What is the Threshold of Intolerable Miraculousness?

Discussion in 'The Cesspool' started by Eugene Shubert, May 19, 2017.

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  1. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    I actually tried that (7th Day Adventist) for a while, exchemist. They have great pot lucks (usually vegetarian) get togethers, but too much stress on the book of revelations, and entirely too much tolerance for prophesies that don't come true.

    For a while I faulted their 5K year old young Earth, until I discovered my adopted religion has exactly the same figure. They are entirely tolerable, though. Good folks. They do many good and charitable works, and deserve full credit for those. Can science do that? Why doesn't it?
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Deliberate suppression or diversion of the intellect is one of the most contemptible things. I would think any Jew would understand that.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Point of order:

    What is this thread actually about?
     
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Religion. It is an exercise in creationist rhetorical games, from a Seventh Day Adventist with a bee in his bonnet (well actually several but we won't go into all that here).

    It has never been about either physics or maths, from the outset.

    I've asked for it to be moved.
     
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Creationism. Eugene is using a Gish Gallop-like approach to the problems that creationists face by looking up as many science-y words as he can and throwing them into an argument. "After all," many creationists think, "if scientists can do it, why can't I?"

    This isn't anything new. The Discovery Institute started this attempt decades ago. Their strategy, as called out in a leaked document called the Wedge Strategy, was: "To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies" and "To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God." They did so by cloaking themselves in science-y sounding words and concepts, and then once "past the gate" go to full religious nuttery. To quote the report: "This isn't really, and never has been a debate about science. Its about religion and philosophy."

    Eugene is simply the latest disciple of this strategy.
     
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  9. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    My knowledge of Mendel is limited

    (I'll say it before anyone else does - so is my knowledge in most subjects)

    but he was puzzled by the ? sweetpea plant and worked out the combinations which lead to the differences

    All credit to him

    At least he didn't just observe the differences and put it down to gods work and leave it at that

    The hidden Scientist in him came out and said

    I wonder why

    Again all credit to him for his discoveries

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  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Science is a social organization. Individual can and do engage in charity. Why do you think "science" is another religion. It's not.
     
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  11. Eugene Shubert Registered Senior Member

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    So if a self-replicating molecular machine A produces a mutated self-replicating molecular machine B such that, in its self-replicating process, two base pairs of B’s DNA gets transposed, then you regard it as a mathematical impossibility for the same two base pairs of B to get transposed again, in the next iteration of self-replication, which would be an evolution back to the original molecular machine A.
     
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  12. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Now you are talking about base pairs not a whole genome.
     
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  13. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    That's why Judaism doesn't condone it. We have orthodoxy, agnostic, and even atheist views all living together under the same Star of David. Look at our history; we don't even try very hard to be Angels, and there is no afterlife as a reward. Be moral on this Earth. We do not tolerate suppression of science or intellect. If you blaspheme (hard to do that since our G-d has no name), that's between you and Adonai.
     
  14. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    For the first 55 years of my life, science was my religion. It was then I began doubting the scientific equivalent of scripture.
     
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Nope. It's a mathematical possibility. Now, if you assume billions of base pairs, in billions of possible configurations, within billions of possible structures - then it becomes a mathematical impossibility.

    Once the number of potential permutations starts exceeding the number of atoms in the universe (around 10^80) it becomes a mathematical impossibility. Two is not the same as 4^3000000000 even if your religion requires it to be.
     
  16. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    A book by David J. Hand discusses something he calls "the improbability principle -why coincidences, miracles, and rare events happen every day. Here is a 2014 review:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opin...1666705ca3b_story.html?utm_term=.8082854aad17

    Hand's "Improbability Principle" asserts that extremely improbable events are commonplace, which is a consequance of a collection of more fundamental laws, which all tie together and lead inevitably and inexorably to the occurrence of such extraordinarily unlikely events.

    I'm not buying the whole book to find out what those other fundamental laws are, but one of them is an extraordinarily large number of commonplace events occurring with regularity, and I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts, the other law would be that we notice extraordinary or miraculous things more than the more commonplace ones.

    The only "threshold" would therefore be our own thresholds of boredom, and the likelihood that we would notice something extraordinary when or if it happens.

    This process is of course very similar in many respects to speciation in evolution. If some adaptation is advantageous to a new species, it will survive and thrive in whatever environment it has advantage in, until or unless some better adaptation occurs or the environment changes again.

    And the scientific method works exactly the same way, and both processes are indeed miraculous in terms of results.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  17. Eugene Shubert Registered Senior Member

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    If the probability for a transposition of the two base pairs is p, then the probability for the undoing of that transposition in the next iteration is also p.
     
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  18. Eugene Shubert Registered Senior Member

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    This thread is about the threshold of intolerable miraculousness. See post #1. So I'm asking for a number that presumably would represent the threshold of intolerable improbability.
     
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  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Speciation is not improbable.
     
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  20. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Those base pairs don't move by themselves, Eugene. If they move, there is a good reason they move, and that may or may not be part of G-d's plan, even if we mere mortals knew what that was. Usually, we don't, because we are not supposed to be such a large fraction of the ecosystem that we can manipulate everything to our will.

    Especially things like base pairs. If we try hard enough with those, it could be unintentionally and universally lethal to our species. Don't blame G-d for a miracle like that. Evolution is what fashioned our brains, miracle or not.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  21. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    David hand quoted a figure of 1 part in 10^10 to be "negligibly improbable", and then went on to perform his analysis.
     
  22. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Eugene Shubert
    Can any conceivable DNA-based life-form evolve into any other conceivable DNA-based life-form?

    Moving the goal post from

    LIFE

    to

    MACHINE

    Subtle NOT

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  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Those two words don't even make sense together.
    What does it mean for a miracle to be "intolerable"? What do you do - send it to its room?
     
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