Bad Math Used in Apologetics

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Bust Nak
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Post #21

Post by Bust Nak »

Jagella wrote: I see you have found links to examples of the arguments I posted in the OP. Was it hard to do?
Infinite regression is my favorite topic so all I had to do was search my post history for those epic debates.
Did you curse my name because I didn't post links in the OP?
No, because those were very common apologetics. But still, you should have presented links as soon as you were challenged; sending people off to look for it themselves is not cool.

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Re: Bad Math Used in Apologetics

Post #22

Post by Guy Threepwood »

[Replying to post 1 by Jagella]
The only probability that rules out an event happening by chance is an event with a probability of zero. Extremely improbable events--like the conception of any of us--happen all the time.
As before, the problem with this argument can be easily recognized if you consider a gambler playing 4 royal flushes in a row.

chance is not zero, it's just so small that the tiniest chance of 'cheating' easily becomes the less improbable explanation. Possible does not equal most probable

Most people since the dawn of civilization have looked at the world around them and intuitively concluded that chance was not an adequate explanation. But it's only fairly recently that the math has shown more objectively, how improbable chance creation of the universe and ourselves would be. And the odds are far lower than mere intuition would generally suggest. The numbers are hyper-exponential and growing every day we learn something new about reality

This is not a 'religious' argument, but objective mathematics, and the reason so many have turned to infinite probability machines as the last possible hypothetical explanation that would not have to involve creative intelligence in any way.

I say why not just look for the most likely explanation, period? no matter the implications

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Re: Bad Math Used in Apologetics

Post #23

Post by Jagella »

Guy Threepwood wrote:This is not a 'religious' argument, but objective mathematics, and the reason so many have turned to infinite probability machines as the last possible hypothetical explanation that would not have to involve creative intelligence in any way.
Well, since we are evidently strictly demanding links to sources of information that we post, can you post a link to inform us of one or more scientist who is trying to avoid an explanation for some cosmic mystery that appears to involve "creative intelligence"?
I say why not just look for the most likely explanation, period? no matter the implications
Yes. Let's continue to test and observe measurable data seeking coherent explanations for natural phenomena.

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Jagella
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Post #24

Post by Jagella »

Bust Nak wrote:...you should have presented links as soon as you were challenged; sending people off to look for it themselves is not cool.
Why? To facilitate trolling?

As we all know my real crime is making Christian apologists look bad.

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Re: Bad Math Used in Apologetics

Post #25

Post by Guy Threepwood »

Jagella wrote:
Guy Threepwood wrote:This is not a 'religious' argument, but objective mathematics, and the reason so many have turned to infinite probability machines as the last possible hypothetical explanation that would not have to involve creative intelligence in any way.
Well, since we are evidently strictly demanding links to sources of information that we post, can you post a link to inform us of one or more scientist who is trying to avoid an explanation for some cosmic mystery that appears to involve "creative intelligence"?
[Hoyle] found the idea that the universe had a beginning to be pseudoscience, resembling arguments for a creator,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hoyle

Hawking posited the Big Crunch as a theory which made God 'redundant', in his own words

Lawrence Krauss and Dawkins both publicly identify as anti-theist- that's hardly controversial.

We all have beliefs, as long as we recognize them as such, we can change them based on evidence


Yes. Let's continue to test and observe measurable data seeking coherent explanations for natural phenomena.
[/quote]

correction:

Let's continue to test and observe measurable data seeking coherent explanations for [strike]natural[/strike] phenomena.

then we can objectively determine whether they are natural phenomena or artifacts of creative intelligence.

Putting the conclusion first prevents this

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Jagella
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Re: Bad Math Used in Apologetics

Post #26

Post by Jagella »

Guy Threepwood wrote:[Hoyle] found the idea that the universe had a beginning to be pseudoscience, resembling arguments for a creator,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hoyle

Hawking posited the Big Crunch as a theory which made God 'redundant', in his own words

Lawrence Krauss and Dawkins both publicly identify as anti-theist- that's hardly controversial.
Thank you very much! It's good that we are staying on-topic.

Anyway, I can't read the minds of these scientists, but I always understood science as searching for coherent explanations for what we observe in the world and in ourselves. This search involves what we can observe and what we can test. As far as I know no god including the Christian god can be observed or tested, neither can any god be well defined. So these scientists may avoid any kind of theism in their work not because they don't like the idea of gods but because they cannot apply science to gods.

Now, if you'd like to explain how the god you believe can be observed, tested, or even precisely defined, then I'd like very much to see that explanation.
We all have beliefs, as long as we recognize them as such, we can change them based on evidence
I agree very strongly. What evidence would cause you to conclude or at least suspect that there are no gods?
Let's continue to test and observe measurable data seeking coherent explanations for [strike]natural[/strike] phenomena.

then we can objectively determine whether they are natural phenomena or artifacts of creative intelligence.
How could we tell the difference between natural phenomena and "artifacts of creative intelligence"? I assumed that gods can create natural phenomena.

Finally, I have no problem with an intelligent agent designing something in nature. We humans do it all the time. But if you want your view to be accepted as science, then you need to play by the same game as other scientists do. So for example if you wish to argue that some things are so improbable that they need an intelligent agent to explain them, then submit your work for peer review. If it passes peer review, then you will have made your view scientifically respectable.

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Re: Bad Math Used in Apologetics

Post #27

Post by Guy Threepwood »

[Replying to post 26 by Jagella]
I always understood science as searching for coherent explanations for what we observe in the world and in ourselves
no disagreement here
This search involves what we can observe and what we can test
multiverses? dark energy? single celled organisms becoming mammals through random variation and natural selection?

right or wrong, we can't always directly observe things, sometimes we can only try to deduce them, right?

If we dig up an arrowhead, we deduce an intelligent designer whom we can never directly observe.
I agree very strongly. What evidence would cause you to conclude or at least suspect that there are no gods?
Same as would lead me to suspect that the Rosetta Stone or Mount Rushmore were created by natural phenomena- an adequate natural mechanism that provides a better explanation than ID.
How could we tell the difference between natural phenomena and "artifacts of creative intelligence"? I assumed that gods can create natural phenomena.
Mount Rushmore v the Old Man of Hoy. Some observations are better explained by intelligent design, others by natural phenomena, Archaeologists and forensic scientists often have to weigh both possibilities if they are to be scientific. we have no precedent for how universes are 'usually created' that would allow us to determine any 'default' explanation, do we?
Finally, I have no problem with an intelligent agent designing something in nature. We humans do it all the time. But if you want your view to be accepted as science, then you need to play by the same game as other scientists do. So for example if you wish to argue that some things are so improbable that they need an intelligent agent to explain them, then submit your work for peer review. If it passes peer review, then you will have made your view scientifically respectable.
Again Piltdown man, phrenology and canals on Mars were 'respectable science' among academics, while the Big Bang was 'religious pseudoscience'

I'm rather less interested in what is currently considered 'respectable' among the small niche of academic opinion, far more interested in what is actually true, aren't you?

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Re: Bad Math Used in Apologetics

Post #28

Post by Jagella »

Guy Threepwood wrote:multiverses? dark energy? single celled organisms becoming mammals through random variation and natural selection?

right or wrong, we can't always directly observe things, sometimes we can only try to deduce them, right?
As I see it, if we do need to deduce, then it's best to deduce based on what we have established through observation and testing (math is one obvious exception to this rule). So what you have listed above might be deduced from what has been tested and/or observed. The multiverse, for instance, is an idea that follows from what we know from quantum mechanics, and quantum mechanics has been thoroughly tested.
If we dig up an arrowhead, we deduce an intelligent designer whom we can never directly observe.
We really don't need to rely on deduction to know that arrowheads are the product of intelligent design. We can directly observe people creating them, and if we do not see an arrowhead created by a person, then we can apply induction to be confident we know that an arrowhead is intelligent design.

Direct observation of any agent creating a living thing is not available to us. So we cannot rely on induction to establish that living things are intelligently designed.

So I cannot say I agree with your arrowhead analogy.
What evidence would cause you to conclude or at least suspect that there are no gods?
Same as would lead me to suspect that the Rosetta Stone or Mount Rushmore were created by natural phenomena- an adequate natural mechanism that provides a better explanation than ID.
Then what in nature is like the Rosetta Stone? The Rosetta Stone has a symbolic language inscribed on it. As far as I know there is no symbolic language in nature aside from human nature. Are there any letters in the stars, for example?

And as far as Mount Rushmore is concerned, I know of no such statues in nature aside from what we humans have created.
Some observations are better explained by intelligent design, others by natural phenomena...
Like I said, we humans intelligently design things all the time. So I agree that in many cases we can distinguish intelligent design from the results of natural processes, but we tell one from the other from direct observation of people creating things and direct observation of natural processes creating things. No such direct observation is available for any god.
we have no precedent for how universes are 'usually created' that would allow us to determine any 'default' explanation, do we?
I'm not sure what you mean by "default explanation," but cosmologists are working hard on coming up with answers as to why the cosmos exists and why it has the form it does. I'm patient enough to wait and see what they come up with. Until then, I suspend judgment as to the existence of the universe.
Again Piltdown man, phrenology and canals on Mars were 'respectable science' among academics, while the Big Bang was 'religious pseudoscience'
Oh sure. Scientists sometimes make huge blunders, but in those cases they were honest enough to admit their error and correct it. I admire that kind of honesty--honesty that is often sorely lacking in religion.
I'm rather less interested in what is currently considered 'respectable' among the small niche of academic opinion, far more interested in what is actually true, aren't you?
Yes, of course I'm interested in what's actually true, and that's why I think peer review is a good idea. Do you fear that intelligent design cannot survive peer review?

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Re: Bad Math Used in Apologetics

Post #29

Post by Guy Threepwood »

[Replying to post 28 by Jagella]


As I see it, if we do need to deduce, then it's best to deduce based on what we have established through observation and testing
Then we are having trouble finding things to disagree on!

If we are trying to deduce the origin of the Rosetta stone, we have observation and testing that tells us how such things are usually created
Similarly, if we are trying to deduce the origin of a digital parity bit error checking system as used in DNA. Our routine observation gives us an objective precedent for this also.
We really don't need to rely on deduction to know that arrowheads are the product of intelligent design. We can directly observe people creating them, and if we do not see an arrowhead created by a person, then we can apply induction to be confident we know that an arrowhead is intelligent design.

Direct observation of any agent creating a living thing is not available to us. So we cannot rely on induction to establish that living things are intelligently designed.

So I cannot say I agree with your arrowhead analogy.
Likewise, we have direct observation of people creating hierarchical digital information systems, as we see in DNA. We have no direct observation of natural processes achieving the same.

Having said that, the observation of information creation through creative intelligence is just one line of evidence, the information itself is another.

e.g. a sophisticated signal picked up by SETI, in whatever medium, would be compelling evidence of intelligent design, which I believe you said you hoped for one day?
Then what in nature is like the Rosetta Stone? The Rosetta Stone has a symbolic language inscribed on it. As far as I know there is no symbolic language in nature aside from human nature. Are there any letters in the stars, for example?
A C G T
Like I said, we humans intelligently design things all the time. So I agree that in many cases we can distinguish intelligent design from the results of natural processes, but we tell one from the other from direct observation of people creating things and direct observation of natural processes creating things. No such direct observation is available for any god.
So we learn to recognize the fingerprints of each, regardless of observing the creation, so that when a sophisticated signal is picked up by SETI, we know it's not natural, no matter where it came from
Yes, of course I'm interested in what's actually true, and that's why I think peer review is a good idea. Do you fear that intelligent design cannot survive peer review?
Absolutely, and I believe it inevitably will, (if not forbidden by arbitrary limitations on the scientific method like methodical naturalism) just as Big Bang and quantum physics did- eventually- but peer pressure review inherently tends to lag scientific discovery, often by many decades-

It is far more useful, if a theory survives the scientific method, than the vagaries of academic consensus, would you disagree?

Scientists sometimes make huge blunders, but in those cases they were honest enough to admit their error and correct it

Hoyle who coined the term Big Bang as a pejorative, never admitted his error till his dying day- after you have mocked and rejected your opponents beliefs as 'religious pseudoscience', it's very difficult to change your mind, no matter the evidence.

"An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: What does happen is that the opponents gradually die out. "Max Planck



Thank you for all your thoughtful responses.

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Re: Bad Math Used in Apologetics

Post #30

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 28 by Jagella]
Direct observation of any agent creating a living thing is not available to us. So we cannot rely on induction to establish that living things are intelligently designed.
Nor do we see any designers designing planets, just clumps of space dust and particles compacting under gravity over billions of years.
The Rosetta Stone has a symbolic language inscribed on it.
Three actually. Egyptian hieroglyphs (that were up to that point indecipherable), Demotic script and Koine Greek.
And as far as Mount Rushmore is concerned, I know of no such statues in nature aside from what we humans have created.
Mentioning Rushmore was a bad move for Guy. We have photos and records of its construction. We have photos of what it looked like before construction, during and after.
Image

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