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Complexity and randomness

dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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11/29/2015 10:44:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Many people believe that given enough time, any arrangement of molecules is inevitable. For instance, they hold that a hurricane would eventually turn a pile of scrap into a Boeing 747 if all the right materials were present. But can we really assume that?

In chess, there are certain board configurations that cannot be produced by any combination of chess moves (assuming that one starts with all the pieces in their normal positions). One could randomly move the pieces for an infinite amount of time and would still fail to produce certain arrangements. Of course, one could argue that the rules of chess are much less complex than the laws of physics, and thus allow for a much narrower range of possibilities. While this is true, it's also true that the configuration of chess pieces on a chess board is much less complex than the arrangement of molecules in life forms. It can hardly be taken for granted that any degree of complexity could come about by random interactions between atoms. The laws of physics impose constraint on what those atoms can do (just as the rules of chess constrain the behavior of chess pieces, thereby limiting the number of possible board states), so it's not obvious that it's even possible for certain observed arrangements of atoms to come about by the laws of physics alone. Just because something is physically possible (in the sense that it exists) does not mean that the laws of physics were adequate to produce it. I would hope that this is uncontroversial, but something tells me it's not.
Devilry
Posts: 463
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11/29/2015 10:50:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It's not uncontroversial insomuch as it's utter nonsense with no end - no offense, lol. Nice little piece of chess trivia, though, I guess, even as poorly framed as it was.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
Devilry
Posts: 463
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11/29/2015 10:55:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'll try to be nicer. There's nothing simpler about the idea of there being some deity that created everything than the idea that it's all a product of randomness given to order. I mean, maybe it's a nicer idea or something, in that the deity assures your tomorrow for you, but the ideas are equally beyond us.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
ShabShoral
Posts: 3,234
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11/29/2015 10:59:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I find it incredible that such a vast misunderstanding of probabilities and biology should exist within a single individual. What is truly amazing, is that it must take a considerable amount of effort to ensure that not even the slightest bit of useful information finds its way into your brain.
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Devilry
Posts: 463
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11/29/2015 11:00:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
What if all randomness has conspired to create you only in this moment, the eternal now, all past and future but mere illusion, you are but a glimpse of an order among orders among complete nonsense? Trippy, eh? lol.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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11/29/2015 11:03:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/29/2015 10:55:44 PM, Devilry wrote:
I'll try to be nicer. There's nothing simpler about the idea of there being some deity that created everything than the idea that it's all a product of randomness given to order. I mean, maybe it's a nicer idea or something, in that the deity assures your tomorrow for you, but the ideas are equally beyond us.

The point of this thread wasn't to discredit god-free accounts of abiogensis, although I think it is relevant to doing so.

Whether or not an explanation is "complex" is not nearly as relevant as whether an explanation is adequate (which ultimately means properly self-contained).
Devilry
Posts: 463
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11/29/2015 11:05:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/29/2015 11:03:13 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/29/2015 10:55:44 PM, Devilry wrote:
I'll try to be nicer. There's nothing simpler about the idea of there being some deity that created everything than the idea that it's all a product of randomness given to order. I mean, maybe it's a nicer idea or something, in that the deity assures your tomorrow for you, but the ideas are equally beyond us.

The point of this thread wasn't to discredit god-free accounts of abiogensis, although I think it is relevant to doing so.

I was aware.

Whether or not an explanation is "complex" is not nearly as relevant as whether an explanation is adequate (which ultimately means properly self-contained).

I just gave you an example of self-contained order amid randomness. See above, last post I made.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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11/30/2015 2:20:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 12:20:37 AM, SM2 wrote:
What actually is the probability of a hurricane assembling a 747? Somebody must have calculated that.

1/6
SM2
Posts: 546
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11/30/2015 2:22:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 2:20:39 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/30/2015 12:20:37 AM, SM2 wrote:
What actually is the probability of a hurricane assembling a 747? Somebody must have calculated that.

1/6

Awesome! Do you have a link to a study that proves this?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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11/30/2015 2:27:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/29/2015 10:59:40 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
I find it incredible that such a vast misunderstanding of probabilities and biology should exist within a single individual. What is truly amazing, is that it must take a considerable amount of effort to ensure that not even the slightest bit of useful information finds its way into your brain.

Bitch, please. Stop pretending like you have anything approaching my degree of genius.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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11/30/2015 2:37:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 2:22:27 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 11/30/2015 2:20:39 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/30/2015 12:20:37 AM, SM2 wrote:
What actually is the probability of a hurricane assembling a 747? Somebody must have calculated that.

1/6

Awesome! Do you have a link to a study that proves this?

I'm afraid not. All the relevant studies were mysteriously destroyed as soon as you asked the question. =/
SM2
Posts: 546
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11/30/2015 2:50:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 2:37:55 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/30/2015 2:22:27 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 11/30/2015 2:20:39 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/30/2015 12:20:37 AM, SM2 wrote:
What actually is the probability of a hurricane assembling a 747? Somebody must have calculated that.

1/6

Awesome! Do you have a link to a study that proves this?

I'm afraid not. All the relevant studies were mysteriously destroyed as soon as you asked the question. =/

Damn.

Although that does raise the question: on what empirical data do Creationists base their claim?
n7
Posts: 1,360
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11/30/2015 6:07:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 2:20:39 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/30/2015 12:20:37 AM, SM2 wrote:
What actually is the probability of a hurricane assembling a 747? Somebody must have calculated that.

1/6

Are they any better than ones assembled by humans?
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
toretorden
Posts: 35
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11/30/2015 11:04:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/29/2015 10:44:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Many people believe that given enough time, any arrangement of molecules is inevitable.

I guess a better way to put it might be that if something that can possibly happen gets an infinite number of chances of happening, then it will happen an infinite number of times. Time is, in a sense, irrelevant. It's just commonly phrased that way because for there to be an endless amount of chances, we tend to imagine that there must be endless time. But of course you could have an endless amount of time and still have only a finite amount of chances for something happening.
Deb-8-A-Bull
Posts: 2,181
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12/17/2015 9:52:03 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
The odds of having them parts in a area, " times. odds of a hurricane, "times odds of a hurricane over scrap. " times . Odds of purple 3 headed giant oar goat like creature. Half man half bear half pig .having a fight with Um Um a green 3 headed giant oar goat like creature. While a red 3 headed giant oar goat like creature watchers on. My calculations says the odd of having them parts in said area, is a lot lower than I thought. But your a wizard Harry. The hurricane over scrap odds. Wow. Hang on . A model 747 . I could get 2 bits of cardboard get me crowns draw a 747 lean the 2 pieces near each other and blow it. If I threw it in the air thats flying . Now I need a hurricane. Ow . GG GG and there it is a pedestal fan named . Hurricane. Some device with that name will push them together. 2 to 1 .
Deb-8-A-Bull
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12/17/2015 10:50:34 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 10:03:12 AM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:
I grabbed the cardboard from a pile of scrap

Special effects.
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,585
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12/17/2015 6:14:00 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 11/29/2015 10:44:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Many people believe that given enough time, any arrangement of molecules is inevitable. For instance, they hold that a hurricane would eventually turn a pile of scrap into a Boeing 747 if all the right materials were present. But can we really assume that?

In chess, there are certain board configurations that cannot be produced by any combination of chess moves (assuming that one starts with all the pieces in their normal positions). One could randomly move the pieces for an infinite amount of time and would still fail to produce certain arrangements. Of course, one could argue that the rules of chess are much less complex than the laws of physics, and thus allow for a much narrower range of possibilities. While this is true, it's also true that the configuration of chess pieces on a chess board is much less complex than the arrangement of molecules in life forms. It can hardly be taken for granted that any degree of complexity could come about by random interactions between atoms. The laws of physics impose constraint on what those atoms can do (just as the rules of chess constrain the behavior of chess pieces, thereby limiting the number of possible board states), so it's not obvious that it's even possible for certain observed arrangements of atoms to come about by the laws of physics alone. Just because something is physically possible (in the sense that it exists) does not mean that the laws of physics were adequate to produce it. I would hope that this is uncontroversial, but something tells me it's not.

This short video conveys this idea very well:

https://www.youtube.com...

Harry.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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12/17/2015 9:37:47 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 9:07:07 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/17/2015 8:45:00 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Have you heard of specified-complexity?

Yes.

It sounds like that's what you're arguing for in a nutshell. No matter how many letters you randomly scramble you won't make a dictionary out of it.
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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12/17/2015 10:38:46 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
You could reasonably determine the ability for a hurricane to assemble an aircraft using expected values. This is all contingent on the assumption that the construction of an aircraft via hurricane has a probability value grater than zero. If this is the case, since any number times infinity equals infinity, it is expected that given an infinite number of valid instances where a hurricane can assemble an aircraft, an infinite number of aircraft will be created.

However, if the probability of a hurricane constructing an aircraft is equal to zero, it is expected that an infinite number of valid opportunities yields zero aircrafts.

Your post insinuates reference to abiogenesis. In this case, the answer is that we don't know. Nobody knows if it is possible to randomly assemble a simple prokaryote any more than we know if a hurricane can assemble an aircraft. As the theist, your position is probably that a hurricane cannot assemble a plane under any circumstance. Likewise, a cell cannot be randomly assembled given any environmental conditions.
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Benshapiro
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12/17/2015 10:50:13 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 10:38:46 PM, Smithereens wrote:
You could reasonably determine the ability for a hurricane to assemble an aircraft using expected values. This is all contingent on the assumption that the construction of an aircraft via hurricane has a probability value grater than zero. If this is the case, since any number times infinity equals infinity, it is expected that given an infinite number of valid instances where a hurricane can assemble an aircraft, an infinite number of aircraft will be created.

However, if the probability of a hurricane constructing an aircraft is equal to zero, it is expected that an infinite number of valid opportunities yields zero aircrafts.

Your post insinuates reference to abiogenesis. In this case, the answer is that we don't know. Nobody knows if it is possible to randomly assemble a simple prokaryote any more than we know if a hurricane can assemble an aircraft. As the theist, your position is probably that a hurricane cannot assemble a plane under any circumstance. Likewise, a cell cannot be randomly assembled given any environmental conditions.

In reference to abiogenesis and assuming Big Bang theory is correct it must've occurred at max within a 14 billion year time frame.
Smithereens
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12/17/2015 11:45:04 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 10:50:13 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
In reference to abiogenesis and assuming Big Bang theory is correct it must've occurred at max within a 14 billion year time frame.

The time frame is rather irrelevant. Either it is possible, or it isn't possible. If it is possible, then the amount of time is an indication of the likelihood of the event occurring, not an indication of whether or not it actually happened. Let's say the chance of a prokaryote being randomly assembled is 10^-300 for every instance of it occurring. Theoretically, you could have a situation where the first instance yields a successful cell. The chances are low, but not non-existent.

Since we are dealing with numbers we don't know about, we can't really gain much from discussing a time context without being aware of the probability associated with these events. If we do know something, it's hella low. In the last Billion years of earth's history, it has been able to spawn life. The first life arose 600 million years ago, correct me if I'm wrong.

This indicates that the ability for life to randomly spawn is much, much higher than what we suppose, or else earth is lucky as fvck.
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SuperHuman
Posts: 31
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12/18/2015 2:33:59 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 11/29/2015 10:44:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Many people believe that given enough time, any arrangement of molecules is inevitable. For instance, they hold that a hurricane would eventually turn a pile of scrap into a Boeing 747 if all the right materials were present. But can we really assume that?

In chess, there are certain board configurations that cannot be produced by any combination of chess moves (assuming that one starts with all the pieces in their normal positions). One could randomly move the pieces for an infinite amount of time and would still fail to produce certain arrangements. Of course, one could argue that the rules of chess are much less complex than the laws of physics, and thus allow for a much narrower range of possibilities. While this is true, it's also true that the configuration of chess pieces on a chess board is much less complex than the arrangement of molecules in life forms. It can hardly be taken for granted that any degree of complexity could come about by random interactions between atoms. The laws of physics impose constraint on what those atoms can do (just as the rules of chess constrain the behavior of chess pieces, thereby limiting the number of possible board states), so it's not obvious that it's even possible for certain observed arrangements of atoms to come about by the laws of physics alone. Just because something is physically possible (in the sense that it exists) does not mean that the laws of physics were adequate to produce it. I would hope that this is uncontroversial, but something tells me it's not.

Considering that time and space are not separated. And that probability theory works only if the law of large numbers so on a huge time interval there is a probability that there will be such match events as you described previously. Here also you can include the other factors which are directly connected by other physic rules.
DPMartin
Posts: 1,096
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12/19/2015 3:51:55 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 11/29/2015 10:44:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Many people believe that given enough time, any arrangement of molecules is inevitable. For instance, they hold that a hurricane would eventually turn a pile of scrap into a Boeing 747 if all the right materials were present. But can we really assume that?

In chess, there are certain board configurations that cannot be produced by any combination of chess moves (assuming that one starts with all the pieces in their normal positions). One could randomly move the pieces for an infinite amount of time and would still fail to produce certain arrangements. Of course, one could argue that the rules of chess are much less complex than the laws of physics, and thus allow for a much narrower range of possibilities. While this is true, it's also true that the configuration of chess pieces on a chess board is much less complex than the arrangement of molecules in life forms. It can hardly be taken for granted that any degree of complexity could come about by random interactions between atoms. The laws of physics impose constraint on what those atoms can do (just as the rules of chess constrain the behavior of chess pieces, thereby limiting the number of possible board states), so it's not obvious that it's even possible for certain observed arrangements of atoms to come about by the laws of physics alone. Just because something is physically possible (in the sense that it exists) does not mean that the laws of physics were adequate to produce it. I would hope that this is uncontroversial, but something tells me it's not.

There is a movie about John Forbes Nash Jr who dealt with such thinking and won a Nobel prize, and there are a few other theories on chaos and the like. No controversy there that I know of, just mathematical challenges.
kp98
Posts: 729
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12/19/2015 6:55:01 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
The chances of a hurricane producing a 747 out of a pile of junk are - I would estimate - are so low it wouldn't be likely to happen even once in the observable universe in the period between the big bang and the end of time, even if every planet in existence was abudant with junk yards and hurricanes.

Clearly, whatever produced something as complex (i.e. non-random) as a living creature (or just one of their cells) was not a purely random process. You can get some 'local entropy decrease' from, say, gravity. Gravity will turn a high-entropy diffuse gas cloud into a lower-entropy denser gas cloud. Similar natural processes can get you somwhat better-structured objects, planets and stratified rocks and so on, but producing something as intricately and finely organised as a cell (or an eye) seemed beyond the power of natural forces.

I said 'seemed', but to some people it is still 'seems', because they don't get 'Natural selection', which is Darwin's (and Wallace's) real contribution to evolutionary theory (not mutation - Darwin lived before genes were known about).

Because natural selection is non-random, it makes a nonsense of calculations that multiply individual probabilities to get tiny numbers. The arithmetic is accurate, but it doesn't apply to the situation.

A hurricane can't produce a 747 in one go, but suppose after each hurricane someone was to collect all the pieces of junk that had been placed in a more aerodymamic arrangment and take steps to preserve them and see the next hurricane made things even more aeroplane like. It would still require a lot of hurricanes, but it would be a lot less then the near-infinite number requried previously - although the result probably wouldn't be a 747.

The genius of Darwin was to realise that the role of the junk arranger doesn't have to be a sentient, forward thinking individual. The action of natural selection - where the fittest reproduce and the less fit are eliminated - acts as if there was such an intelligent, forward-thinking junk arranger.

Once you have got your head around that, it becomes clear why calculations involving 747s, hurricanes and junkyards or the protein sequence of heamoglobin that show they are impossible are irrelevant. How to get your head around it is another matter.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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12/19/2015 7:40:17 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 9:37:47 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 12/17/2015 9:07:07 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/17/2015 8:45:00 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
Have you heard of specified-complexity?

Yes.

It sounds like that's what you're arguing for in a nutshell. No matter how many letters you randomly scramble you won't make a dictionary out of it.

The point of this thread wasn't to argue for intelligent design, it was to argue that infinite time won't necessarily produce all arrangements possible within a system. This thread is in response to someone on the Young Turks arguing against the creationist claim that unguided abiogenesis is tantamount to a Boeing 747 being produced by a hurricane. He basically said that given enough time, both will happen by definition (he even used the term "by definition").