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Probabilities

 
EN
 
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EN
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02 February 2018 17:17
 

Mathematicians, take notice!!! (burt??)

In this thread we shall discuss probabilities.  Probability is the measure of how likely an event is to occur out of the number of possible outcomes.  To calculate probability, you will need to divide the number of events by the number of possible outcomes. Seems simple.  Let’s start with a simple example.  A die has 6 sides.  We know the number of possible outcomes - 6.  So the probability of any particular number coming up is 1/6.  Simple, right?

Well, what is the probability of rolling two consecutive fives on a six-sided die?  (I’m shamelessly stealing an example from WikiHow.) The probability of rolling one five is 1/6, and the probability of rolling another five with the same die is also 1/6. These are independent events, because what you roll the first time does not affect what happens the second time; you can roll a 3, and then roll a 3 again.

A jar contains 4 blue marbles, 5 red marbles and 11 white marbles. If three marbles are drawn from the jar at random, what is the probability that the first marble is red, the second marble is blue, and the third is white?  The probability that the first marble is red is 5/20, or 1/4. The probability of the second marble being blue is 4/19, since we have one fewer marble, but not one fewer blue marble. And the probability that the third marble is white is 11/18, because we’ve already chosen two marbles. This is another measure of a dependent event.

An axiom: Multiply the probability of each event by one another. This will give you the probability of multiple events occurring one after another. What is the probability of rolling two consecutive fives on a six-sided die? The probability of both independent events is 1/6.  This gives us 1/6 x 1/6 = 1/36 or .027 or 2.7%.

So, what is the probability of rain falling tomorrow?  A weather forecast has to rely on the history of weather conditions that lead to a particular outcome. If the past weather conditions (similar to tomorrow’s expected condition) leads to rain 20% of the time, that’s the probability.  So a probability in this case requires a knowledge of history to create a baseline of information.

What about a single, unique event?  What was the probability of the Big Bang before it happened (if “before” even means anything here)?  Impossible to determine. We don’t have enough background information to give a probability. We don’t know how many Big Bangs have occurred, and we don’t know the number of possible outcomes.

What is the probability that life exists on another planet? Well, how many planets are there? We have no actual evidence that life exists on any planet except ours, so 1 would be the numerator and the number of planets that could possibly support life would be the denominator - that’s a bunch!!!  So the probability is 1/billions.  Not very probable, but possible. If we ever found life, the odds would increase.

What is the probability that “God” exists? Assume that “God” means some form of Creator (no particular denomination).  How to figure the probability?  Impossible. We don’t know what is required to bring a universe into being. The possibilities are “a creator is not needed” and “a creator is needed”.  So, is 50/50 the appropriate probability?  Hard to say.  We simply don’t have enough knowledge to determine what is required.

I’m inviting people to give their thoughts on probabilities, but I’d especially like to hear from mathematicians.  Thanks. 

 

 
jdrnd
 
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02 February 2018 17:44
 
EN - 02 February 2018 05:17 PM

What is the probability that “God” exists?

This is not a mathematical question.
God is made up.

What are the chances that Harry Potter exists.
The answer is
ZERO.
Harry Potter was made up.


This is a typical ploy that believers use to try to give themselves credibility with scientific minded individuals.

By trying connect the notion that there is a chance of a fictional being existing with scientific/mathematical jargon you attempt to create the illusion that there is some scientific reason to even consider the existence of said being.
There is not a scientific reason.
There is no reason.
Its fictional

 
EN
 
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02 February 2018 18:00
 
jdrnd - 02 February 2018 05:44 PM
EN - 02 February 2018 05:17 PM

What is the probability that “God” exists?

This is not a mathematical question.
God is made up.

What are the chances that Harry Potter exists.
The answer is
ZERO.
Harry Potter was made up.


This is a typical ploy that believers use to try to give themselves credibility with scientific minded individuals.

By trying connect the notion that there is a chance of a fictional being existing with scientific/mathematical jargon you attempt to create the illusion that there is some scientific reason to even consider the existence of said being.
There is not a scientific reason.
There is no reason.
Its fictional

The idea that there is intelligence behind the universe is not fictional, Jeff. Remember, even Neil deGrasse Tyson says it’s a 50/50 chance we are living in a simulation.  A simulation is an intelligently designed computer program. There is not difference between a Universal Programmer and a “God”.  Show me the math on this: what is the probability that there is intelligence at the foundation of the universe?  If you can’t come up with a cogent argument (you never have), then the probability I assume is 50/50, as there are two possible outcomes - “yes” and “no”.

 
jdrnd
 
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02 February 2018 18:21
 
EN - 02 February 2018 06:00 PM

Remember, even Neil deGrasse Tyson says it’s a 50/50 chance we are living in a simulation.

Tyson says alot of things.  He’s trying to be entertaining.

 
jdrnd
 
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02 February 2018 18:25
 
EN - 02 February 2018 06:00 PM

A simulation is an intelligently designed computer program. There is not difference between a Universal Programmer and a “God”.

For one, we’re not part of a computer simulatation.

Secondly there is a big difference between a supernatural omniscient all powerful being and a computer simulation.
Answer this question! (said in a demanding way)
So if your imaginary being turned about to be a computer simulation would you still worship it?

 
SkepticX
 
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02 February 2018 18:50
 
EN - 02 February 2018 06:00 PM

The idea that there is intelligence behind the universe is not fictional, Jeff.


Neither is the idea that body snatchers took over a chunk of the North San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-late ‘50s.

Or that a dinosaur species still lives in a Scottish lake.

Etc.

The ideas behind fiction are not fictional, they’re actual, real ideas. It’s the characters and beasties and events and other details and such in the stories about them, expressed in whatever medium, that are fictional.

 
 
bbearren
 
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bbearren
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02 February 2018 18:56
 
jdrnd - 02 February 2018 06:21 PM
EN - 02 February 2018 06:00 PM

Remember, even Neil deGrasse Tyson says it’s a 50/50 chance we are living in a simulation.

Tyson says alot of things.  He’s trying to be entertaining.

Did you mean “a lot”?

 
 
Skipshot
 
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02 February 2018 22:19
 
EN - 02 February 2018 05:17 PM

What is the probability that “God” exists?

What Jeff wrote.  God is made up, so the probability is zero.  For your own credibility, please do not use math to justify fictional characters, otherwise you will need to accept mathematical explanations for the butt fairy.

We cannot assail your beliefs when they stand alone, but we can assail your beliefs when math or science is used to justify belief.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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02 February 2018 23:14
 

No. A fifty percent chance is not a default answer. It’s a specific probability that needs to correspond to some data just like any other number.

There are equations for establishing probabilities when some some variables are unknown but they rely on other variables being established.

Is god a set of one? If so how would any normal means of establishing probability apply?

I’m actually unreasonably piqued by this question because it segues neatly into a lot of cryptic stuff that I enjoy discussing when I get tipsy.

 

 
bbearren
 
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02 February 2018 23:21
 

I think Stephen Hawking has a decent understanding of probabilities.

The Origin of the Universe

“In order to understand the Origin of the universe, we need to combine the General Theory of Relativity with quantum theory. The best way of doing so seems to be to use Feynman’s idea of a sum over histories. Richard Feynman was a colorful character, who played the bongo drums in a strip joint in Pasadena, and was a brilliant physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He proposed that a system got from a state A, to a state B, by every possible path or history. Each path or history has a certain amplitude or intensity, and the probability of the system going from A- to B, is given by adding up the amplitudes for each path. There will be a history in which the moon is made of blue cheese, but the amplitude is low, which is bad news for mice.”
  . . .
“Suppose the beginning of the universe was like the South Pole of the earth, with degrees of latitude playing the role of time. The universe would start as a point at the South Pole. As one moves north, the circles of constant latitude, representing the size of the universe, would expand. To ask what happened before the beginning of the universe would become a meaningless question, because there is nothing south of the South Pole.

Time, as measured in degrees of latitude, would have a beginning at the South Pole, but the South Pole is much like any other point, at least so I have been told. I have been to Antarctica, but not to the South Pole. The same laws of Nature hold at the South Pole as in other places. This would remove the age-old objection to the universe having a beginning; that it would be a place where the normal laws broke down. The beginning of the universe would be governed by the laws of science. The picture Jim Hartle and I developed of the spontaneous quantum creation of the universe would be a bit like the formation of bubbles of steam in boiling water.

The idea is that the most probable histories of the universe would be like the surfaces of the bubbles. Many small bubbles would appear, and then disappear again. These would correspond to mini universes that would expand but would collapse again while still of microscopic size. They are possible alternative universes but they are not of much interest since they do not last long enough to develop galaxies and stars, let alone intelligent life. A few of the little bubbles, however, grow to a certain size at which they are safe from recollapse. They will continue to expand at an ever increasing rate, and will form the bubbles we see. They will correspond to universes that would start off expanding at an ever increasing rate. This is called inflation, like the way prices go up every year.”

Stephen Hawking and many other theoretical physicists and cosmologists are making progress toward a theory of quantum gravity.  The god in whom I believe is not supernatural; it is my understanding that God is “nature”, to nature’s fullest extent.  My faith requires neither proof, approval nor acceptance.

 
 
SkepticX
 
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03 February 2018 06:55
 
EN - 02 February 2018 06:00 PM

The idea that there is intelligence behind the universe is not fictional, Jeff. Remember, even Neil deGrasse Tyson says it’s a 50/50 chance we are living in a simulation.  A simulation is an intelligently designed computer program. There is not difference between a Universal Programmer and a “God”.  Show me the math on this: what is the probability that there is intelligence at the foundation of the universe?  If you can’t come up with a cogent argument (you never have), then the probability I assume is 50/50, as there are two possible outcomes - “yes” and “no”.


I suspect that Tyson reference is quote mining, but to suggest because it either exists or it doesn’t means there’s a 50/50 chance that a god exists (never mind the definition and whether or not it’s coherent or qualifies as a god or validates worship ... etc, etc) is far more specious than saying Immanuel Velikovsky’s recent history of the solar system is either right or wrong, so it’s got a 50/50 chance of being accurate.

 
 
Jefe
 
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03 February 2018 08:12
 
EN - 02 February 2018 05:17 PM

So, is 50/50 the appropriate probability?

Not even close.
You may be conflating binary yes/no answer with a 50/50 probability when that is not necessarily the case (almost certainly not the case, when considering the existence of (a) god(s).)  Not all binary questions have a 50/50 probability for each answer, in fact, many of them have highly spread probabilities between each answer.

The more specific the definition of god used, the less likely the probability.
The more vague and non-specific the definition of god used, the easier it is to overlook the absence of evidence, or to gloss over it while remaining unspecific.

And when examining the possibility of (a) god(s), one should pay attention to evidence that should be apparent for the existence of these differing god(s) beliefs.  Like miraculously healed amputees.  Like significant skewing of other probabilities that point to the existence of the ‘intercessory prayer’ god(s). etc.  Like the fingerprints of a creator-being scattered around for folks to notice or find.

In the cases of those who believe in supernatural god(s) and the connecting effects, if one doesn’t already assume god(s), there is insufficient evidence to suggest these supernatural figures exist outside of the mind of these people.  And personal experiences leading to agreeable decisions or outcomes has way too much room for false positives, and false neutrals to be worthy of consideration in the probability equation.

For those who’s beliefs color god(s) as non-supernatural effects, they may simply being overlaying some arbitrary assumptions over top of the ‘natural functions of physics, chemistry and space/time’.

If we simply look at the size and composition of the cosmos itself (without presuming {a} god{s} ) the very vastness and nature of what we can and have observed does not suggest any form of supernatural creator or being guiding the structures and composition, and we {humanity, the 'divine creation'} are an insignificantly unnoticeable blip in a very remote and tiny portion of the backwaters of the ‘bubble’- which is not suggestive of our ‘centrality’ or ‘import’ to the cosmic space/time continuum. That would suggest the probabilities for the truth of mythologies positioning humanity a the ‘center’ are way lower than 50/50.

IMO, god(s) and supernatural mythology are simply constructs of our cognitive engineering.  Our brain has evolved toward functions that excel at making up stories, internalizing conversations, anthropomorphizing, and projecting - along with deluding, fooling us, over-empathizing, building biases, altering our memories simply by recalling them, making mistakes, and doubling-down even when presented with conflicting/contradictory information.

 

[ Edited: 03 February 2018 08:16 by Jefe]
 
 
ubique13
 
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03 February 2018 10:49
 
Jefe - 03 February 2018 08:12 AM

If we simply look at the size and composition of the cosmos itself (without presuming {a} god{s} ) the very vastness and nature of what we can and have observed does not suggest any form of supernatural creator or being guiding the structures and composition, and we {humanity, the 'divine creation'} are an insignificantly unnoticeable blip in a very remote and tiny portion of the backwaters of the ‘bubble’- which is not suggestive of our ‘centrality’ or ‘import’ to the cosmic space/time continuum. That would suggest the probabilities for the truth of mythologies positioning humanity a the ‘center’ are way lower than 50/50.

IMO, god(s) and supernatural mythology are simply constructs of our cognitive engineering.  Our brain has evolved toward functions that excel at making up stories, internalizing conversations, anthropomorphizing, and projecting - along with deluding, fooling us, over-empathizing, building biases, altering our memories simply by recalling them, making mistakes, and doubling-down even when presented with conflicting/contradictory information.

By my own estimation, Jefe’s probability of being completely accurate is about 1/1. Bonus points for effort and style.

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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03 February 2018 11:37
 
EN - 02 February 2018 05:17 PM

What is the probability that “God” exists? Assume that “God” means some form of Creator (no particular denomination).  How to figure the probability?  Impossible. We don’t know what is required to bring a universe into being. The possibilities are “a creator is not needed” and “a creator is needed”.  So, is 50/50 the appropriate probability?  Hard to say.  We simply don’t have enough knowledge to determine what is required.

I’m inviting people to give their thoughts on probabilities, but I’d especially like to hear from mathematicians.  Thanks.

Mathematicians won’t help you. Whatever probability you assign to the existence of God—from zero to a hundred to anything in between—is based purely on belief, since there’s no evidence to support any specific probability.

 
 
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03 February 2018 12:03
 
jdrnd - 02 February 2018 06:25 PM
EN - 02 February 2018 06:00 PM

A simulation is an intelligently designed computer program. There is not difference between a Universal Programmer and a “God”.

For one, we’re not part of a computer simulatation.

Secondly there is a big difference between a supernatural omniscient all powerful being and a computer simulation.
Answer this question! (said in a demanding way)
So if your imaginary being turned about to be a computer simulation would you still worship it?

Jeff, Jeff, you require so much work. God would not be the computer simulation.  God would be the one who programmed it.  And yes, if I came in contact with an intelligence that created the universe, I would be in awe of it (awe is my definition of “worship”).  And you don’t know if we are part of a simulation or not.  You continue to make claims you cannot back up. You continue to fire blanks. This possibility was raised by NASA scientists.  It did not come from me. Yes, it’s only a possibility. But you don’t know as much as the people who propose it.

 
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03 February 2018 12:05
 
Skipshot - 02 February 2018 10:19 PM
EN - 02 February 2018 05:17 PM

What is the probability that “God” exists?

God is made up, so the probability is zero.

You don’t know that, Skip.  You can’t just assume the very point in question and then rearrange the problem to fit your answer.  Intelligence at the foundation of the universe is a real possibility, so the probability cannot be zero. Figuring out what it is - that is the question.

 
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