A creator/creators probably exists
Bop on pro
God is defined as the sentient creator of the known universe
Probably is defined as more than 50% possibilty
Exists is defined as not imagined.
Since you've challenged me to this, I'll accept.
I'd like to add detail to your definitions:
1) First, your proposition says "creator/creators", and your first round definitions only define "God", which as far as I understand, is a specific idea of a creator. You will have a much easier time if you stick to the idea of a creator or creators in the general sense, since P(A) >= P(A&B) for any A /= B, and the concept of God involves additional properties than just the concept of a creator.
2) "Probably" would be more accurately defined as "more probable than any competing explanation", but since this debate began with us disagreeing that the probability of a god is 50%, and because we're discussing a binary outcome, it seems appropritae for us to say that "probably" means "more than 50% probability".
"Probability" is the quantifiable measure of likeliness. Therefore, your BoP is to show that you can measure the probability of the existence of a creator is greater than 50%, or 0.5.
3) Finally, I would recommend that you extend your definition of "Exists" say "having objective presence in reality beyond imagination", or something similar. The reason is, if it were simply "not imagined", I have a very easy route to winning based on a semantic argument. I'd rather we close any holes that give me an easy win and have a better debate.
Go ahead and make your case. I hope you have the best debate you can and make a very strong case. Since you're taking on the BoP, I will likely not make many, if any, arguments of my own, and simply attempt to thoroughly refute all of your arguments.
God: Firstly sentient implies existance. Any action proven to be purposeful implies a sentient cause. Any action proven to be random implies non-sentience. I contend that God is beyond human comprehension. As proof I offer the example of any creature lower than humans on the evolutionary scale. It is impossible for any creature to comprehend the complexities of being human. Thay can only do so in terms they comprehend. Namely shelter, food, reproduction. Because we are at the top of the evolution scale we believe we know and understand everything. For a species that is discovering new ideas and possibilities daily I believe its foolish to believe we can comprehend God. Therefore defining aspects to God from our perspective is a foolhardy exercise as we can easily disprove those aspects. For this reason I suggest we define God as the creator of everything and nothing else.
Purpose versus random event.
I contend that any object is iether create on purpose or by random events. The probability of its existance being purposed is higher than its probability of its existance being a random event.
Proof: let us take the simplest object I can imagine. A wooden stick with one end hardened in a fire. Such an object could be created by a person or by nature due to random events. A man takes a branch and trims off the twigs then sharpens one end and holds it in the fire. This seems concievable.
Lightning strikes a branch resulting in a fire. The branch falls to the ground where it lands in a puddle and the fire is put out. Some animals walk past and tramp on the branch at just the right angle to break off any twigs. Also concievable.
But if you find such a stick lying in the forest the probabilty that it is man made is much higher than the probability that it is a result of random events.
More complicated objects increase the probability that the object was purposed and decrease the probability that they exist due to random events. I believe this proves that an object that was created on purpose is more probable than the same object created by random events.
Now a creator: I contend that proof of such a being existing does not exist. Niether is there proof the being doesn't. All personal feelings aside the answer is either yes or no. Logic can not dictate this answer as our logic is limited to our understanding. We can never understand god unless we are his equal. Therefore the logic which determines our belief in God's existance is incomplete. A guess is the only possible option. But we can make an educated guess by what we know as fact. So what do we know as fact?
We know that the universe exists. We know that life exists. We know that life is more likely to exist on purpose than by random events. Logically the best guess is God exists and we are purposed.
I now hand you over to Con.
Definition of Creator/God
More formally: let us say that A is the set of all properties in the definition of a creator and B is an additional property to be added. Let’s call P(A) the probability of a creator with the properties in A (we should write P(C|A),but I’m using P(A) to simplify notation) and P(A&B) is the probability of a creator with the properties in A and the additional property (or set of properties) B. Then for any A /= B and B not in A, and if P(B) /= 0, then P(A&B) = P(A|B)P(A) ≤ P(A) with equality only if B is a proper subset of A .
To conclude, if you prefer to change the proposition to mean God instead of creator, I may accept that. However, I think you should have written the proposition to accurately reflect your intended debate topic, and I do urge you consider that this switch in terminology may actually make your BoP more difficult.
Pro’s First Argument
I will first attempt to summarize and clarify Pro’s argument. I found the argument to be somewhat disjointed, so please do not take this as an accurate portrayal of Pro’s argument without Pro’s explicit acceptance. This is only my best understand of Pro’s argument thus far.
P1 – Any object is either created on purpose or by random events.
P2 – The probability of any object being created on purpose is greater than its probability of being created by random events.
P3 – The probability that an object was created on purpose is inversely related to its complexity.
P4 – There is no proof for or against a creator, so we must guess.
P5 – The universe exists, and life exists.
P6 – Life is more likely to be created on purpose.
C – Therefore the best guess is that we have purposes and God (creator) exists.
In case I have misrepresented Pro’s argument, I will just address the key premises which were made more explicitly.
Claim 1 – Any object is either created on purpose or by random events.
We first need definitions for “random” and “purpose” in order to make this a precise claim. Since we are discussing probabilities, then we should use the appropriate corresponding definition of “random” in order to avoid equivocation fallacies and incoherence.
Random: a sequence that contains no recognizable patterns, regularities, or predictability.
We must also be careful to distinguish this from “random variable”: A random variable is a function defined on the sample space, where the value for each element in the sample space is between 0 and 1 inclusive, and the sum of all evaluations of the function over the sample space is 1.
I will leave Pro to define “purpose”, as it is Pro’s desire to argue for the necessity of purpose in all non-random events, as opposed to other options which are currently considered viable, such as undirected determinism, constrained optimization, or stochastic sequences over random variables.
To address the claim directly, this as a false dichotomy unless Pro can demonstrate that these are the only two possibilities. Until that time, this claim cannot effectively be used to show that a creator is more than 50% likely to exist, and the options listed above can be considered possible.
It takes only one counter-example to disprove the claim that any object is either created purposefully or randomly. Most objects are created by stochastic processes which are not completely random (though they may include random elements. Here is one such example: the formation of rivers, which are somewhat stochastic but determined by the local variations in physical properties of land surrounding bodies of water. Given a model of a body of water and a surrounding land mass, one can simulate the expected channel formation (e.g. ).
Claim 1 – Example
Pro uses an example (which pro mistakenly calls a proof) to illustrate this first claim. In this example, Pro states that the simplest object he can imagine is a wooden stick with one end hardened by fire. He goes on to state that it is improbable that this stick could occur naturally. I think we could come up with a simpler example, given that this example involves a part of a living organism containing billions, if not trillions, of cells and several stages of modification in order to exist in the first place. Later In the example Pro adds that the stick is sharpened at one end. This does suggest the involvement of a human, since sharpening a stick usually requires a sharp tool. Now the question is, in what sense is a sharpened modified stick the simplest possible object one can imagine?
Pro seems to imply by this example that no object in nature could have occurred naturally (ironically using an object that we know generally does not occur naturally). The example doesn’t require a creator of the universe, however, it requires a human. So is Pro arguing that humans created the universe? What about the stick itself, before it was sharpened by a human? Why was this simpler object not used as an example? Is pro willing and able to argue that a stick requires a creator and implies a creator of the universe? What about a rock? Water? Atoms? Photons?
Claim 2 – More complicated objects more strongly imply a creator
There are two problems with this claim. I have already mentioned the false dichotomy of design vs. random events (with “random” still undefined). The second problem is the assumption that complexity is the hallmark of design, when in fact, good design typically implies the minimum complexity required to perform a desired function (i.e. elegance). Therefore, simplicity is the hallmark of design.
There are several methods of complexity currently in use. Most of these measures give a lower degree of complexity for man-made objects, compared to objects which we normally consider to be natural in origin. This is because complexity is the extent to which an object or system does not correspond to simple patterns, or any patterns . In other words, measures of complexity are used as measures of ‘how random’ an object or system is [2,3]. This runs completely contrary to the assumptions made by Pro.
The relationship between complexity and randomness can be seen clearly in two of the measures of complexity used for natural systems: Shannon entropy  and fractal dimensionality .
Claim 3 – Life is most likely purposefully created
This is begging the question, but more importantly, no evidence or logic is provided to support this claim. it does not require refutation at this time, as no conclusion is supported through this assertion.
So far Pro has not provided any compelling reason to accept the conclusion that a creator exists. Nothing approaching logical or scientific rigor has been provided and the BoP has not yet been approached. I hope Pro uses my comments constructively for the next round.
 John A. Rice. Mathematical Statistics and Data Analysis. Third Edition. (2007). Thomson Higher Education, Belmont, CA, USA. Pp. 16-18.
 R Lopez-Ruiz, HL Mancini, X. Calbet. A Statistical Measure of Complexity. (2002). http://arxiv.org...
 A Eke, P Herman BG Sanganshalli, F Hyder, P Mukli, Z Nagy. Pitfalls in fractal time series analysis: fMRI BOLD as an exemplary case. (2012). Frontiers in Physiology: 3(417).
 N Olsen. Three-Dimensional CFD Modeling of Self-Forming Meandering Channel. (2003). Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 129(5).
I must apologize for the many mistakes. i am using a phone to type and my fingers struggle to keep up with my train of thought plus these buttons are obviously made for people with much smaller fingers than my own. I also often assume whats logical to me is logical to everyone so i don't explain everything in detail. I will try to refrain from doing so in future.
God or Creator:
A being that exists and created the universe for a purpose.
I believe that such a beings existence can neither be proven nor disproved if we include the being in our equations.
To prove x we cant use x in the equation if x is a variable and we also can't prove x if we give attributes to x which make x impossible.
What that boils down to is I can't prove a creator exists if you believe its impossible for a creator to exist.
There are 3 types of believers in the world.
Atheists who believe its impossible for a creator to exist.
Agnostics/atheists who believe its possible a creator exists but its unlikely
Agnostic/believers who believe its possible a creator exists and its probably true.
Both Atheists and Agnostic/believers are closed minded. Their beliefs are moulded by logic which is determined by past experience. Nothing can alter a closed mind but absolute proof and in the case of a creator that is impossible.
A creator is a concept with no physical characteristics except those we give to it. In my opinion it is because of a sense all humans have to a certain degree. Like gravity. Gravity can,t be seen, heard, smelled or tasted. We can see its effect on objects and thereby conclude it exists. To a certain extent we can feel gravity as a sense of weight. If we could feel a creator it might for instance feel like a sense of belonging or purpose. maybe even a sense of being loved. Perhaps we perceive what we feel in different ways or latch onto a idea that feels right and that's how religion spreads. Nobody can say for certain. The fact is there is no physical proof for or against a creators existence and therefore the odds are 50/50. Any argument to the contrary requires imagined proof and is therefore invalid. If Con has actual proof that a creator doesn't exist which does not involve disproving a man given quality of that creator I will be happy to change those odds.
A random event is a event which occurs naturally. Suns are formed naturally. Planets. Moons. Mountains, oceans, rivers. Wind, clouds. These are all natural phenomina and their existance easily explained. But a purposed event is something that is unlikely to have been created by natural causes. If you walk into a cave and find a ring of stones with ash in it what do you assume? That lightning struck a tree and a burning branch got blown into the cave, landing in a circle of rocks that were deposited there by water? Its possible. But its more probable that someone made a fire. Probability can in this way be used to decide the most logical option. Now life is a funny thing. It requires a very specific set of circumstances to exist.
If one of these factors is missing then life would be impossible. Now i'm not talking about humans exclusively but all life. From animals and plants to the smallest possible living thing. The more factors needed the lower the odds of their probability.
Now many people struggle to understand probability especially when it comes to big numbers so i will try to explain it in simple terms. If you toss a coin in the air it has a 50% probability of landing on heads. If we toss it again we also have a 50% probability of it landing on heads. but if we need both tosses to be heads then we only have a 25% chance. and if we have to toss the coin 3 times and need heads again we halve 25% to hive us 12.5%. So the odds of getting 3 heads are 12.5%. So what are the odds of tossing a coin 50 times and getting heads every time? I have no clue. I got to 41 and my calculator gave up. it was at 0.00000000004% probability. Well the odds of life existing are 1 in 10^238. That means having the right type of sun, toss a coin for heads. The right type of planet, toss a coin for heads. The right distance from the sun, toss a coin for heads. Rotating at the right angle, toss a coin for heads. I'm not going through the whole list but you welcome to view it at http://evolutionfaq.com...
Basically you have to toss that coin a couple of thousand times and always land on heads.
Taking into account how big the universe is its not impossible that all these factors occured by chance but if i toss a coin ten times and it lands on heads i call it a miracle. a thousand times? That is not luck. That is obviously by design.
Well you may ask what is the point of the rest of the universe?
To get from point A to point B we need a few things. Firstly we need time. If time stands still we would never move from point A. We need a path, legs, a compass so we don't get lost. Likewise to get from the big bang to us, we need a few things. Suns, planets, moons, water, evolution. The universe is here because it needs to be here for us to be here.
I believe i have shown that the chances of us being here are small compared to the chance of us being here by design. And design is impossible without a designer. So if you believe its possible a creator to exist then this should confirm it. If you believe its impossible for a creator to exist then you believe in miracles.
The first actual argument appears to be as follows:
Proof for or against a creator is impossible. Therefore the odds of a creator are 50/50. Any argument against this is invalid because it relies on “imagined proof”.
I want to remind Pro that he is meant to argue that the probability for a creator is greater than 50%. To argue that it is 50% appears to lead to. Recall that if we agree the probability is 50/50, then I win the debate.
With that remark now addressed, I will explain why I disagree that the odds of a creator are 50/50. First, let us assume that you mean our best estimate of the probability of a creator is 50/50 and not that the actual probability is 50/50, since we surely do not have any empirical data with which to compute the probability of a creator.
There are two interpretations of the meaning of probability estimates and how they can be derived . The frequentist view purports that probabilities are only obtained by estimating the limit of relative frequencies of empirical data indicating the validity of a certain hypothesis, i.e.
where H is an event, set of events, or hypothesis, D is a set or dataset of size n (note that n = |D|), D(H) is the subset of samples indicating or belonging to H, and vertical lines denote the size of the encompassed set. This says that if n is sufficiently large, then the relative frequency of events (the relative sizes of set memberships) approaches the true probability of the event. However, since we are dealing with a situation where n = 0, we can make no estimate of the probability. This is the main reason I do not accept your 50/50 probability of a creator; it is not empirically derived and it is mathematically incorrect.
However, the Bayesian interpretation of probability allows one to inject their ‘belief’ about the probability distribution of a variable (called a prior) and then to update that belief (to estimate a posterior) using Bayes theorem given new evidence and a model that defines a relationship between the evidence and the belief (of course, the conclusions derived from this method are only as good as the prior and the model).
For binary outcomes where there is zero information assumed, it is sometimes accepted that a uniform distribution (50/50 split) is a valid prior. So it would be completely acceptable for you to concede or clarify that 50/50 is not the actual probability of a creator (which is something you need to argue against anyway), but that it represents your a priori belief about the probabilities. However, for this to be useful in any way you must validate the use of a uniform prior, mathematically define your evidence, validate the model you are using to reweight your belief, and show the Bayesian belief update.
Pro also adds that the odds will change if Con can disprove a creator without relying on disproving properties of the proposed creator that are ascribed by humans. I would just remind Pro that he accepted the burden of proof from the start and should be wary of shifting it now, even if unintentionally.
The false dichotomy: purposed creation vs. random events
A random event is an event which occurs naturally. – Pro
I can find no utility in accepting arbitrary definitions of terms so that they fit into Pro’s presuppositions. Pro’s response to my contention that “purposed creation vs. random events” is a false, or at least unsubstantiated, dichotomy seems to be to play semantics with the term “random event” and define it as a natural occurrence. This equivocation will be accepted as soon as Pro shows that all naturally occurring events are random, and that all random events are naturally occurring, but not a moment sooner.
The term “random event” already has a well-defined meaning, particularly in the context within which we are discussing, and there is no context where this new definition is established. As I said in the previous round, if we are discussing matters such as probability and the evaluation of evidence, we risk equivocation fallacies and incoherence if we do not use definitions for terms which have already been established in the context of these other concepts.
The odds of life occurring by natural processes
The odds of getting 50 consecutive heads on a fair coin is 1/(2^50) = 8.88 x 10^(-16). You don’t need to divide by two 50 times on a calculator to compute this.
To support the claim that life couldn’t have come about by natural processes, Pro first assumes this is equivalent to the notion that life came about by chance, and then cites a blog post from a creationist using a naïve probability model to estimate the probability of life occurring naturally (or by chance, in keeping with this unsupported equivocation). Pro does not explain why this calculation is valid at all. Just to make a minor correction for Pro, the cited probability of 1/10^238 is not what appears in the cited blog post. They compute the much smaller probability of 1/10^282.
I calculated the probability given the arbitrary values listed in that blog post in order to confirm that the author has made the statistical assumption that each factor is statistical independent of each other factor (not including the assumption that each of these seemingly arbitrary values are valid or even meaningful), and they made the philosophical assumptions that life as we know it is the only possible kind of life.
The philosophical assumption is easy to refute because we have no strong reasons to assume that different kinds of life, which do not have the same requirements as we do, are not possible In this universe or other possible universes. Indeed, the scientific community so far accepts that it may be possible for life to be based on alternative biochemistries (e.g. silicon) and solvents (e.g. methane) .
The statistical assumption is illogical. The chain rule in probability theory is used to calculate the probability of the intersection of multiple events,
with equality if and only if each of Ak is mutually independent. The author of the blog post assumes the probablity model that yields the smallest probability (pure statistical independence) without justification.
Ironically, if this model is correct, it speaks against the notion of a designer because it assumes that all of the properties of the universe which are relevant for life are completely unconnected. If there was a creator, clearly these conditions would be part of a design that has them working together, which precisely contradicts statistical independence.
Finally, many of the listed factors are clearly not independent (e.g. oxygen to nitrogen ratio in the atmosphere and greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere), immediately invalidating the model.
Argument for natural processes being a sufficient explanation all observable phenomena.
Natural processes are mathematically modeled as constrained stochastic processes and deterministic processes. We have no examples of natural process which we consider to be actually random (constrained and stochastic, yes, but not random in the sense of statistical randomness as I defined earlier). If space in this debate permits, I would argue that we have no need for, and there is no demonstrable utility in assuming a priori that stochastic and deterministic modeling is insufficient for fully understanding natural phenomenon (especially given the exclusivity of its success and accuracy from a scientific point of view thus far) and especially in further assuming that there exists an entity that interferes in natural processes.
Pro has so far not coherently argued for the motion and has cited an easily refuted ‘mathematical’ analysis of the probability that ‘life has occurred by chance’ as his main argument. His BoP is far from being met.
 John A. Rice. Mathematical Statistics and Data Analysis. Third Edition. (2007). Thomson Higher Education, Belmont, CA, USA
 Committee on the Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems, National Research Council; The National Academies Press, 2007
As this was the point of this debate I rest.
Pro must review the criteria and definitions of the debate which he himself set up.
Reviewing the title of the debate and the very first round, Pro challenged me to a debate where he took on the BoP in order to prove that the odds of a creator existing is strictly greater than 50%. Asserting that the probability is 50% is then a concession and a forfeiture.
Is the probability distribution of any binary decision with unknown outcome 50/50?
In round 3 I gave a brief outline of the difference between frequentist and Bayesianist interpretation and usage of probabilities. I recommend the Pro and any readers that they familiarize themselves with this distinction because it is extremely useful for understanding what is really meant by probability, probability estimates, and related concepts. Pro’s response leaves me with the impression that he did not bother to read through the round or has not understood most of it.
Pro has failed to understand that the probability distribution of any binary decision with unknown outcome is not 50/50 by default. I did say in the previous round that if he wanted to make use of that as a Bayesian prior, then he is justified in saying that since there is no evidence for or against a God, then he is purely agnostic and his a priori belief about the probability of a creator 50%. However, this is distinct from the actual probability. Let me illustrate with an example:
Suppose we have a biased coin with a 60% chance of landing heads, but we are unaware of this bias. What Pro is saying is that since we don’t know anything about the coin, the probability is 50% heads. However, the actual probability is not 50% heads. What Pro is describing is his belief about the probability that this is heads (this is mathematically valid in Bayesian inference, but statisticians, mathematicians, and scientists are usually careful to distinguish between the probability space of events and our usage of beliefs about the probability spaces of events in inference). The odds of heads is still 60%, and this can be determined by conducting multiple trials as in the frequentist method or by a simple application of Bayes Theorem. However, under no conditions is it correct to say that the probability of heads is 50% for the reason that we don’t know any better yet. Under all methods of estimating probabilities, the probability of heads is still unknown.
This may seem like a pedantic point, as most technical points do to non-experts in a field (the reason for this is an entirely different topic of discussion which is interesting in its own right). However, it is important in the following way: this debate is about the probability of there being a creator – not about Pro’s belief about the probability that there is a creator. Nowhere has Pro indicated that we are debating whether or not he believes the probability of a creator is greater than 50% (which wouldn’t make for much of a debate topic), and Pro’s naïve conclusion that the probability of a creator is 50% suggests that he has so far not understood the distinction between the probability of something and his belief about the probability of something.
Pro seems to have dropped all arguments and simply asserted that the probability of God is 50% because it can’t be proven or disproven either way. This is of course an absurd position considering all of the absurd binary states we can imagine and apparently arbitrarily ascribe a 50/50 probability over (remember, you cannot prove nor disprove that I implanted you with false memories, so it’s 50/50).
I do hope that Pro recalls that he must show that the probability of a creator or creators is greater than 50%, according to his own rules of the debate. Arguing, albeit unsuccessfully, that the probability is 50% would be arguing in my favour. I would prefer that Pro argue his own side of the debate.
Finally, Pro states that my lack of agreement with his 50/50 odds of a creator implies that I have a poor understanding of probability. The “if you don’t agree with me then you don’t know what you’re talking about” argument is not typically an effective debate tactic. However, if Pro wants to make this point, then I would ask that he substantiate that claim and point out my errors specifically. Probability theory and mathematical statistics being the core theoretical foundation of my research, I would very much appreciate any new knowledge Pro can bestow on to me and especially any corrections of misunderstandings I may have.
I apologize for my earlier error. To make up for it I'm gonna reduce the probability of factors needed for life to exist by random chance. Instead of 1 in 10^238 lets give random chance a fighting chance. How about 1 in 10^5? that's 10X10X10X10X10 or 1 in 100 000. that's about 20 coin tosses. All have to land on heads.
So on the one hand we have life by design. On the other hand we have life by random circumstances.
Life by design is 1 in 1 odds. Life by random circumstances has 1 in 100 000 odds.
Well even if random circumstances had a 1 in 2 probability that would still make life by design more probably.
If life by design is more probable than life by random circumstances then , personal views aside reqarding the existance of god, its more probable that a creator exists than that he doesn't exist.
Thanks Con. For a most entertaining debate.
The main disagreements during this debate were over the claim that we should assume a priori that the probability of a god is 50%, that god vs. random chance is a valid dichotomy, and that the probability of life arising without a god has been shown to be extremely small. I will summarize my rebuttals to all of Pro’s main points and expand where necessary.
The probability of a creator should be assumed to be 50/50 a priori.
Strangely, Pro accuses me of arguing that probability depends on personal bias when that is exactly what I have been objecting to throughout the debate. Pro does not realize that his assertion that the probability of god is 50% if we assume no information is actually a belief statement about a probability based entirely on personal bias.
I explained in round 3 why it is logically invalid to assume a probability distribution and then refer to it as the true probability distribution of a set of outcomes. The main reason is that there is no mathematically valid way of computing a probability or probability distribution when there is no data, according to everything that is known in probability theory and statistics.
However, I did spend a significant number of characters explaining to Pro how he could potentially salvage his invalid premise. The use of a Bayesian prior allows for a mathematically valid way of defining formalizing one’s belief about a probability distribution and then conducting inference using that belief and updating that belief towards the true probability distribution given evidence.
Pro has seemingly ignored the entirety of this rebuttal and has instead chosen to repeat his assertion and claim that I am ignorant of probability theory. It should be obvious to the reader that Pro has not met his BoP with respect to the question of whether the probability of a creator should be assumed 50% a priori.
The probability of life arising by chance (and the false dichotomy therein)
Pro ends his final round relying entirely on a set of contradictory and arbitrary assertions vaguely related to the creationist’s blog post on the probability of life arising by chance, which he cited in round 3
First I will reiterate that this assertion is founded on a false dichotomy. Pro has not responded to my case in round 2 that this is a false dichotomy that does not serve his side of the debate unless he can demonstrate that the only alternative to a creator of life is random chance. I offered two alternative possibilities, undirected determinism and stochastic processes (which can be thought of as chaotic partially deterministic processes based on random variables, but are themselves, not random in the sense that Pro is using or in the way random is defined mathematically).
To be clear, if one studies any field of natural science, then they will see that there are zero scientific models of the emergence of natural phenomena that involve a creator, and there are zero scientific models of the emergence of natural phenomena that are based on pure random chance. Therefore it stands to reason that science is largely based on alternative options (namely the ones which I have offered) to the ones proposed in Pro’s dichotomy. Therefore every scientific model of natural processes refutes Pro’s dichotomy.
Pro goes on to state some probabilities for the two options in the false dichotomy he proposes. As far as I can tell, these are completely arbitrary numbers (even contradicting the only source of this probability Pro cites). For the time being, let’s take both of pros arbitrary probabilities as true. We quickly find a contradiction. The total probability of a set of options cannot be greater than 1, so if one of two mutually exclusive options has a probability of 1, then the other option cannot have a probability of more than 0 by definition. Pro’s stated probabilities sum to greater than 1, so we must no longer be talking about probabilities at all, or even beliefs about probabilities. Pro makes the same mistake with the assumption of 1/2 probability as well, where his total “probability” distribution sums to 1.5.
Finally, I will expand on why the calculation of the probability of life coming about without a creator in the blog post Pro cited in round 3 is incorrect and mathematically unsound:
1) It assumes that the type of life found on Earth is the only possible kind of life when in fact there are plausible theoretical models of other kinds of life which may be possible in the universe (e.g. methane-based life).
2) The calculation assumes that we know all of the necessary conditions for life and that we know the probabilities of meeting this conditions in the universe. In fact, the conditions necessary for life and their probabilities are unknown, and the blogger does nothing to justify these (for example, how does the blogger know that the probability of finding the right quantity of silicic acid in planet’s oceans is exactly 10% if we don’t know the distribution of silicic acid on planets in the universe (we don’t have that level of technology) and if we don’t even know what level of silicic acid is required for extraterrestrial life?).
3) The calculation assumes that each of these conditions are mutually statistically independent. That is, there is no relationship between any of these conditions. So, for example, when the blogger says that the probability of the correct timing of peak star formation for the universe is 20% (it is curious how he knows this – perhaps direct revelation from God?) and the probability for correct timing of peak star formation for the galaxy is also 20%, his calculation assumes that these two things are unrelated. It is quite clear that the timing of star formation of the universe and in the galaxy are related. In a second example, the blogger says the probability of the correct (again, how does he know what is correct for all life in the universe) amount of C02 in the atmosphere is 1%, the probability of the correct amount of oxygen is 1%, yet the probability of the correct ratio of oxygen to C02 in the atmosphere is 10%. Again, his calculation assumes these are all unrelated to each other. Is it logically possible that the amount of oxygen and C02 in the atmosphere are unrelated to the ratio of oxygen and C02? Remember that oxygen is in C02. The blogger makes similar illogical assumptions about the composition of the planet’s crust, about the solar system, etc.
4) Just as an interesting note: the blogger says this is a “probability estimate for attaining the necessary characteristics for a life support body”. However, one of the characteristics is the position and mass of Jupiter relative to Earth (which apparently has a 1% probability). I didn’t realize life on planets in other galaxies depended on Earth and Jupiter.
Mathematically speaking, the probability of a set of conditions being met simultaneously is the first term in the following equation, and it is calculated by the middle product of terms, which is greater than or equal to the simpler product on the right side. The second and last formulae are equal only when statistical independence is true, which is what the blogger assumed. Since it is quite obvious this assumption is invalid, then we know with certainty that even if he somehow got all of the factors and probabilities correct by guessing them, that he is underestimating the probability.
Simply put, Pro has not made any strong argument, all of his assumptions and assertions were refuted, and he did not attempt to argue against any of my rebuttals. Pro has not met his BoP.
A final remark, Pro has also implicitly conceded that his “proof” (example of a sharpened and hardened wooden stick) that purposeful creation is more likely than non-purposeful creation has been refuted. Pro also does not address the refutation of his claim that more complex objects more strongly indicate a creator.
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