around them, all of these things played factors in the procreation of you... 

This is what I am talking about.  You are taking the result, the lottery winner, and looking at it as the target, the desired outcome, and trying to estimate the odds.  The odds are 1.  She won the lottery.  It is a done deal.  I already exist.  There were a finite number of sperm involved and one of them had to have made it.  There is no miracle there.

...what is that probability?

To get me as the desired outcome again?  Incredibly unlikely.  But I was not specified. 

The difference between what you are talking about and reality is this: Take the deck of cards.  Shuffle it.  Write down the order.  Is the order improbable?  yes.  But there it is.  It is done.  It is not a miracle, because some outcome is necessary.[1]

Shuffle again.  And again.  This time, try to get the original shuffle. Super improbable.  Your deck will wear out before you get that exact order again.   That is looking backward and trying to say it was impossibly improbable.



 
 1. In fact, if you are a determinist, like me, you would go so far as to say, the order of any shuffle is not random, just not predictable by us.  The cards follow physical laws and the order is determined by how much force with which the deck is bent, the flexural constant of the cards, the friction between the cards, the position of your fingers holding the deck, etc.  All of it obeys laws.  The outcome is not in doubt to the universe.  Only to us, who cannot factor in all the variables and build a correct model.
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Offline inveni0

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 07:39:23 PM »
Actually, the card analogy is a poor one.  Because it takes an external force to shuffle the cards, which means that we have to attempt to define the external force.  And that's what leads us back to "what caused the big bang".  The answer is, "I don't know."  But some people...stupid people...feel the uncontrollable desire to say, "A LEPRECHAUN DID IT!"

That's the difference.  It's better to leave a hole than to fill it with wishes and imaginative manifestations.
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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2012, 07:43:53 PM »
Awrigth! You guys are at it again. You are fiddling with probability numbers but you have not yet inserted chaos theory. I have not seen the prior condition postulate in a long time. This is getting good. Keep on keeping on.

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2012, 08:58:51 PM »
Actually, the card analogy is a poor one.  Because it takes an external force to shuffle the cards, ...

external force?  As opposed to what?  What "internal" forces are moving matter around the galaxy or causing the galaxy to "fall out of orbit"?  I'm not talking about what caused the big bang.  We are dealing with the universe already in motion. 

Wez is talking about matter being in the "right place" at the "right time" as being so improbable as to be impossible.  But in doing so, he is literally throwing away all his training as a ME.  If I understand him correctly, he is saying any given particle has the same probability of being at any point in the universe at any given time, and that is just not true.  It is profoundly misunderstanding probability and reality. 

It is saying that at this moment, though my shoe is in the closet, it had the same probability of being under the bed, in China, or somewhere in the Andromeda galaxy.  So, wow, man, the improbability of it being in the closet proves (proves, I say!) that god exists.
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Offline inveni0

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2012, 09:19:04 PM »
Actually, the card analogy is a poor one.  Because it takes an external force to shuffle the cards, ...

external force?  As opposed to what?  What "internal" forces are moving matter around the galaxy or causing the galaxy to "fall out of orbit"?  I'm not talking about what caused the big bang.  We are dealing with the universe already in motion.

There are no internal forces (that we know of).  That's my point.  However, instead of creating a magical source from our own imagination, we should simply accept the lack of definition (or filler) for the points we've yet to connect.
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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2012, 09:21:59 PM »
you lost me, dude.
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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2012, 03:21:34 PM »
I'd like to point out a further flaw in Wessssss's argument about uncontrolled probability after screwtape's meticulous rebuttal (kudos to you Screw, that was elegant.)

The particles can only have an infinite number of probabilities if the universe is infinitely sized. It is not infinite in size as then there is an infinite amount of energy inside it (violating laws of thermodynamics...?) , and so the number is astronomically large but not infinite

Let me know if I am way off, I'm not sure if this is right.
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Offline WeZzZzRURR

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 01:23:12 AM »
Crap I forgot about this post! lol I'll get on replying to it...
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Offline WeZzZzRURR

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2012, 01:28:25 AM »
I wonder what the odds are that not one planet in the entire universe could be found that was our size, with our chemical content, our potential atmosphere, our water/land ratio, our temperature range, our seasons, our moon, our conditions for life.

I think conditions for life could have summed it up... =P

What are the odds that such a thing couldn't possibly happen? Right now, very early into our ability to research extra-solar system planets, it appears that there are at least 160 billion planets within the milky way. And our galaxy is considered normal sized. We know that there are at least 100 billion galaxies. That means that in order for no planet to have our conditions, all 1,600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 would have to have other, non-earth conditions.

What exactly does science say about why our planet has the conditions necessary for life, and how that life came to be exactly?  Can someone point me in the direction of something to read? =P
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Offline WeZzZzRURR

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2012, 02:05:12 AM »
Pretty easily:  0.  I need some reason to believe it is the case.  I don't.  That is like asking the probability leprechauns exist.  0. Mermaids. 0.  Yeti. 0.  Zeus.  0.  yhwh.  0.

But you would admit yourself (if you are an agnostic atheist, not sure if you made that claim, but others have) that it is possible that there is a God, just incredibly unlikely, so how can you say 0?

I have to admit, I was not expecting this.  I am at a loss for words.  I expected so much more. 

Assuming your ridiculous example were meaningful, I still do not see how that makes you believe in a god.  In what way is god making this possible?

Well, I'm well aware its probably not the "evidence" you were looking for, but to me, that is a thing of beauty, involving compassion and conscious, things that I believe to be beyond the ability of science to understand....  I understand that you're simple response to this is why does this mean that there has to be a God? And in a physical sense, it does not....  But I really do believe that there are things in this world beyond our possible comprehension, and it just leads me to question how those things came to be...

One or both of us is misunderstanding the other's point.  I'm pretty sure I understand yours.  I think you are not understanding what I am saying.

Now I'm confused =/ lol

Then show your work.  Draw the free body diagram.  Show the forces at work.  Show how impossible it is.  I've already shown how fractally wrong you were about the elliptical orbit of the earth.  If you are saying it is going to be thrown off, then you should understand it requires forces to do that.  Show those forces and where they are coming from.

haha yes! Someone else who knows what a FBD! thank you! lol.....  What was I fractally wrong about the elliptical orbit of the earth? And I understand now where you are coming from with the FBD thing, I need to think about that for a while....  A question that I just thought of, call me dumb for not knowing this, I don't really care, but what is the force that is keeping the earth from being sucked into the sun? I understand the force pulling the earth to the sun, but what is the opposing force?

And besides that, 2000 years is nothing in the scales you are talking about.

Well to your beliefs, yes, I just question how possible it is that over the millions of years that the earth has been in rotation around the sun, something hasn't happened resulting in the destruction of the earth.... Another thing, I'm sure other theists have brought this up, my knowledge of the big bang theory is pretty spotty, so bare with me here, but the whole idea is expansion, am I right? I heard somewhere along the way from someone else that if you do the math of the expansion theory, and go back in time, the earth would have been in contact with the sun or something like that, have you guys ever heard this claim?

What you are calling "controlled" is simple, quantifiable probability.  And what you are saying about it - that the probability skyrockets through the roof - is that outcome X - the game we just played - was exquisitely improbable.  And by the logic you are using, that game must have been controlled by a god.  If it was not, then in what way does that improbability imply a god?

huh? lol I got lost..... Are you talking about the cards or about the universe?

Your premise is wrong in two ways. First, the probability of each particle being in the position it is in is 1.  They are in fact where they are.  There is no other position any particle could have been in at that moment.  The universe in which we live follows predictable patterns, which we call "laws".  And these laws dictate how matter and energy behave.  You study these laws. 

These laws become unpredictable when creatures with free will come into play, would you agree that there is an infinite amount of positions that my body could be in at any given time?  I understand that if you freeze my body, then examine the particles inside my body, you can technically put a number on the probability of them being where they are relative to my body, but when you consider the infinite amount of positions that my body could be in at any given time (which has already become infinite), then add the probability on the particles inside of me (making it more infinite? lol), there is no number you can put it on.  This is what I meant, not really sure where I was going with it, just trying to say that there could be things in this world that exceed infinite (won't happen) probability.

Another thing I just thought of, is there a limit on how small a measurement of position (or length I guess) can be? I mean, I guess what I'm asking is can you honestly claim there is?  And if there isn't a limit, is there any limit as to how many particles there could be in the universe (considering the possibility of there being particles even smaller than the ones we are aware of right now)

So you should understand that if a cue ball is at a given point in space at a given time, it is because everything that happened to it prior to that moment - force, momentum, velocity, friction etc -  dictated it and it could not possibly have been any other way.  Similarly, if we stop time and observe the position of particle xyz, the probability of it being anywhere else in the entire universe is 0.  It had to be where it is because of the forces that had acted on it prior.

I would like to believe that I am not a cue ball, maybe an odd ball, but not a cue ball =D  But keep in mind the cue ball does not have free will to move where it wants (at least I think, otherwise pool could be incredibly biased =P)

Otherwise, if what you are saying were true - that particles could otherwise have been at an infinite number of points at a given time - then particles would appear and disappear and reappear randomly throughout the universe.  Momentum would be meaningless.  Newton's first law would not exist.  Then the probability of any given particle being where it is at any given moment truly would be incomprehensibly small.

Well, I think there isn't much more that I can add to this than what I said above...

Second, trying to put a number on the likelihood of positions of particles is not uncontrolled.  It is unknowable.  This is one of the major problems xians have when they talk about the probability of the right atoms combining to make the right molecules.  Their estimates of probability are ALWAYS guesses and have no basis for them.  They usually treat each atom as being as likely to bond with any other atom and that is not the case.

Just something I've wondered for a while, does science attempt to break down the probability of a human being coming to be what he/she is today?

This is what I am talking about.  You are taking the result, the lottery winner, and looking at it as the target, the desired outcome, and trying to estimate the odds.  The odds are 1.  She won the lottery.  It is a done deal.  I already exist.  There were a finite number of sperm involved and one of them had to have made it.  There is no miracle there.

Not calling that the miracle, I'm calling the miracle everything that made you who you are, from your life, from your parents lives, from their parents lives before, etc., all the way back to whatever you claim the beginning of everything is....  I am not just talking about the probability that you came to be, I am talking about the probability that you came to be the person that you are today.

To get me as the desired outcome again?  Incredibly unlikely.  But I was not specified.

Well do you think it is possible for two people to share the exact same subconscious?

The difference between what you are talking about and reality is this: Take the deck of cards.  Shuffle it.  Write down the order.  Is the order improbable?  yes.  But there it is.  It is done.  It is not a miracle, because some outcome is necessary.[1]
 1. In fact, if you are a determinist, like me, you would go so far as to say, the order of any shuffle is not random, just not predictable by us.  The cards follow physical laws and the order is determined by how much force with which the deck is bent, the flexural constant of the cards, the friction between the cards, the position of your fingers holding the deck, etc.  All of it obeys laws.  The outcome is not in doubt to the universe.  Only to us, who cannot factor in all the variables and build a correct model.

True, but can we put a FBD on a subconscious?

Shuffle again.  And again.  This time, try to get the original shuffle. Super improbable.  Your deck will wear out before you get that exact order again.   That is looking backward and trying to say it was impossibly improbable.

So then you would say that you are not unique, in the sense that although it might be highly improbable for you to be conceived again, it is possible? It is possible for someone else to be born with the exact subconscious as you (could think of it as you guys probably being able to predict literally everything you would do).... I'm just not so sold on the idea that this is possible...
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Offline WeZzZzRURR

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2012, 02:11:59 AM »
That's the difference.  It's better to leave a hole than to fill it with wishes and imaginative manifestations.

This is something that's always really confused me.......  There hard to be an origin at one point, but even then, where did that origin come from?  It would seem to me that there it is impossible to try and describe this with physical implications, whether or not you want to admit, something had to have happen that is not comprehensible by anything we know in this world.....  If there is a greater comprehension that exists to be found, something we are completely blind to, then why is it so hard to accept that maybe a God responsible, or some form of a God? That greater comprehension could indeed be a God, lol....
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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2012, 02:18:29 AM »
Wezz, being an engineer you would be familiar with Dimensional AnalysisWiki. Any idea why god is not a factor in the equation?

And by the way being an agnostic atheist doesn't mean that there should be some belief in yhwh. It means we are not discounting the probability of an entity that may have some involvement in the way the universe is. yhwh is a sadist, megalomaniac, incompetent, narcissist and a liar. The probability of such a thing is precisely zero, just as Screwtape said.

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2012, 03:19:09 AM »
Wezz, being an engineer you would be familiar with Dimensional AnalysisWiki. Any idea why god is not a factor in the equation?

Any idea why dimensional analysis is not a factor in our subconscious? =P

And by the way being an agnostic atheist doesn't mean that there should be some belief in yhwh. It means we are not discounting the probability of an entity that may have some involvement in the way the universe is. yhwh is a sadist, megalomaniac, incompetent, narcissist and a liar. The probability of such a thing is precisely zero, just as Screwtape said.

Notice that I was careful to say "a God" as opposed to yhwh.....  I am not ready to make that claim yet because I need to go through the bible from cover to cover.... =P
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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2012, 05:50:35 AM »
Notice that I was careful to say "a God" as opposed to yhwh.....  I am not ready to make that claim yet because I need to go through the bible from cover to cover.... =P

Wezz, this is equal to confessing that yhwh is not god (yhwh != god, yhwh ? god, yhwh <> god etc). If that is your current exposure to the bible, you should refrain from defending it. Be careful, there are Christians around and these sort of things used to carry the death penalty, often brutal.

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2012, 07:10:55 AM »
But I really do believe that there are things in this world beyond our possible comprehension, and it just leads me to question how those things came to be...

Your ignorance of the answer to the questions we do not yet know the answer to does not allow you to substitute a completely unproven answer just because you feel like it.  Also, your belief that there are things we can't possibly understand is unproven. 

People used to question lightning as something they didn't understand.  You're doing the same thing as they were.  We have answers for lightning now, and a billion other things we didn't know that used to be answered by gods.  The thing is... when you realize how great a tool that we have in the scientific method for answering these questions, and when you realize just how many of them are now answered, there comes a tipping point where you say to yourself that it's more than likely that every question we have (in which the scientific method can be utilized for an answer) will eventually be answered by science.  All we need is the evidence. 

A question that I just thought of, call me dumb for not knowing this, I don't really care, but what is the force that is keeping the earth from being sucked into the sun? I understand the force pulling the earth to the sun, but what is the opposing force?

Think of an old fashioned sling.  Tie a rock to the end of a rope and spin it around your head.  Think of yourself as the sun and gravity as the rope.  The speed of the rock trying to move away from you coupled with the force of the gravity (from the rope) is what keeps the rock in a balanced 'orbit' around your head.  Move the rock too slow and the orbit will stop.  Speed it up fast enough and eventually the rope will break and the rock will shoot off in a straight line.  In other words, if the Earth (and all the other planets) weren't moving around the sun at relatively specific speeds (given their mass), then yes it would get pulled right in.  Just like if you pulled the rope and the rock wasn't spinning around, it would move in toward you.  That's why we only have 8 planets instead of thousands of them.  Only 8 balls of rock and dust were moving at the right speeds that achieved a balance with gravity, causing them to orbit the sun.  The rest of them were either thrown off into outer space because they were moving fast enough to overcome the sun's gravitational pull, or sucked in because they were moving too slow to form an orbit.   

The Earth is constantly trying to move in a straight line, just like any other object in motion (including the rock spinning around your head). But the gravity from the sun deviates that straight line.  If the sun suddenly disappeared, the Earth would shoot off at the same speed, just like if you were to let go of the rock.  The rock goes straight once you release it, right?  So would the Earth.

That is my understanding.  If someone can elaborate or expand on it (or correct me if I'm wrong) please do.

A while back, someone linked an online game where you had to send planets toward the sun at specific speeds and see if they would be 'captured' by the suns gravity.  Anyone have the link to that again so Wez can play?

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2012, 07:48:39 AM »
Pretty easily:  0.  I need some reason to believe it is the case.  I don't.  That is like asking the probability leprechauns exist.  0. Mermaids. 0.  Yeti. 0.  Zeus.  0.  yhwh.  0.

But you would admit yourself (if you are an agnostic atheist, not sure if you made that claim, but others have) that it is possible that there is a God, just incredibly unlikely, so how can you say 0?
Most strange...

So basically, you think there is as much chance of leprechauns , mermaids, the Yeti and Zeus existing as there is that  yhwh exists?
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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2012, 09:03:21 AM »
Jeff, that was really good visual. Thanks.

Wez, you might consider googling lawerance kraus and the universe from nothing on you tube. Its a great lecture....then consider buying his book on the same topic.

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2012, 11:03:38 AM »
But you would admit yourself (if you are an agnostic atheist, not sure if you made that claim, but others have) that it is possible that there is a God, just incredibly unlikely, so how can you say 0?

I'm a borderline agnostic atheist.  I am as close to being gnostic as you can get without actually being gnostic.  I would say the probability of God's (capital G) existance is the same as the probability of Zeus' existence.  Or any other god.  I would say you need to ask yourself why you believe in this particular god and not the others.

You also need to look at the difference between the god of the bible - yhwh - and God (capital G).  They are very different.  Understanding how God (capital G) evolved from yhwh is important, because yhwh is very much like Zeus, or any other  little regional god.

Well, I'm well aware its probably not the "evidence" you were looking for, but to me, that is a thing of beauty, involving compassion and conscious, things that I believe to be beyond the ability of science to understand....

Really?  It is beyond science to understand how animals bond?  I think you ought to do a little research on that.

I understand that you're simple response to this is why does this mean that there has to be a God? And in a physical sense, it does not....

Well, as admissions go, that's a start.

But I really do believe that there are things in this world beyond our possible comprehension, and it just leads me to question how those things came to be...

For sure there are things we do not understand and I wonder about too. But keep in mind, we have only really been doing science for what, 150 years?  And science takes a long time to do.  Just because we do not have answers now does not mean we never will.


haha yes! Someone else who knows what a FBD! thank you! lol.....  What was I fractally wrong about the elliptical orbit of the earth? And I understand now where you are coming from with the FBD thing, I need to think about that for a while....  A question that I just thought of, call me dumb for not knowing this, I don't really care, but what is the force that is keeping the earth from being sucked into the sun? I understand the force pulling the earth to the sun, but what is the opposing force?

Crack open your dynamics book.  There is no opposing force.  It has velocity.  The gravitational force acts perpendicular to the velocity, thus constantly changing the velocity vector.  If the velocity is not great enough, the body is drawn into the center.  If the velocity is too great, it escapes. There is a range in between that satisfies an orbit.   

Well to your beliefs, yes,

No, not to my beliefs.  to astrophysics and the scales of distance and speed involved.

I just question how possible it is that over the millions of years that the earth has been in rotation around the sun, something hasn't happened resulting in the destruction of the earth....

? like what?  We have jupiter and saturn acting as gravity wells attracting and sucking up all the really big threats.  And it is believed the earth has been almost destroyed by meteors in the past.  It is believed that is what caused the dinosaurs to go extinct, allowing mammals to take over.

... but the whole idea is expansion, am I right?

yes, but not in the way you talk about.

I heard somewhere along the way from someone else that if you do the math of the expansion theory, and go back in time, the earth would have been in contact with the sun or something like that, have you guys ever heard this claim?

I haven't, but it sounds like someone who is completely misunderstanding the term, the idea and has no idea of the current understanding of how the universe and solar system developed.

huh? lol I got lost..... Are you talking about the cards or about the universe?

either.  Both.  it doesn't matter which.

These laws become unpredictable when creatures with free will come into play,

Unpredictable does not mean the laws cease to function.  It just means we do not understand all the variables well enough for us to predict. Newton's laws[1] still apply, we are just unable to account for all the factors.

And I am not going down the rabbit hole of free will.  I believe free will is an illusion. 

would you agree that there is an infinite amount of positions that my body could be in at any given time?

No.  The probability of any given position depends on the prior position and the context.  The probability of your body being in orbit around Mars five seconds after I post this is 0. 

This is what I meant, not really sure where I was going with it, just trying to say that there could be things in this world that exceed infinite (won't happen) probability.

I understand what you meant.  But you are wrong.

Another thing I just thought of, is there a limit on how small a measurement of position (or length I guess) can be?

I do not know for sure, but I recall there being a quantum element to time, so I would very tentatively say yes.


But keep in mind the cue ball does not have free will to move where it wants

the cue ball is a simplification.  free will does not allow you the ability to randomly appear at any given point in the universe.

Well, I think there isn't much more that I can add to this than what I said above...

Then you are fundamentally misunderstanding almost everything I have said and most of what you have said.

Just something I've wondered for a while, does science attempt to break down the probability of a human being coming to be what he/she is today?

No.  It would be impossible and pointless.

Not calling that the miracle, I'm calling the miracle everything that made you who you are, from your life, from your parents lives, from their parents lives before, etc., all the way back to whatever you claim the beginning of everything is....

It is the same thing.

 
Well do you think it is possible for two people to share the exact same subconscious?

I have no idea what that even means or what it has to do with this conversation.

True, but can we put a FBD on a subconscious?

I don't know and irrelevant.


 1. or, general relativity and quantum mechanics, whichever
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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2012, 11:45:48 AM »
I wonder what the odds are that not one planet in the entire universe could be found that was our size, with our chemical content, our potential atmosphere, our water/land ratio, our temperature range, our seasons, our moon, our conditions for life.

I think conditions for life could have summed it up... =P

I like pretending I'm a drama queen sometimes...

What are the odds that such a thing couldn't possibly happen? Right now, very early into our ability to research extra-solar system planets, it appears that there are at least 160 billion planets within the milky way. And our galaxy is considered normal sized. We know that there are at least 100 billion galaxies. That means that in order for no planet to have our conditions, all 1,600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 would have to have other, non-earth conditions.

What exactly does science say about why our planet has the conditions necessary for life, and how that life came to be exactly?  Can someone point me in the direction of something to read? =P
[/quote]

To get a quick overview of the history of our planet, watch this 90 minute video from the National Geographic channel. Though some of the details, like how life started, are still speculative (as such things have to be right now), this video will give you a good general view of the various stages our planet has gone through.

Watch this, and then everything else you learn can be used to supplement the basics provided in the video. Obviously a god is left out, and you will have both disagreements and huge questions. But at least you will have a better idea of where we are coming from.

And remember, everything discussed in the video, be it planetary formation, ice ages, water, extinctions, volcanic disasters, etc. left behind evidence. So this isn't science fiction, made up in one persons mind, but rather the culmination of many scientific findings and the theories that came from those clues. The world of science can support everything claimed in this video.

And, if a a god is ever proven, science will start looking to see where the heck he came from. Because that can't be any less mysterious than our own story.

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Re: physics, life, probability and god
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2012, 12:00:34 PM »
That's the difference.  It's better to leave a hole than to fill it with wishes and imaginative manifestations.

This is something that's always really confused me.......  There hard to be an origin at one point, but even then, where did that origin come from?  It would seem to me that there it is impossible to try and describe this with physical implications, whether or not you want to admit, something had to have happen that is not comprehensible by anything we know in this world.....  If there is a greater comprehension that exists to be found, something we are completely blind to, then why is it so hard to accept that maybe a God responsible, or some form of a God? That greater comprehension could indeed be a God, lol....

For the same reason you don't believe that the universe was created by a nine-tentacled unicorn with the fur of a leopard and the horn of a rhinoceros.  Just because your magical creature is generalized enough to "feel" right doesn't mean that it's not still a complete figment of your imagination.
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