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Probability For Life On Earth - Atheists

tstor
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1/9/2016 5:13:24 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
This post serves to preface one question: How can an atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?

Now, let me go ahead and satisfy the question in everyone's mind. I am defining "atheist" as "a person who believes that God does not exist" (Merriam-Webster). I will also go ahead and state that a proper answer to the question is not asking me a question such as "how can you (a theist) rationalize your belief?"

The following are parameters for advanced life on earth, followed by the probability that the parameter will meet the required range for physical life:

local abundance and distribution of dark matter - 0.1
relative abundances of different exotic mass particles - 0.01
decay rates of different exotic mass particles - 0.05
density of quasars - 0.1
density of giant galaxies in the early universe - 0.1
galaxy cluster size - 0.1
galaxy cluster density - 0.1
galaxy cluster location - 0.1
galaxy size - 0.1
galaxy type - 0.1
galaxy mass distribution - 0.2
size of galactic central bulge - 0.2
galaxy location - 0.1
variability of local dwarf galaxy absorption rate - 0.1
quantity of galactic dust - 0.1
giant star density in galaxy - 0.1
frequency of gamma ray bursts in galaxy - 0.05
star location relative to galactic center - 0.2
star distance from corotation circle of galaxy - 0.005
ratio of inner dark halo mass to stellar mass for galaxy - 0.1
star distance from closest spiral arm - 0.1
z-axis extremes of star"s orbit - 0.02
proximity of solar nebula to a normal type I supernova eruption - 0.01
timing of solar nebula formation relative to a normal type I supernova eruption - 0.01
proximity of solar nebula to a type II supernova eruption - 0.01
timing of solar nebula formation relative to type II supernova eruption - 0.01
timing of hypernovae eruptions - 0.2
number of hypernovae eruptions - 0.1
masses of stars that become hypernovae - 0.1
flux of cosmic ray protons - 0.1
variability of cosmic ray proton flux - 0.1
gas dispersal rate by companion stars, shock waves, and molecular cloud expansion in the Sun"s birthing star cluster - 0.1
number of stars in birthing cluster - 0.01
star formation rate in parent star vicinity during history of that star - 0.1
variation in star formation rate in parent star vicinity during history of that star - 0.1
birth date of the star-planetary system - 0.01
number of stars in system - 0.7
number and timing of close encounters by nearby stars - 0.01
proximity of close stellar encounters - 0.1
masses of close stellar encounters - 0.1
density of brown dwarfs - 0.1
distance from nearest black hole - 0.2
absorption rate of planets and planetismals by parent star - 0.1
star age - 0.4
star metallicity - 0.05
ratio of 40K, 235,238U, 232Th to iron in star-planetary system - 0.02
star orbital eccentricity - 0.1
star mass - 0.001
star luminosity change relative to speciation types & rates - 0.00001
star color - 0.4
star rotation rate - 0.3
rate of change in star rotation rate - 0.3
star magnetic field - 0.1
star magnetic field variability - 0.1
stellar wind strength and variability - 0.1
short period variation in parent star diameter - 0.1
star"s carbon to oxygen ratio - 0.01
star"s space velocity relative to Local Standard of Rest - 0.05
star"s short term luminosity variability - 0.05
star"s long term luminosity variability - 0.05
amplitude and duration of star spot cycle - 0.1
number & timing of solar system encounters with interstellar gas clouds and cloudlets - 0.1
galactic tidal forces on planetary system - 0.2
H3+ production - 0.1
supernovae rates & locations - 0.01
white dwarf binary types, rates, & locations - 0.01
structure of comet cloud surrounding planetary system - 0.3
planetary distance from star - 0.001
inclination of planetary orbit - 0.5
axis tilt of planet - 0.3
rate of change of axial tilt - 0.01
period and size of axis tilt variation - 0.1
planetary rotation period - 0.1
rate of change in planetary rotation period - 0.05
planetary revolution period - 0.2
planetary orbit eccentricity - 0.3
rate of change of planetary orbital eccentricity - 0.1
rate of change of planetary inclination - 0.5
period and size of eccentricity variation - 0.1
period and size of inclination variation - 0.1
precession in planet"s rotation - 0.3
rate of change in planet"s precession - 0.3
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon abundance in solar nebula - 0.1
number of moons - 0.2
mass and distance of moon - 0.01
surface gravity (escape velocity) - 0.001
tidal force from sun and moon - 0.1
magnetic field - 0.01
rate of change & character of change in magnetic field - 0.1
albedo (planet reflectivity) - 0.1
density - 0.1
density of interstellar and interplanetary dust particles in vicinity of life-support planet - 0.3
reducing strength of planet"s primordial mantle - 0.3
thickness of crust - 0.01
timing of birth of continent formation - 0.1
oceans-to-continents ratio - 0.2
rate of change in oceans to continents ratio - 0.1
global distribution of continents - 0.3
frequency, timing, & extent of ice ages - 0.1
frequency, timing, & extent of global snowball events - 0.1
silicate dust annealing by nebular shocks - 0.02
asteroidal & cometary collision rate - 0.1
change in asteroidal & cometary collision rates - 0.1
rate of change in asteroidal & cometary collision rates - 0.1
mass of body colliding with primordial Earth - 0.002
timing of body colliding with primordial Earth - 0.05
location of body"s collision with primordial Earth - 0.05
position & mass of Jupiter relative to Earth - 0.01
major planet eccentricities - 0.05
major planet orbital instabilities - 0.05
drift and rate of drift in major planet distances - 0.05
number & distribution of planets - 0.001
distance of gas giant planets from mean motion resonances - 0.02
orbital separation distances among inner planets - 0.01
mass of Neptune - 0.1
total mass of Kuiper Belt asteroids - 0.1
mass distribution of Kuiper Belt asteroids - 0.2
average rainfall precipitation - 0.01
variation and timing of average rainfall precipitation - 0.01
atmospheric transparency - 0.01
atmospheric pressure - 0.01
atmospheric viscosity - 0.1
atmospheric electric discharge rate - 0.01
atmospheric temperature gradient - 0.01
carbon dioxide level in atmosphere - 0.01
rates of change in carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere throughout the planet"s history - 0.001
rates of change in water vapor levels in atmosphere throughout the planet"s history - 0.01
rate of change in methane level in early atmosphere - 0.01
oxygen quantity in atmosphere -0.01
nitrogen quantity in atmosphere - 0.01
carbon monoxide quantity in atmosphere- 0.1
chlorine quantity in atmosphere - 0.1
aerosol particle density emitted from forests - 0.05
cobalt quantity in crust - 0.1
arsenic quantity in crust - 0.1
copper quantity in crust - 0.1
boron quantity in crust - 0.1
cadmium quantity in crust - 0.1
calcium quantity in crust - 0.4
fluorine quantity in crust - 0.1
iodine quantity in crust - 0.1
magnesium in crust - 0.4
manganese quantity in crust - 0.1
nickel quantity in crust - 0.1
phosphorus quantity in crust - 0.1
potassium quantity in crust- 0.4
tin quantity in crust - 0.1
zinc quantity in crust -0.1
molybdenum quantity in crust -0.05
vanadium quantity in crust - 0.1
chromium quantity in crust - 0.1
selenium quantity in crust - 0.1
iron quantity in oceans - 0.1
tropospheric ozone quantity - 0.01
stratospheric ozone quantity - 0.01
mesospheric ozone quantity - 0.01
water vapor level in atmosphere - 0.01
oxygen to nitrogen ratio in atmosphere - 0.1
quantity of greenhouse gases in atmosphere - 0.01
rate of change in greenhouse gases in atmosphere - 0.01
poleward heat transport in atmosphere by mid-latitude storms - 0.2
quantity of forest & grass fires - 0.01
quantity of sea salt aerosols in troposphere - 0.1
soil mineralization - 0.1
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
tstor
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1/9/2016 5:14:27 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
quantity of anaeorbic bacteria in the oceans - 0.01
quantity of aerobic bacteria in the oceans - 0.01
quantity of anaerobic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the early oceans - 0.01
quantity, variety, and timing of sulfate-reducing bacteria - 0.00001
quantity of geobacteraceae - 0.01
quantity of aerobic photoheterotrophic bacteria - 0.01
quantity of decomposer bacteria in soil - 0.01
quantity of mycorrhizal fungi in soil - 0.01
quantity of nitrifying microbes in soil - 0.01
quantity & timing of vascular plant introductions - 0.001
quantity, timing, & placement of carbonate-producing animals - 0.00001
quantity, timing, & placement of methanogens - 0.00001
phosphorus and iron absorption by banded iron formations - 0.01
quantity of soil sulfur - 0.1
ratio of electrically conducting inner core radius to radius of the adjacent turbulent fluid shell - 0.2
ratio of core to shell (see above) magnetic diffusivity - 0.2
magnetic Reynold"s number of the shell (see above) - 0.2
elasticity of iron in the inner core - 0.2
electromagnetic Maxwell shear stresses in the inner core - 0.2
core precession frequency for planet - 0.1
rate of interior heat loss for planet - 0.1
quantity of sulfur in the planet"s core - 0.1
quantity of silicon in the planet"s core - 0.1
quantity of water at subduction zones in the crust - 0.01
quantity of high pressure ice in subducting crustal slabs - 0.1
hydration rate of subducted minerals - 0.1
water absorption capacity of planet"s lower mantle - 0.1
tectonic activity - 0.05
rate of decline in tectonic activity - 0.1
volcanic activity - 0.1
rate of decline in volcanic activity - 0.1
location of volcanic eruptions - 0.1
continental relief - 0.1
viscosity at Earth core boundaries - 0.01
viscosity of lithosphere - 0.2
thickness of mid-mantle boundary - 0.1
rate of sedimentary loading at crustal subduction zones - 0.1
biomass to comet infall ratio - 0.01
regularity of cometary infall - 0.1
number, intensity, and location of hurricanes - 0.02
intensity of primordial cosmic superwinds - 0.05
number of smoking quasars - 0.05
formation of large terrestrial planet in the presence of two or more gas giant planets - 0.1
orbital stability of large terrestrial planet in the presence of two or more gas giant planets - 0.01
total mass of Oort Cloud objects - 0.2
mass distribution of Oort Cloud objects - 0.2
air turbulence in troposphere - 0.1
quantity of sulfate aerosols in troposphere - 0.1
quantity of actinide bioreducing bacteria - 0.01
quantity of phytoplankton - 0.001
hydrothermal alteration of ancient oceanic basalts - 0.01
quantity of iodocarbon-emitting marine organisms - 0.01
location of dislocation creep relative to diffusion creep in and near the crust-mantle boundary (determines mantle convection dynamics) - 0.1
size of oxygen sinks in the planet"s crust - 0.2
size of oxygen sinks in the planet"s mantle - 0.2
mantle plume production - 0.1
number and mass of planets in system suffering significant drift - 0.2
mass of the galaxy"s central black hole - 0.3
timing of the growth of the galaxy"s central black hole - 0.5
rate of in-spiraling gas into galaxy"s central black hole during life epoch - 0.05
distance from nearest giant galaxy - 0.5
distance from nearest Seyfert galaxy - 0.9
amount of mass loss by star in its youth - 0.1
rate of mass loss of star in its youth - 0.3
rate of mass loss by star during its middle age - 0.3
quantity of magnetars (proto-neutron stars with very strong magnetic fields) produced during galaxy"s history - 0.05
variation in coverage of star"s surface by faculae - 0.5
ratio of galaxy"s dark halo mass to its baryonic mass - 0.2
ratio of galaxy"s dark halo mass to its dark halo core mass - 0.2
galaxy cluster formation rate - 0.1
proximity of supernovae and hypernovae throughout history of planet and planetary system - 0.1
tidal heating from neighboring galaxies - 0.5
tidal heating from dark galactic and galaxy cluster halos - 0.5
intensity and duration of galactic winds - 0.3
density of dwarf galaxies in vicinity of home galaxy - 0.1
amount of photoevaporation during planetary formation from parent star and other nearby stars - 0.2
orbital inclinations of companion planets in system - 0.1
variation of orbital inclinations of companion planets - 0.2
inclinations and eccentricities of nearby terrestrial planets - 0.3
in-spiral rate of stars into black holes within parent galaxy - 0.7
strength of magnetocentrifugally launched wind of parent star during its protostar era - 0.2
degree to which the atmospheric composition of the planet departs from thermodynamic equilibrium - 0.01
delivery rate of volatiles to planet from asteroid-comet belts during epoch of planet formation - 0.1
amount of outward migration of Neptune - 0.1
amount of outward migration of Uranus - 0.1
Q-value (rigidity) of planet during its early history - 0.2
variation in Q-value of planet during its early history - 0.3
injection efficiency of shock wave material from nearby supernovae into collapsing molecular cloud that forms star and planetary system - 0.1
number of giant galaxies in galaxy cluster - 0.2
number of large galaxies in galaxy cluster - 0.2
number of dwarf galaxies in galaxy cluster - 0.2
number and sizes of planets and planetesimals consumed by star - 0.3
distance of galaxy"s corotation circle from center of galaxy - 0.1
rate of diffusion of heavy elements from galactic center out to the galaxy"s corotation circle - 0.2
outward migration of star relative to galactic center - 0.3
degree to which exotic matter self interacts - 0.01
migration of planet during its formation in the protoplanetary disk - 0.1
viscosity gradient in protoplanetary disk - 0.1
variations in star"s diameter - 0.1
average quantity of gas infused into the universe"s first star clusters - 0.1
frequency of late impacts by large asteroids and comets - 0.1
level of supersonic turbulence in the infant universe - 0.05
number and sizes of intergalactic hydrogen gas clouds in galaxy"s vicinity - 0.1
average longevity of intergalactic hydrogen gas clouds in galaxy"s vicinity - 0.2
minimization of chloromethane production by rotting plants and fungi that are exposed to the atmosphere (life"s survival demands very efficient burial mechanisms and relatively low temperatures) - 0.01
avoidance of apsidal phase locking in the orbits of planets in the planetary system - 0.03
number density of the first metal-free stars to form in the universe - 0.02
epoch during which the first metal-free stars form in cosmic history - 0.1
level of spot production on star"s surface - 0.2
variability of spot production on star"s surface - 0.2
size of the carbon sink in the deep mantle of the planet - 0.05
average circumstellar medium density for white dwarf red giant pairs - 0.2
number densities of metal-poor and extremely metal-poor galaxies - 0.1
rate of growth of central spheroid for the galaxy - 0.05
amount of gas infalling into the central core of the galaxy - 0.1
level of cooling of gas infalling into the central core of the galaxy - 0.1
ratio of dual water molecules, (H2O)2, to single water molecules, H 2O, in the troposphere - 0.03
heavy element abundance in the intracluster medium for the early universe - 0.1
quantity of volatiles on and in Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone - 0.001
rate of infall of intergalactic gas into emerging and growing galaxies during first five billion years of cosmic history - 0.1
pressure of the intra-galaxy-cluster medium - 0.1
proximity of solar nebula to a type I supernova whose core underwent significant gravitational collapse before carbon deflagration - 0.01
timing of solar nebula formation relative to a type I supernova whose core underwent significant gravitational collapse before carbon deflagrataion - 0.01
sizes of largest cosmic structures in the universe - 0.01
level of spiral substructure in spiral galaxy - 0.2
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
tstor
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1/9/2016 5:16:09 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
mass of outer gas giant planet relative to inner gas giant planet - 0.05
Kozai oscillation level in planetary system - 0.7
triggering of El Nino events by explosive volcanic eruptions - 0.1
time window between the peak of kerogen production and the appearance of intelligent life - 0.1
time window between the production of cisterns in the planet"s crust that can effectively collect and store petroleum and natural gas and the appearance of intelligent life - 0.1
reduction of Kuiper Belt mass during planetary system"s early history - 0.1
efficiency of stellar mass loss during final stages of stellar burning - 0.3
efficiency of flows of silicate melt, hypersaline hydrothermal fluids, and hydrothermal vapors in the upper crust - 0.2
supernova eruption rate when galaxy is young - 0.2
range of rotation rates for stars are on the verge of becoming supernovae - 0.2
quantity of dust formed in the ejecta of Population III supernovae - 0.1
chemical composition of dust ejected by Population III stars - 0.3
time in cosmic history when the merging of galaxies peaks - 0.2
efficiency of ocean pumps that return nutrients to ocean surfaces - 0.1
sulfur and sulfate content of oceans - 0.3
density of extragalactic intruder stars in solar neighborhood - 0.4
density of dust-exporting stars in solar neighborhood - 0.3
average rate of increase in galaxy sizes - 0.1
change in average rate of increase in galaxy sizes throughout cosmic history - 0.1
proximity of solar nebula to asymptotic giant branch stars - 0.05
timing of solar nebula formation relative to its close approach to asymptotic giant branch stars - 0.05
orientation of continents relative to prevailing winds - 0.3
quantity and proximity of gamma-ray burst events relative to emerging solar nebula - 0.01
proximity of superbubbles to planetary system during life epoch of life-support planet - 0.03
proximity of strong ultraviolet emitting stars to planetary system during life epoch of life-support planet - 0.02
number, mass, and distance from star of gas giant planets in addition to planets of the mass and distance of Jupiter and Saturn - 0.01
quantity and proximity of galactic gamma-ray burst events relative to time window for intelligent life - 0.1
infall of buckminsterfullerenes from interplanetary and interstellar space upon surface of planet - 0.3
quantity of silicic acid in the oceans - 0.1
heat flow through the planet"s mantle from radiometric decay in planet"s core - 0.002
water absorption by planet"s mantle - 0.01
timing of star formation peak for the universe - 0.2
timing of star formation peak for the galaxy - 0.2

Probability for occurrence of all 322 parameters = 10^-388

dependency factors estimate = 10^-96

longevity requirements estimate = 1014

Probability for occurrence of all 322 parameters = 10^-304

Maximum possible number of life support bodies in universe = 1022

Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^282 (million trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion) exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.

Full article + sources:
http://www.reasons.org...

Companion article + sources:
http://www.reasons.org...
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
bulproof
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1/9/2016 5:27:50 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
100%
Or hadn't you noticed the shape of the puddle.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
RuvDraba
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1/9/2016 5:35:24 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 5:13:24 AM, tstor wrote:
This post serves to preface one question: How can an atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?

1) How many universes are there? If you do not know, then how can you verify the likelihood that a particular universe exists?

2) What are the dependencies between the variables you mentioned? If you do not know, then how can you verify the probability of life on Earth with any accuracy?

3) Abrahamic god-claims are generally invalid because critical properties of the Abrahamic god cannot be verified or falsified by any amount of independent evidence. How improbable must evidence be to verify an invalid claim?
Ramshutu
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1/9/2016 5:39:42 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
This list of probabilities are inherently meaningless.

Ignoring, for the moment that any form of life existing in conditions that do not meet these requirements is impossible, which is an incredible and almost inevitably false assumption; many of these probabilities are dependent rather than independent probabilities.

Any correlation between any of the parameters necessarily significantly affects the resultant probabilities.

For example, you have:

"galaxy mass distribution"
"quantity of galactic dust"
"giant star density in galaxy"
"frequency of gamma ray bursts in galaxy"
"star distance from corotation circle of galaxy"
"size of galactic central bulge "
"proximity of solar nebula to a normal type I supernova eruption"
"timing of solar nebula formation relative to a normal type I supernova eruption"
"proximity of solar nebula to a type II supernova eruption"
"timing of solar nebula formation relative to type II supernova eruption"
"timing of hyper novae eruptions"
"number of hyper novae eruptions"
"masses of stars that become hyper novae"

And many, many others (I stopped) are likely all somewhat related parameters as they are all, relatively speaking dependent on the initial mass density profile of the galaxy.

With a higher mass density, you get a larger galactic bulge, larger giant star density, more galactic dust, more hyper novae, a greater number of hyper novae, a higher mass of stars that become hyper novae. Larger numbers of massive stars would likely increase the rate of gammer ray bursts, and so on.

This is not to even mention that the various quantities of elements, all listed as separate probabilities are likely all closely related based on supernovae mechanics and cosmogenic possibilities.

The sources cited also do not make it clear how the individual probabilities were determined, but even if all of them were accurate, it seems the cited sources do not indicate how related the individual parameters actually are.

As a result, the assumption that all these parameters are unrelated is highly dubious, as is the assumption that only life as we know it, in the time frame in which we know it, on a planet exactly as we know it being the only possible configuration renders this entire post absolutely meaningless.
tstor
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1/9/2016 5:57:32 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 5:35:24 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 1/9/2016 5:13:24 AM, tstor wrote:
This post serves to preface one question: How can an atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?

1) How many universes are there? If you do not know, then how can you verify the likelihood that a particular universe exists?
I will start by quoting two of the requirements for a multiverse model put out by Reasons to Believe:
"Third, the models must provide a mechanism that produces a sufficient variety of universes. A popular argument says that a monkey typing away for an enormously long time will eventually reproduce the complete works of Shakespeare. However, the argument is only true if the keyboard contains all the letters of the alphabet as well as any necessary punctuation. With a keyboard of vowels only, the monkey will never produce any readable work regardless of how long it types. Similarly, unless a multiverse model produces a sufficient variety of universes, it cannot explain the fine-tuning observed in the laws of physics, the fundamental constants, and the characteristics of Earth, Sun, Moon, planets, and galaxy.

Fourth, our universe must be one possible outcome in the multiverse model. Otherwise the model is like a keyboard with no 'e.'"

Now I will quote them in regards to fine tuning:
"In evaluating multiverse models, one must keep these requirements in mind. I think it is reasonable for the naturalist to assume that inflationary cosmology could produce a large number of universes that operate under different laws of physics and that this universe is one of those universes. Although both of these assumptions need further verification, multiverse advocates have put forth models currently consistent with requirements three and four.

In contrast, I have shown how robust arguments demonstrate that the multiverse must still have a beginning. Thus a strictly naturalistic multiverse fails the first requirement.

Similarly, the idea of Boltzmann brains means that our universe appears odd in the multiverse. Remember, sentient life abounds in a naturalistic multiverse model. Either the existence of Boltzmann brains means that we are atypical observers or the multiverse-generating mechanism must be fine-tuned in order to not produce Boltzmann brains. Either way, our existence appears fine-tuned."

Original article:
http://www.reasons.org...

Companion article (underlined portion):
http://www.reasons.org...

2) What are the dependencies between the variables you mentioned? If you do not know, then how can you verify the probability of life on Earth with any accuracy?
Listed in third post:
dependency factors estimate = 10^-96

3) Abrahamic god-claims are generally invalid because critical properties of the Abrahamic god cannot be verified or falsified by any amount of independent evidence. How improbable must evidence be to verify an invalid claim?
I would put this into the category of "how can you (a theist) rationalize your belief?" With that said, it violates the standards established for this thread.

Are you an "atheist" as defined in the original post? If so, then I look forward to an answer.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
tstor
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1/9/2016 6:00:50 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 5:39:42 AM, Ramshutu wrote:

As a result, the assumption that all these parameters are unrelated is highly dubious,
This is not an assumption that is being made. Read third post:
dependency factors estimate = 10^-96

However, I did not get an outright answer from you in regards to the initial question. You seem a little too focused on the preface.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
Ramshutu
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1/9/2016 6:14:23 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 6:00:50 AM, tstor wrote:
At 1/9/2016 5:39:42 AM, Ramshutu wrote:

As a result, the assumption that all these parameters are unrelated is highly dubious,
This is not an assumption that is being made. Read third post:
dependency factors estimate = 10^-96

How was this value determined? I can't find any reference to it; can you please cite the exact studies indicating and determining the contributing dependency factors, and how they can be rationally determined to be accurately within even 100 orders of magnitude.

However, I did not get an outright answer from you in regards to the initial question. You seem a little too focused on the preface.

You're right.

How can an Atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?

2 reasons.

Firstly, to come up with "extreme lack of probability" one must make a considerable number of assumptions and rationalizations based on worst case interpretations.

If one makes best case assumptions and rationalizations, then the probability of life increases by so many orders of magnitude as to be positively certain.

Secondly the argument being made is that the laws of physics being such as to render the existence of life on earth incredibly unlikely due to physical factors and organizations.

However the chances that a supernatural being with the ability to change the minutae of physical laws and physical structures, would create a universe designed for life with a complex set of required dependent variables requiring universal and minute adjustment in order to get any life at all, in a universe which is overwhelmingly and predominantly hostile to it; rather than simply creating a universe where life is absolutely certain to occur all the time Is 0.
bulproof
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1/9/2016 6:42:45 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 6:14:23 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 1/9/2016 6:00:50 AM, tstor wrote:
At 1/9/2016 5:39:42 AM, Ramshutu wrote:

As a result, the assumption that all these parameters are unrelated is highly dubious,
This is not an assumption that is being made. Read third post:
dependency factors estimate = 10^-96

How was this value determined? I can't find any reference to it; can you please cite the exact studies indicating and determining the contributing dependency factors, and how they can be rationally determined to be accurately within even 100 orders of magnitude.

However, I did not get an outright answer from you in regards to the initial question. You seem a little too focused on the preface.

You're right.

How can an Atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?

2 reasons.

Firstly, to come up with "extreme lack of probability" one must make a considerable number of assumptions and rationalizations based on worst case interpretations.

If one makes best case assumptions and rationalizations, then the probability of life increases by so many orders of magnitude as to be positively certain.

Secondly the argument being made is that the laws of physics being such as to render the existence of life on earth incredibly unlikely due to physical factors and organizations.

However the chances that a supernatural being with the ability to change the minutae of physical laws and physical structures, would create a universe designed for life with a complex set of required dependent variables requiring universal and minute adjustment in order to get any life at all, in a universe which is overwhelmingly and predominantly hostile to it; rather than simply creating a universe where life is absolutely certain to occur all the time Is 0.
Look at the shape of the puddle again.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
RuvDraba
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1/9/2016 6:47:38 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 5:57:32 AM, tstor wrote:
At 1/9/2016 5:35:24 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 1/9/2016 5:13:24 AM, tstor wrote:
This post serves to preface one question: How can an atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?

1) How many universes are there? If you do not know, then how can you verify the likelihood that a particular universe exists?
I will start by quoting two of the requirements for a multiverse model put out by Reasons to Believe:

No need, since I haven't conjectured a multiverse model. I asked how you verified the probabilities used in your argument.

Apparently, the answer is: you didn't sample or use any material evidence from the area of study, beyond a sample of one. So you don't know the sample space at all. You're appealing to untested intuition, which is non-empirical, so the probabilistic argument is:

(i) non-empirical;
(ii) unobjective;
(iii) not a scientific proof; and
(iv) a common abuse of conditional probability.

Please verify something empirical about how universes develop. Else using badly-constructed probability to lend scientific authority to a mere conjecture is dishonest.

2) What are the dependencies between the variables you mentioned? If you do not know, then how can you verify the probability of life on Earth with any accuracy?
Listed in third post:
dependency factors estimate = 10^-96
That seems to assume independence, not verify independence. What model identifies the key factors determining the development: a) of life on a planet; b) intelligent life on a planet? How do those factors interact? How is that model to be independently verified?

Without independent verification of the accuracy of such a model, it's pure conjecture. So assuming maximal independence is not objective, in that it's chosen to favour the conclusion. Again, it's manipulating an empirically unverified stochastic model, which is not just unscientific, it's intellectually dishonest.

3) Abrahamic god-claims are generally invalid because critical properties of the Abrahamic god cannot be verified or falsified by any amount of independent evidence. How improbable must evidence be to verify an invalid claim?
I would put this into the category of "how can you (a theist) rationalize your belief?" With that said, it violates the standards established for this thread.
Are you an "atheist" as defined in the original post?
Irrelevant, since you have not made any connection between a constructed universe and the legitimacy of religious worship. Since you haven't, you have so far supplied no connection between a constructed universe and a refutation of atheism.

Which theistic religion will you choose to prove from a constructed universe? You'll need to pick one to refute atheism.
tstor
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1/9/2016 7:07:06 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 6:14:23 AM, Ramshutu wrote:

As a result, the assumption that all these parameters are unrelated is highly dubious,
This is not an assumption that is being made. Read third post:
dependency factors estimate = 10^-96

How was this value determined? I can't find any reference to it; can you please cite the exact studies indicating and determining the contributing dependency factors, and how they can be rationally determined to be accurately within even 100 orders of magnitude.
These are not my calculations, so I cannot account for reasoning in any sort of meaningful way. However, I have heard (through the grape vine) that RTB is really good at getting back to people, so feel free to try and contact them:
http://www.reasons.org...

If I were to just take a guess, I would say he simply goes with a generous estimate.

However, I did not get an outright answer from you in regards to the initial question. You seem a little too focused on the preface.

You're right.

How can an Atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?

2 reasons.

Firstly, to come up with "extreme lack of probability" one must make a considerable number of assumptions and rationalizations based on worst case interpretations.

If one makes best case assumptions and rationalizations, then the probability of life increases by so many orders of magnitude as to be positively certain.
Can you put a number on that? I am curious.

Secondly the argument being made is that the laws of physics being such as to render the existence of life on earth incredibly unlikely due to physical factors and organizations.

However the chances that a supernatural being with the ability to change the minutae of physical laws and physical structures, would create a universe designed for life with a complex set of required dependent variables requiring universal and minute adjustment in order to get any life at all, in a universe which is overwhelmingly and predominantly hostile to it; rather than simply creating a universe where life is absolutely certain to occur all the time Is 0.
Thank you, I appreciate the response.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
tstor
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1/9/2016 7:07:10 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 6:47:38 AM, RuvDraba wrote:

1) How many universes are there? If you do not know, then how can you verify the likelihood that a particular universe exists?
I will start by quoting two of the requirements for a multiverse model put out by Reasons to Believe:

No need, since I haven't conjectured a multiverse model. I asked how you verified the probabilities used in your argument.
Well then you are being dishonest, as these are not my probabilities or my arguments. In fact, I have not put up a single argument. This thread is simply asking one question. I prefaced it with some work by Ross. With that said, everything after this wrong assumption is meaningless.

2) What are the dependencies between the variables you mentioned? If you do not know, then how can you verify the probability of life on Earth with any accuracy?
Listed in third post:
dependency factors estimate = 10^-96
That seems to assume independence, not verify independence. What model identifies the key factors determining the development: a) of life on a planet; b) intelligent life on a planet? How do those factors interact? How is that model to be independently verified?
Stating "it seems to me," "it seems like," or "it feels like" are not real arguments. We can talk about your feelings if you wish, but I do not see how it is relevant to the thread. I would say that the answer to your questions can very easily be found in the first companion article.

Without independent verification of the accuracy of such a model, it's pure conjecture. So assuming maximal independence is not objective, in that it's chosen to favour the conclusion. Again, it's manipulating an empirically unverified stochastic model, which is not just unscientific, it's intellectually dishonest.
Are you assuming that Ross has made the assumption that there is maximal independence? Without examining the peer-reviewed sources used by Ross, there is no real way of knowing how generous the dependency factor is.

3) Abrahamic god-claims are generally invalid because critical properties of the Abrahamic god cannot be verified or falsified by any amount of independent evidence. How improbable must evidence be to verify an invalid claim?
I would put this into the category of "how can you (a theist) rationalize your belief?" With that said, it violates the standards established for this thread.
Are you an "atheist" as defined in the original post?
Irrelevant, since you have not made any connection between a constructed universe and the legitimacy of religious worship. Since you haven't, you have so far supplied no connection between a constructed universe and a refutation of atheism.
I am not attempting to refute atheism. Perhaps you did not read my original post:
"This post serves to preface one question: How can an atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?"

So this post is composed of two pieces:
1) preface of question
2) question

You have been consumed by the preface for some unknown reason, but I would appreciate an answer to the actual question.

Which theistic religion will you choose to prove from a constructed universe? You'll need to pick one to refute atheism.
None. If you want a topic dealing with refutations of atheism, then start your own thread.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
Cobalt
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1/9/2016 7:17:28 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
Before reading the posts following the OPs, I'd like to add my own response. I don't want it to be flavored by others' responses, hence the my not yet reading them.

We know quite a bit about the world and the universe, no doubt. But considering our very limited "field of view" so to speak, in terms of space and time, we are limited in our ability to calculate the probability of life coming about.

We undoubtedly know that we are alive and we are aware of many of the parameters you listed, but you make the fundamental mistake of assuming that the way in which life exists now is the only way in which life can exist.

If evolution is to be trusted, we all originated from a single living organism. This means all living creatures on Earth are incredibly connected and surprisingly similar. Consider the fact that we all have DNA and then ask yourself whether this particular structure of DNA is what an organism must have to be considered alive. Further ask yourself if a living thing even needs what we know as DNA to survive.

Imagine rolling a die that has 10^10 sides and you get a 3. You could of course make the argument that such a roll is extremely improbable and that this 3 was predestined by a god. However, upon further inspection you would realize that *some* number was definitely going to roll and that you're making the wrong argument entirely. All of your probabilities refer to one specific circumstance of life, not all possible circumstances of life.

Given the limits of our own mind and the vast number of variables in the known universe alone, it is quite literally impossible for us to even imagine all the different forms life could take.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Additionally, your entire argument considers a finite timeline and a singular universe. We know that some 14 billion years ago the Big Bang occurred, but we have no idea if that was the beginning of the universe. Our current understanding of physics makes it quite impossible to determine what happened before this event. What's more, you're assuming that there is only one universe.

Mathematics has its place. I am a math student and I completely respect the value of it. However, math is somewhat useless here. There are simply too many variables, known and unknown, to come to any sort of conclusion with the rigor that mathematics requires.

And you're not just talking math, you're talking statistics using a sample size of one: our current view of the universe. And a sample size of one is beyond useless, statistically speaking.
Cobalt
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1/9/2016 7:19:32 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 7:07:10 AM, tstor wrote:

You mentioned that some universe A must necessarily have a beginning. What is your justification for this?
tstor
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1/9/2016 7:36:29 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 7:19:32 AM, Cobalt wrote:

You mentioned that some universe A must necessarily have a beginning. What is your justification for this?
Black body character of the cosmic background radiation and stellar ages are two off the top of my head.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
Cobalt
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1/9/2016 7:38:45 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 7:36:29 AM, tstor wrote:
At 1/9/2016 7:19:32 AM, Cobalt wrote:

You mentioned that some universe A must necessarily have a beginning. What is your justification for this?
Black body character of the cosmic background radiation and stellar ages are two off the top of my head.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu...
https://en.wikipedia.org...

But you realized that those estimates are based upon our current understanding of physics? And that we willingly recognize that physics seems to break down a few seconds or minutes ( can't remember) after the Big Bang?

Is there evidence suggesting that the universe isn't cyclical?
tstor
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1/9/2016 7:51:38 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 7:38:45 AM, Cobalt wrote:

Is there evidence suggesting that the universe isn't cyclical?
Sure. One example would be that the most distantly observed galaxies in the universe, corresponding to when the universe was only about seven percent of its present age, are much smaller and jammed more tightly together.
http://arxiv.org...
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
Cobalt
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1/9/2016 7:54:56 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 7:36:29 AM, tstor wrote:

Look, the answer to the question you originally asked is this:

Atheists and agnostics tend to view the world through an evidence-based lens. When we see posts like yours, we realize that it is significantly more conjecture than fact. You make critical assumptions about what is possible that should not be made.

I believe most educated atheists would agree -- we honestly have no idea what happened at the "origin point" of life. No idea at all. But we also know that it is unwise to conclude that some idea (god in this case) is an accurate depiction of the world, when said idea is just as unfounded and open to scrutiny as the original premise you mentioned.

You claim it's practically impossible that life exists as it does now, but you neglect the fact that it is equally unlikely that there exists a being with complete control over all known and unknown physics that jumpstarted the universe and life with it. Just because you're capable of imagining god and not the origin of life doesn't mean the former is more likely to be true.

The intelligent way to deal with the situation is to accept that we currently do not know the answer. We can and should continue to pursue the answer, but there really is not need for an "interim assumption". It's ok to not know something and it's wise not to jump at the first or second or third plausible explanation that arises. If someone is going to bother to believe something, it is in their best interest to be damn sure that something is a reasonable belief.
Cobalt
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1/9/2016 7:58:36 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 7:51:38 AM, tstor wrote:
At 1/9/2016 7:38:45 AM, Cobalt wrote:

Is there evidence suggesting that the universe isn't cyclical?
Sure. One example would be that the most distantly observed galaxies in the universe, corresponding to when the universe was only about seven percent of its present age, are much smaller and jammed more tightly together.
http://arxiv.org...

Again, this paper assume that our understanding of physics hold. Astronomers and physicists that concern themselves with this sort of thing agree that our understanding of physics breaks down near the Big Bang.

This doesn't mean that we just don't understand it -- it means that, at that time, the universe behaved in such as way that makes absolutely no sense to us. As such, it's possible that the universe is cyclical, in the sense that a Big Bang (or other) type event happens, then creates a universe similar (or dissimilar) to our own, which eventually undergoes some event (unknown) to us that restarts the cycle.

I'm saying "possible" because we don't know. We have no idea.
tstor
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1/9/2016 8:08:35 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 7:54:56 AM, Cobalt wrote:

Look, the answer to the question you originally asked is this:

Atheists and agnostics tend to view the world through an evidence-based lens. When we see posts like yours, we realize that it is significantly more conjecture than fact. You make critical assumptions about what is possible that should not be made.
I am not going to state whether I agree with you or not in regards to conjectures. However, I do want to follow up by asking if you assuming the work by Ross is more conjecture than fact or have you verified it by examining his sources?

I believe most educated atheists would agree -- we honestly have no idea what happened at the "origin point" of life. No idea at all. But we also know that it is unwise to conclude that some idea (god in this case) is an accurate depiction of the world, when said idea is just as unfounded and open to scrutiny as the original premise you mentioned.
Assuming that you are using the term "atheist" as I have defined it in the original post, I have to disagree. It is no more "unwise" to conclude a higher being/power as a source than it is for an atheist to conclude a naturalistic source. I have no intentions of justifying my own position in this thread, as I was only making it to satisfy my own curiosity.

You claim it's practically impossible that life exists as it does now, but you neglect the fact that it is equally unlikely that there exists a being with complete control over all known and unknown physics that jumpstarted the universe and life with it. Just because you're capable of imagining god and not the origin of life doesn't mean the former is more likely to be true.
I have not made the claim that a higher power/being is more likely.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
Cobalt
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1/9/2016 8:22:30 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/9/2016 8:08:35 AM, tstor wrote:
At 1/9/2016 7:54:56 AM, Cobalt wrote:

Look, the answer to the question you originally asked is this:

Atheists and agnostics tend to view the world through an evidence-based lens. When we see posts like yours, we realize that it is significantly more conjecture than fact. You make critical assumptions about what is possible that should not be made.
I am not going to state whether I agree with you or not in regards to conjectures. However, I do want to follow up by asking if you assuming the work by Ross is more conjecture than fact or have you verified it by examining his sources?

I am fully making the assumption, as I have not investigated in any sort of depth the validity of his claims. For the sake of this conversation, I will investigate Ross's claims, but I don't feel it's necessary. I only need to possess the understanding of astrophysics that I currently do to know the numbers are probably not accurate.

I can't discount the possibility that one or more of the numbers are accurate by happenstance, but I do know that many of the non-terrestrial probabilities must be estimates due to our lack of sample size. We have not had the capability to look at multiple samples, thus we cannot truly calculate probability.

More importantly, please look at my argument regarding "life as we know it." It was my longest post on this thread, I believe. I'm interested in what you think of that.

I believe most educated atheists would agree -- we honestly have no idea what happened at the "origin point" of life. No idea at all. But we also know that it is unwise to conclude that some idea (god in this case) is an accurate depiction of the world, when said idea is just as unfounded and open to scrutiny as the original premise you mentioned.
Assuming that you are using the term "atheist" as I have defined it in the original post, I have to disagree. It is no more "unwise" to conclude a higher being/power as a source than it is for an atheist to conclude a naturalistic source. I have no intentions of justifying my own position in this thread, as I was only making it to satisfy my own curiosity.

I suppose I have to make a distinction. I consider myself an atheist, but I do not discount the possibility that a god exists. If we were to get very technical, I may not qualify as a "true atheist" since I am not obstinately denying the idea that a god could exist.

That being said, I believe that the evidence at hand affords us some "reasonable assumptions", one of which is that there is not a god. A comparable (but ridiculous) example would be this: Grass does not explode upon being stepped upon.

We know how grass works to a large degree. We know what happens when you step on grass, to a large degree. But there are unknowns, since our understanding of biology and physics is incomplete. It is, admittedly, possible that stepping upon a particular blade of grass could cause some explosion. But we make the reasonable assumption that this explosion will not occur, even though it's based upon limited information. We cannot honestly deny the possibility, but we can claim that it is reasonable to assume that there will be no explosion. What's more, we can be critical of those who claim an explosion will happen, even though we don't have all the facts.

The same with God. Even though atheists don't have all the facts, nor could we ever, we feel the evidence is clear enough that we can say "there is no God". We know this is not 100% fact, but there is enough evidence (or enough of a lack of evidence) to make this claim.

So I guess I don't fit into your definition technically, but I don't think many self-proclaimed atheists would, technically.

You claim it's practically impossible that life exists as it does now, but you neglect the fact that it is equally unlikely that there exists a being with complete control over all known and unknown physics that jumpstarted the universe and life with it. Just because you're capable of imagining god and not the origin of life doesn't mean the former is more likely to be true.
I have not made the claim that a higher power/being is more likely.
RuvDraba
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1/9/2016 9:35:43 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/9/2016 7:07:10 AM, tstor wrote:
At 1/9/2016 6:47:38 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
1) How many universes are there? If you do not know, then how can you verify the likelihood that a particular universe exists?
I will start by quoting two of the requirements for a multiverse model put out by Reasons to Believe:
No need, since I haven't conjectured a multiverse model. I asked how you verified the probabilities used in your argument.
Well then you are being dishonest, as these are not my probabilities or my arguments. In fact, I have not put up a single argument. This thread is simply asking one question. I prefaced it with some work by Ross. With that said, everything after this wrong assumption is meaningless.

No, in asking atheists why they continue to reject gods in the face of this 'probability', you've adopted the position that this argument is scientifically and objectively valid and legitimate -- for if it weren't, there'd be no case to rebut.

Which means you've endorsed it, and now carry the burden of defending it as a premise.

Hence, it's 'yours'. If you resile from defending it then you're just offering a straw-man, which is itself dishonest.

2) What are the dependencies between the variables you mentioned? If you do not know, then how can you verify the probability of life on Earth with any accuracy?
Listed in third post:
dependency factors estimate = 10^-96
That seems to assume independence, not verify independence. What model identifies the key factors determining the development: a) of life on a planet; b) intelligent life on a planet? How do those factors interact? How is that model to be independently verified?
Stating "it seems to me," "it seems like," or "it feels like" are not real arguments.
While I have no idea how you produced the number or how it was produced from whatever text you quoted from, the main reason one would list so many variables and their 'calculated' probabilities is the presumption that they're independent, and that therefore the probabilities will multiply to a greater improbability. (If they're not, they don't.)

So it's a fair bet. :)

Without independent verification of the accuracy of such a model, it's pure conjecture. So assuming maximal independence is not objective, in that it's chosen to favour the conclusion. Again, it's manipulating an empirically unverified stochastic model, which is not just unscientific, it's intellectually dishonest.
Are you assuming that Ross has made the assumption that there is maximal independence?

Please see above. A lower bound could of course be based on the assumption of total independence, but an honest scientist would also explore the possibility of dependence among any factors that could not be shown conclusively to be independent. This would give a probability range -- the low end of which would be very improbable, but the high end of which would be much more probable. And the interesting question then is: is the high end comparable to the number of planets in the universe or no? If it is, the argument collapses. If it's not, then the argument would be legitimately interesting -- but it's made legitimate by assuming dependence, not assuming independence.

But you've endorsed the argument and quoted the figure anyway, so it's now up to you to explain how it was derived and why it's valid, unbiased and not trying to err toward the conclusion. Else again, if you don't do diligence, you have no case to demand that anyone else does.

3) Abrahamic god-claims are generally invalid because critical properties of the Abrahamic god cannot be verified or falsified by any amount of independent evidence. How improbable must evidence be to verify an invalid claim?
I would put this into the category of "how can you (a theist) rationalize your belief?" With that said, it violates the standards established for this thread.
Are you an "atheist" as defined in the original post?
Irrelevant, since you have not made any connection between a constructed universe and the legitimacy of religious worship. Since you haven't, you have so far supplied no connection between a constructed universe and a refutation of atheism.
I am not attempting to refute atheism. Perhaps you did not read my original post:
"This post serves to preface one question: How can an atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?"
So this post is composed of two pieces:
1) preface of question
2) question

You have been consumed by the preface for some unknown reason
The reason is: it's an invalid argument, and you haven't done due diligence on it. Therefore the question is irrelevant.

As to why it's an invalid argument:

1) Pseudoscience is empirically invalid, and doesn't have to be disproven. The use of probability here is pseudoscientific, and so are the non-empirical appeals to intuition about the sample-space of universes; and
2) Regardless, there is no logical implication from the premise of a constructed universe to the conclusion of religious veracity. So even if this universe were constructed, so what?

Thus, atheists have no case to answer here. However you do, since you endorsed the conclusion of a low probability of life on Earth. It's your responsibility to defend the case that this calculation represents best scientific practice, and is accurate.

Which it clearly doesn't and isn't, because it's pseudoscientific nonsense, misusing conditional probability, ignoring empirical sampling obligations and likely stacking the calculation by making assumptions of independence favouring of the conclusion, rather than assuming dependence as an honest scientist would do.

And this is why you need to read science to the point of being able to tell pseudoscience from science.
Illegalcombatant
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1/9/2016 9:51:11 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/9/2016 5:13:24 AM, tstor wrote:
This post serves to preface one question: How can an atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?

Because any life form will find the necessary conditions for it's existence AFTER the fact, whether it was the result or intelligent design or not.

It's true for humans, its true for that parasite that causes blindness or that thing that swims up your penis in africa.

Notice the creationists don't use this argument for the parasite, when the EXACT same (faulty argument) applies to it as well, oh golly what are the odds....................must be act of God.

Now have you heard the one about the puddle and the hole it finds it self in ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
bulproof
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1/9/2016 11:25:26 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
I wonder if tst would like to make this argument from the universe that doesn't support life?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
mrsatan
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1/9/2016 1:41:41 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/9/2016 5:13:24 AM, tstor wrote:
This post serves to preface one question: How can an atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?

Now, let me go ahead and satisfy the question in everyone's mind. I am defining "atheist" as "a person who believes that God does not exist" (Merriam-Webster).


Whether or not I fit that definition of 'atheist' depends on the definition of 'God'. For now, I'll assume merriam-websters first definition, which is essentially an abrahamic god. By that definition, I do believe God does not exist.

Honestly, I see nothing here that needs to be reconciled. A serious article would include footnotes indicating which references relate to which calculations, so that one could verify those calculations, and see what assumptions have been made. This article does not do that.

I see no reason to take an article seriously when that article isn't presented in a serious and open manner. Especially in an area where knowledge is relatively limited, in which case the number of assumptions is likely going to be high.
To say one has free will, to have chosen other than they did, is to say they have will over their will... Will over the will they have over their will... Will over the will they have over the will they have over their will, etc... It's utter nonsense.
Amoranemix
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1/9/2016 2:11:57 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
- tstor 1
This post serves to preface one question: How can an atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?
It looks like your question is assuming that it has been demonstrated that life on earth is extremely improbable, but you are denying in this thread making such an argument. So I won't dispute your 'argument' that isn't really one and assume you are asking hypothetically : If it were demonstrated that life on earth is extremely improbable, what would be a possible rationalization for the belief that God doesn't exist ?

Under that hypothesis :

First, probabilities depend on assumptions (or facts). Taking into account different information may lead to a different probability. For example in your preface your source assumed there is only one universe. You are probably familiar with the saying : "There are lies, damned lies and statistics". So if a Christian tries to prove God with statistics, there is good reason to be suspicious.

Second, the question depends on what you mean with God. If you are referring to the Abrahmic god, then many arguments against that god could serve as rationalization, like the problem of evil, apparent errors in the Bible or the panoply of contradicting religions. If however all possible paranormal entities (like the photonic beings from the fifth dimension) qualify as God, then I don't think believing God does not exist would be rationally justifiable. However, it still would not imply It does exist as natural explanations have not been excluded.

- bulproof 4
100%
Or hadn't you noticed the shape of the puddle.
That analogy is only valid for the multiverse hypothesis, which tstor disputes (despite denying that).

- RuvDraba 5
1) How many universes are there? If you do not know, then how can you verify the likelihood that a particular universe exists?
- tstor 7
I will start by quoting two of the requirements for a multiverse model put out by Reasons to Believe:
"[ . . .]"
You didn't just start, but also stopped there.

- tstor 13 to RuvDraba
Stating "it seems to me," "it seems like," or "it feels like" are not real arguments. We can talk about your feelings if you wish, but I do not see how it is relevant to the thread. I would say that the answer to your questions can very easily be found in the first companion article.
"I would say" is not a real argument either.

- tstor 21 to Cobalt
I have not made the claim that a higher power/being is more likely.
Yes, you have in post 3 :
"Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^282 (million trillion trillion [ . . . ]) exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles."
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DanneJeRusse
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1/9/2016 3:03:03 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/9/2016 5:13:24 AM, tstor wrote:
This post serves to preface one question: How can an atheist rationalize their belief in light of the extreme lack of probability for life on earth?

Now, let me go ahead and satisfy the question in everyone's mind. I am defining "atheist" as "a person who believes that God does not exist" (Merriam-Webster).

Then, you're dealing with a very tiny minority of folks of non-believers, the rest of us here do not hold that belief.

I will also go ahead and state that a proper answer to the question is not asking me a question such as "how can you (a theist) rationalize your belief?"

The following are parameters for advanced life on earth, followed by the probability that the parameter will meet the required range for physical life:

Obviously, your parameters are specious, at best. Many of them have nothing to do with life on any planet. As well, others have mentioned your sample size is one. Indeed, you've made an utter mess of this.
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dee-em
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1/9/2016 3:47:34 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
Probability that tstor exists - a calculation.

Probability of the particular sperm from father 10^-11 (sperm are not identical)
Probability of the particular egg from mother 10^-3 (eggs are not identical)
Probability of father meeting and marrying mother 10^-6 (varies depending on town/city size etc.)

Given father and mother exist, this gives a probability of about 10^-20.

Probability of father existing is also about 10^-20
Probability of mother existing is also about 10^-20

Given grandfathers and grandmothers exist, this gives a probability of about 10^-60.

Now take this back 10,000 generations.

I form the inescapable conclusion that the probability of tstor existing is so small that it might as well be zero. Therefore tstor does not exist.

(A lesson in how to misuse probability).
SNP1
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1/9/2016 4:02:17 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
Well...
1) Who says that it is possible for a universe to exist in any other way?
2) Who says there isn't a multiverse, making it a statistical necessity that there would be a universe like ours?
3) Who says that the universe isn't 5D with a second dimension of time with all possible points in time?
Furthermore, the video I am linking is a good one for why fine-tuning is actually supportive of naturalism and not theism.
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