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# Let's talk a little bit about probabilities...

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posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 06:18 PM
I hear a lot about people talking about how 'improbable' it is for evolution to be true, so let's take a look at something.

Get a standard deck of playing cards. Shuffle them.
Now deal yourself 5 cards.

The probability of the hand you just dealt yourself is 1/ (52 x 51 x 50 x 49 x 48)%
OR
1 in 311,875,200

That's just the chance of getting a hand of any 5 cards, but it doesn't preclude it from happening.
Shuffle the cards back into the deck.
Now deal yourself another hand, it's also a 1 in 311,875,200 chance.
But now that you've dealt yourself TWO hands the chances that you would get them both in that sequence is 1 in 97,266,140,375,040,000
And so on for each and every other hand you're playing.
It gets exponentially worse when you're playing with multiple people.

So the chances of that happening are so exponentially small, so why does it happen? Well, all the other possible options have an equal chance of happening, do they not? And are people not playing with cards all over the world? Eventually someone is going to get ten hands in a row in the exact same way you were dealt ten cards.

And hence there's really no logic in saying that probability is the reason why evolution cannot be true. Something being improbable doesn't mean it is impossible, only that it is very unlikely that it will happen.

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 06:38 PM
Well said, and true...

And that is from someone who thinks we were created by an intelligence.

But, gotta give credit to a well formed thought when I see one.

S&F

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 06:56 PM

I like to think of it as the best of both worlds, where at first it was just possibility, but once possibility got it so far it needed that extra push to get over the hill so possibility could once again take ahold as it should. I think that is what the universe is based on, possibilty...

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 06:57 PM
I'd like to add a couple of billion years of dealing cards into that mix.

And give the recipient the opportunity to keep one card out of every.............say 100 deals. Yup! Lovin the poker game/evolution analogy.

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 06:58 PM

I think a lot of people have a hard time accepting the human race and this planet is perhaps one big coincidence

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 07:18 PM
If things are too improbable, they'll likely not occur in the entire lifetime of the universe before it become to cold to happen.

However, I'm not going to take anyone's word on how improbable mud evolving into complex life is when our knowledge about the processes themselves, ie. all the mechanisms of self-assembly, is so incomplete. The chances could be quite high, perhaps almost certain if the right conditions exist, and it's not unlikely those conditions exist in a few place besides earth either.

One thing I've not heard speculated on is, even though life already exists on earth, does it in fact still start from "dead matter" in places from time to time? Why should any process that got it going in the first place be exinct? I know it would be difficult to be in the right place at the right time to witness it.

Do we care about the order of the hand?

If so, then it's:
52 P 5 = n! / (n - r)! = 52! / (52 - 5)! = 311,875,200

If not, then it's:
52 C 5 = n! / (r! * (n - r)!) = 52! / (5! * (52 - 5)!) = 2,598,960

edit on 9/13/2010 by EnlightenUp because: it was "improbable" and something else matters

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 07:26 PM

And hence there's really no logic in saying that probability is the reason why evolution cannot be true. Something being improbable doesn't mean it is impossible, only that it is very unlikely that it will happen.

Decent analogy, but in my honest opinion, we must also remember that randomness, chances, and probabilities don't truly exist as actualities.

In order for life and as a consequence, the evolution of life to occur, certain conditions must be met. Those conditions must always be met before such events can occur. People who discuss probabilities are people who are either unaware of causality, unable to grasp the bigger picture, or are simply charlatans trying to persuade others away from reality. Even discussing the probabilities of the sequence the cards take at each shuffling says nothing about probabilities. In order for each sequence to manifest, certain conditions occur that bring about the hand dealt. Such is also with the case for life and it's evolution. Humans are simply to simple minded to understand causality and thus refer and rely upon randomness, chance, and probability to explain reality.

At any rate, it was a decent analogy and does drive the point home for the evolution naysayers.

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 07:29 PM
reply to post by EnlightenUp

One thing I've not heard speculated on is, even though life already exists on earth, does it in fact still start from "dead matter" in places from time to time? Why should any process that got it going in the first place be exinct? I know it would be difficult to be in the right place at the right time to witness it.

I would imagine that it does still occur, even though we aren't even trying to look for it occurring. It might not develop any further simply due to more established life using it as a source of sustenance. Then again, we are continually discovering new species all the time, so who knows?

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 08:33 PM
It's my opinion that both intelligent design and evolution are at work here. The fact that we still have religion in the world is proof of evolution in my opinion. This demonstrates that there are currently millions of people who are still "asleep" and believe that an external god, in some other place, is responsible for their lives. Evolution is evidenced in that millions of people have awoken from that dream and are learning to live in this new paradigm.

I found this quote related to the subject: [link]
"The fact is the missing link is still missing and will never be found here. In this day in our understanding of genetics we know that without the introduction of foreign genetic material evolution just doesn't happen. The missing link that changed Neanderthal to CroMagnon and CroMagnon to Human as we are today will never be found here! Darwin was incomplete and errored in his conclusions. Christians have nothing to worry about under this theory, as we were indeed created in our makers image." - Dr. Wolf

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 08:50 PM

That was explained succinctly .

A supplementary video which also addresses Arguments By Retrospective Improbability .

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 09:36 PM
Thats not how I remember it working when I'm cleaning house in BlackJack. Oh cause its only 2 cards..

I'll see your 5 cards and go all in.

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 11:10 PM
Get a standard deck of playing cards that are brand new out of the box and remove the jokers/extraneous cards. Now, cut the cards anywhere you want (within reason) 13 times, get 12 people plus you to cut them. Now, deal the cards into 13 piles of 4 cards, the first 12 are for other people, the last pile is for you. When you start turning the piles over, you'll see the first pile is all deuces, the second all 3's and so on, your pile will be all aces.

I can't remember what the probabilities are, but it does work and it's a cute trick for getting free drinks at a bar. I think it's actual called the gamblers solution. As the story goes a gambler was going to be tried for murder and he offered the judge odds that on his beating everyone's hand in the jury, the case would be dismissed and the gambler would go free.

Cheers - Dave

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 04:41 AM
reply to post by sirnex

Decent analogy, but in my honest opinion, we must also remember that randomness, chances, and probabilities don't truly exist as actualities.

Actually, they do. The randomness evolution depends on is randomness present in mutations, which relies on quantum-mechanical chemical processes - true, quantum randomness, guaranteed to be genuinely random (probabilistic) by physical laws (even if all known conditions are the same, you still get different results).

Our universe is fundamentally probabilistic (stochastic), not deterministic.

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 06:02 AM
reply to post by Maslo

Actually, they do. The randomness evolution depends on is randomness present in mutations, which relies on quantum-mechanical chemical processes - true, quantum randomness, guaranteed to be genuinely random (probabilistic) by physical laws (even if all known conditions are the same, you still get different results).

Our universe is fundamentally probabilistic (stochastic), not deterministic.

I personally don't believe that to be the case, for if it were the case, then we must throw out causality in my opinion. Every effect is proceeded directly by a cause, there is no probability of an effect occurring from a cause, only the resulting action of the effect occurs. If you shuffle a deck of cards, there is no real probability of a particular sequence being dealt. To say there is, is to deny the conditions that occurred in which led to that sequence being dealt. This also applies to randomness and chance. Neither can exist as actualities unless one blatantly ignores all causation's that lead to their subsequent effects.

Randomness in Evolution is no where near random or by chance. A mutation occurs for various reasons, it has various causes to it's effect. Life doesn't randomly pop up and randomly evolve on random planet around random stars. There are a lot of conditions that *must* occur before any life can develop and evolve into new species once it's established. It has nothing to do with probabilities or randomness. Life simply won't develop on an inhospitable planet by random chance or by probabilistic occurrence. Conditions must be met before any event occurs.

To speak of randomness, chance and probabilities is to deny specific causation's that lead to specific events occurring. It's for fools and charlatans.

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 06:14 AM

Originally posted by Maslo
Actually, they do. The randomness evolution depends on is randomness present in mutations, which relies on quantum-mechanical chemical processes - true, quantum randomness, guaranteed to be genuinely random (probabilistic) by physical laws (even if all known conditions are the same, you still get different results).

Our universe is fundamentally probabilistic (stochastic), not deterministic.

How do you know it's genuinely ''random'', though ?

Do you mean by our current knowledge ? How do you know what we define as ''probability'' doesn't have an underlying deterministic cause, that we are unaware of ?

The only way you can find out if randomness truly exists would be to go back in time and do exactly the same experiment again.

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 06:23 AM
and what is the probability of getting 5 cards without a dealer?

hmm maybe thats a different topic

edit on 14-9-2010 by Mr_Awesome because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 06:28 AM
reply to post by sirnex

I personally don't believe that to be the case, for if it were the case, then we must throw out causality in my opinion.

Maybe the universe on the micro scale works that way, even if it seems very strange to its inhabitants, only because they are evolutionary adapted to macroscopic, clasiccal, non-quantum world. What if causality is only emergent, statistical property, which emerges from probabilities in the micro scale? (something like thermodynamics).
Or there really are hidden variables which determine the exact outcome of quantum probability event, but to beings in our universe its indistinguishable from true randomness, since we cannot determine them in any way - therefore they are irelevant.

Randomness in Evolution is no where near random or by chance. A mutation occurs for various reasons, it has various causes to it's effect. Life doesn't randomly pop up and randomly evolve on random planet around random stars. There are a lot of conditions that *must* occur before any life can develop and evolve into new species once it's established. It has nothing to do with probabilities or randomness. Life simply won't develop on an inhospitable planet by random chance or by probabilistic occurrence. Conditions must be met before any event occurs.

Of course, I was talking only about quantum randomness. In the macro world, everything is conditional (almost, sometimes true quantum-random event can directly influence even macro world - stochastic quantum radioactive decay can for example radiate photon exactly in time and place to cause dangerous point-mutation, which leads to cancer). But development of life requires many macro-world conditions, so its not so easy to influence by one quantum event.

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 08:29 AM
reply to post by Maslo

Maybe the universe on the micro scale works that way, even if it seems very strange to its inhabitants, only because they are evolutionary adapted to macroscopic, clasiccal, non-quantum world. What if causality is only emergent, statistical property, which emerges from probabilities in the micro scale? (something like thermodynamics).
Or there really are hidden variables which determine the exact outcome of quantum probability event, but to beings in our universe its indistinguishable from true randomness, since we cannot determine them in any way - therefore they are irelevant.

Reality is not a place of what-ifs. It's a place of actions, causes and effects.

Of course, I was talking only about quantum randomness. In the macro world, everything is conditional (almost, sometimes true quantum-random event can directly influence even macro world - stochastic quantum radioactive decay can for example radiate photon exactly in time and place to cause dangerous point-mutation, which leads to cancer). But development of life requires many macro-world conditions, so its not so easy to influence by one quantum event.

Ah, so an inability to accurately predict when an atom will decay is now being likened to a true random event? For what reason would the mutation of life be caused by random radiation and yet the causation of life be cause only by conditional occurrences? Why have one determined by random influence and not the other? How is an inability to accurately predict the decay and mutation being likened to a random event? Are all extant variables known in order to call it a true random event? If not, then are you a fool, or a charlatan?

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 09:06 AM
reply to post by sirnex

Reality is not a place of what-ifs. It's a place of actions, causes and effects.

Thats your personal interpretation and description of reality. I can also say that there are events which have no direct cause, only probability of happening (quantum processes (wavefunction collapse) are in their essence stochastic and not deterministic) and according to observable evidence, I would be equally right. At our current level of understanding, these two interpretations are indistinguishable, and therefore equally probable to be true. I also personally think that quantum randomness is the result of some undelying deterministic hidden variables, but I cannot completely disregard that its actual true stochastic event, I dont have evidence for that statement, it would be unscientific. You cannot disregard some theory only because you personally dont like it, you have to use evidence (why is something this way, AND not the other way).

Ah, so an inability to accurately predict when an atom will decay is now being likened to a true random event?

Until you have evidence that says otherwise, its a possible interpretation.

For what reason would the mutation of life be caused by random radiation and yet the causation of life be cause only by conditional occurrences? Why have one determined by random influence and not the other?

Because mutations can be caused by probabilistic quantum events, but compositions of star systems and planet orbits cannot be effectively influenced by quantum events.

Are all extant variables known in order to call it a true random event?

We dont know. Therefore, both interpretations are equally probable, till we determine that either there are additional hidden variables (quantum events are in their nature deterministic) or there are not, at least not observable from our universe (then they are stochastic in their nature).

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 09:31 AM
reply to post by Maslo

So, what you're saying is that quantum events either have an underlying deterministic cause or are truly ''random''.

As we actually have ample evidence of determinism in certain events, with cause and effect, then determinism has been proven to exist in some circumstances.

Yet, true randomness has nothing to support it, except a hypothetical explanation to try and understand a process that we don't.

In other words, the concept of cause and effect has been proven to exist, but the concept of randomness is nothing but theoretical and conjecture.

I'm with sirnex on this one. I see no evidence to make me believe that randomness actually exists.

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