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

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posted on Sep, 21 2010 @ 03:38 AM
I don't believe that nature is deterministic, however it does tend to stay within the lines of conservation and symmetry, but not necessarily deterministically so since nature is intrinsically random (even the best computers can't model sufficiently high n-body collisions, however some people interpret that as the multiverse). The solution to this is what I call [Free Chaos Will, irrationaltheorist.blogspot.com...]

posted on Sep, 21 2010 @ 07:03 AM

I was merely commenting on the probabilities of coin tossing.

And I was merely wondering where these probabilities are arising from. Each side of the coin is determined by a variety of variables, from miniscule weight differences of each side to the force of the toss itself and even any wind currents affecting the coin in midair. There simply is no probability at all, there is nothing more than a series of actions taking place that determine a final outcome. Our narrow minded simpleton musings of probabilities does not detract from the reality of these actions taking place and having an effect upon the coin.

So again, where is the probability arising from if all these actions and events are accounted for? Does the probability still exist?

posted on Sep, 21 2010 @ 07:10 AM

Originally posted by quantum_flux
I don't believe that nature is deterministic, however it does tend to stay within the lines of conservation and symmetry, but not necessarily deterministically so since nature is intrinsically random (even the best computers can't model sufficiently high n-body collisions, however some people interpret that as the multiverse). The solution to this is what I call [Free Chaos Will, irrationaltheorist.blogspot.com...]

We can't model it because not all variables are known. You have to remember, our species is still very young in it's science. Regardless of our inability to computationally model every variable in nature on our primitive slow computers, those variables still exist and still take place. There is nothing random about anything. Every event stems from a cause and every event is the cause of a next event. Reality is always in motion, always flowing and changing.

Perhaps it's our limited language that skews our views of reality and muddies our studies of it. We are after all a very young species nor is our science anywhere nearly perfect in it's description of reality. Reality/nature/the universe just simply contains no randomness, chances, nor probabilities. We can't even create a true random sequence and yet you honestly think randomness exists because we can't use our primitive computers to model a complex reality? Shame...

posted on Sep, 21 2010 @ 12:50 PM

Even if all the variables are known, by mathematical axiom there would be a finite number of variables and yet the entire Universe has an infinite number of equations of state in order to accurately model everything. Or going the time derivative route, in order to map out the positions of all the particle-waves in the universe over time it would require an infinite amount of time derivatives of those positions. The only way to do it would be to measure all of the particle-wave positions at every instant in time for all eternity in order to get a continuous function.

Consider the weather, or stock market, or any chaotic system (that's the universe). If the chaotic system is recorded for 5 time periods it gives you no more accurate prediction of what the system will be at 6 time periods than recording for 6 time periods will give you a prediction of what will happen at 7 time periods. However, more accuracy is achieved when those time periods are smaller though, since over the shorter term any system should behave more linear while over the longer term any system should behave more chaotic. Even the most stable systems such as planets and the stars eventually deviate from their orbital paths in unpredictable paths.

posted on Sep, 21 2010 @ 01:18 PM

Originally posted by sirnex

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.

But aren't probabilities the direct result of actions? Incidentally, I don't believe in accidents and the chances of an accident are almost zero, in my book. It would be like a 'glitch in the matrix' and I coined the phrase. Why do some people have bad luck and others seem to have a charmed life? Why is it when a person gets there mind out of the way and opens the door to success or abundance, it just happens? Is it our energy or thought that brings certain conditions right to us like a magnet?

During the day, we think of a certain person we haven't seen in years, and all of a sudden they show up or call. Why is it some people are killed in accidents and others survive? These are probabilities based on our own energy or thought processes or consciousness, This is something I can't explain, but I know it without a doubt and it's called causality.

If there was an earthly cataclysm, only 19 to 29 percent would survive and these are probablitites based on conditions. I don't think we can rule out probability, because there are variables and they change from moment to moment. So doesn't probability and causation go hand in hand depending on what actions I take today? If a person drinks and drives, there is at least a 50% chance that person will have an accident and the higher the amount, the more likely an accident will happen increasing the probability from 50 to 80 percent and up. Those are probabilities.

Also, I don't believe evolution is random, because I don't believe in accidents, but mutations can occur when conditions are right.

edit on 21-9-2010 by Onboard2 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 02:37 PM

Even if all the variables are known, by mathematical axiom there would be a finite number of variables and yet the entire Universe has an infinite number of equations of state in order to accurately model everything. Or going the time derivative route, in order to map out the positions of all the particle-waves in the universe over time it would require an infinite amount of time derivatives of those positions. The only way to do it would be to measure all of the particle-wave positions at every instant in time for all eternity in order to get a continuous function.

Our inability to compute with our primitive science and technologies still does not detract from the fact that all events are proceeded by a cause. What we can or can't do in order to predict an outcome or series of outcomes has no bearing upon the actions that take place that bring about those outcomes.

We're simply not that important.

Consider the weather, or stock market, or any chaotic system (that's the universe). If the chaotic system is recorded for 5 time periods it gives you no more accurate prediction of what the system will be at 6 time periods than recording for 6 time periods will give you a prediction of what will happen at 7 time periods. However, more accuracy is achieved when those time periods are smaller though, since over the shorter term any system should behave more linear while over the longer term any system should behave more chaotic. Even the most stable systems such as planets and the stars eventually deviate from their orbital paths in unpredictable paths.

Again, it seems chaotic to us because we don't have all the variables. One still has to remember that even the most seemingly chaotic looking system is still produce by a singular flow of action from initial causation to final event. Even a series of events can cross over leading to various effect within each line of sequences, yet all are linked in that regard and all must be considered.

There simply is no such thing as chaos. It's only our infancy that makes thing's appear chaotic.

posted on Sep, 22 2010 @ 02:47 PM

But aren't probabilities the direct result of actions?

No, probabilities are the direct result of mathematical wizardry and pure disregard of all variables between a cause and it's final outcome. We say the probability of a coin toss is 50/50 when in fact, regardless of however many side's to the coin there are, there will only be one outcome to each toss. There simply is no 50/50 as it's not a pure chance event as no such events are physically possible nor have ever occurred in recorded history.

Incidentally, I don't believe in accidents and the chances of an accident are almost zero, in my book.

I agree with you there.

It would be like a 'glitch in the matrix' and I coined the phrase. Why do some people have bad luck and others seem to have a charmed life? Why is it when a person gets there mind out of the way and opens the door to success or abundance, it just happens? Is it our energy or thought that brings certain conditions right to us like a magnet?

No, it's our actions. It's how we conduct ourselves around others and whom we allow to influence our own lives. If one takes great responsibility to oneself, then one would always appear to have "good luck". If one sits on their arse day in and day out, drinking, doing drugs, and having harmful people in their lives, they will always appear to have "bad luck". Life is simply what you make of it, what you want it to be and only you can control what your life will be like.

During the day, we think of a certain person we haven't seen in years, and all of a sudden they show up or call. Why is it some people are killed in accidents and others survive? These are probabilities based on our own energy or thought processes or consciousness, This is something I can't explain, but I know it without a doubt and it's called causality.

Such thing is pure bunk.

If there was an earthly cataclysm, only 19 to 29 percent would survive and these are probablitites based on conditions. I don't think we can rule out probability, because there are variables and they change from moment to moment. So doesn't probability and causation go hand in hand depending on what actions I take today? If a person drinks and drives, there is at least a 50% chance that person will have an accident and the higher the amount, the more likely an accident will happen increasing the probability from 50 to 80 percent and up. Those are probabilities.

See my comments on chaotic systems in my reply above to quantum_flux.

Also, I don't believe evolution is random, because I don't believe in accidents, but mutations can occur when conditions are right.

Mutations aren't inherently random in my book.

posted on Sep, 25 2010 @ 07:54 AM

Originally posted by Astyanax
Yes, the probability that the 101st coin flip, or the 100-billion-and-first flip, will come out heads is still 50 percent. But the probability that you will throw heads at least once in a series of coin flips increases with the number of flips.

point still stands. one flip does not affect the probability of the next.

the reason that you can estimate the probability of heads coming up at least once in say one hundred flips is because the initial probability of flipping heads is likely. with a 50/50 ratio, the joint probabilty that the coin will land heads at least once (if not more) is of course high (99%)

change the initial chance of the action and you need more and more attempts to make the action a "sure thing". the chances of randomly picking a card from a deck and selecting the ace of spades is 1 in 52. suddenly 100 attempts doesnt have the same joint probability as the coin. you go from a near garantee, to a slight possibility of not being successful.

go to a lottery ticket. lets say a national lottery is 120 mil to 1. suddenly 100 attempts doesnt do you anything.

but here is the interesting thing about probability, the amount of attempts does not garantee success. 100 flips of a coin and the coin landing all heads is in itself improbable because the intial ratio is so likely. but cards for instance, you can do it 100 times and there is a possibility that the ace wont come up.

multiple attempts dont not change the initial probabilty and if you have an action with a unbelievably low probabilty of happening, then you are in need of an infininate amount of time for this action to appear even once.

The probability of abiogenesis, meaning the probability of coming up with a viable molecular replicator under the conditions that existed on the primitive Earth, is the probability of a fairly limited series of chemical reactions are initiated by chance and take place in order. Given the rate of chemical reactions occurring on the Earth's surface, which must number in the trillions a minute or greater, abiogenesis--if it could occur at all--was not an unlikely event but a near-certainty.

abiogenesis is not a near certainty by any means, and you statement is pure assumption.

first off, abiogenesis doesnt have an infinity to play with. the number of "attempts" is limited. first by the age of the earth (4.5billion). second, by the period of time in which the earth could form life (earth didnt always have an ocean for example). second, the are certain factors that make life forming by accident impossible, such as solar radiation. but ignoring them for a moment, lets assume that abiogenesis isnt a "non-occuring event". even the most primitive single cells organisms are all or nothing packages. every single component is needed for life to survive, so either life formed by accident complete or it didnt. this makes the probabilty of this happening staggeringly low (just for a 300 molecule long protien to form would be 1 in 10(390), imagine adding the rest of the components)

some scientist insist that the first life didnt form complete, that the process started from self replicating molecules. there are several problems with this. 1 - no evidence, there arent any examples of of primitive chemical structures that show any resemblance to life. 2 - the components of a cell break down rapidly if formed without the cells other supporting components. so RNA couldnt form and wait around for DNA to form. it would disapate.

the probability of abiogenesis with the what we know about biology is not near certainty. its a non-occuring event.

take the book "war and peace", cut the binding off and through the pages into the air and gather them up. what are the chance that the pages will be in numerical order? certainly, the event doesnt not have a probabilty of 0. it is possible, but would you as logical and reasonable person put your money on that happening?

posted on Sep, 25 2010 @ 09:16 AM
I really enjoyed this whole discussion -- great work!

If anyone cares, I left the thread at this point with a stronger belief in God and creationism than when I entered it (strangely, because I know that was not the intent of the OP, but that is the way I feel at this point.) There are some very good arguments for causality and against randomness.

I think the question of creationism is less about evolution, and more about the mysteries of cosmology in general.

I can't help but feel that there are several pieces of information -- some natural law yet to be discovered -- which would clear this whole argument up. Maybe there is some property of gravity, or of light, which would show the universe to be much older than currently thought (or some similar truth, unknown at this time.) Maybe we are all sharing some basic false assumption, which will make this whole discussion moot.

Time might show how crazy and naive this whole discussion really was. We should revisit this thread again in 200 years, and see if I am right.

posted on Sep, 25 2010 @ 09:16 AM
Double post. Ignore.

edit on 25-9-2010 by Axial Leader because: Double click.

posted on Sep, 25 2010 @ 10:06 AM

1 - no evidence, there arent any examples of of primitive chemical structures that show any resemblance to life.

en.wikipedia.org...

There are self-replicating RNA molecules. And as soon as you have self-replicating mutating molecules, evolution is inevitable.
btw. RNA is still used for some processes even in modern eukaryotic cells.

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 05:07 AM

Yup. Creationists love to point out how improbable it was that life would evolve exactly the way it did. They fail to recognize that there are, very probably, a myriad of possible forms that organisms might have taken, depending on the prevailing conditions and environment. Biological life has evolved a particular way thus far and it might have done so differently had the environment been different in some crucial way - yet it would still have evolved nonetheless. We deal five cards, and while each unique hand is extremely improbable to obtain, it is nevertheless certain that you will receive one of these hands.

posted on Oct, 19 2010 @ 12:32 AM

point still stands. one flip does not affect the probability of the next.

Sure, in a series of coin tosses. But when you're looking at a chain of chemical reactions, each link in the chain makes the next more likely.

Biogenesis is a seine-net of ever-increasing probabilities in which the final outcome is inevitable. As we can see by looking about us.

edit on 19/10/10 by Astyanax because: of the increasing probability of being misunderstood.

posted on Oct, 19 2010 @ 04:22 PM

Very true. That is in fact when the analogy between simple games like cards and coin tossing breaks down, as chemical reactions are far more complex and have an entirely different set of probabilities attached to them.

posted on Oct, 21 2010 @ 02:23 PM

but thats the thing, when we get into certain ranges of odds, they are deemd impossible, I beilve that the odds that random mutations acted on by natural selection to produce he staggering adaption around us to be so imporobable as to be impossible! as of now anyway,

posted on Oct, 21 2010 @ 02:26 PM

you mean you have fatih that it is inevitable, because inevitable it most certainly is not!

posted on Oct, 21 2010 @ 06:25 PM

Again, not it isn't. Let me grab my calculator to calculate the odds of five hands of a five card stud poker in a game with five people playing.

To make things slightly simpler, I'm going to assume that every hand plays out and that nobody changes cards.

Ok, odds of the first hand happening are: 1 in 7,407,396,657,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Now 7,407,396,657,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to the fifth power would be...oh snap, my calculator doesn't even calculate that high. I can come up with the probability for two hands of poker with five people:

1 in 54,869,525,240,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

That's just the odds for two games of poker turning out in any possible way. But the thing is that they have to turn out one way. Just because something is insanely improbable doesn't mean it's impossible.

The probability of a deck of cards being in any given order is
1 in 80,658,175,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

It doesn't mean that it's impossible for the deck of cards to be in the order it is in, just highly improbable.

Now imagine that you have 50 decks of cards in front of you. The probability that all of the decks of cards in front of you are in the order that they're currently in is
1 in 80,658,175,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000^50
That is an insanely high number that I don't have the hardware to properly calculate. In fact there is a massive margin of error on all of my calculations as their accuracy gets cut off after the first ten digits.

Probability doesn't mean impossibility. It just means that there are a lot of different ways something can turn out. All of the options in this scenario have the same probability, but one option has to happen.

posted on Oct, 21 2010 @ 06:28 PM

Again, no it isn't. Let me grab my calculator to calculate the odds of five hands of a five card stud poker in a game with five people playing.

To make things slightly simpler, I'm going to assume that every hand plays out and that nobody changes cards.

Ok, odds of the first hand happening are: 1 in 7,407,396,657,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Now 7,407,396,657,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to the fifth power would be...oh snap, my calculator doesn't even calculate that high. I can come up with the probability for two hands of poker with five people:

1 in 54,869,525,240,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

That's just the odds for two games of poker turning out in any possible way. But the thing is that they have to turn out one way. Just because something is insanely improbable doesn't mean it's impossible.

The probability of a deck of cards being in any given order is
1 in 80,658,175,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

It doesn't mean that it's impossible for the deck of cards to be in the order it is in, just highly improbable.

Now imagine that you have 50 decks of cards in front of you. The probability that all of the decks of cards in front of you are in the order that they're currently in is
1 in 80,658,175,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000^50
That is an insanely high number that I don't have the hardware to properly calculate. In fact there is a massive margin of error on all of my calculations as their accuracy gets cut off after the first ten digits.

Probability doesn't mean impossibility. It just means that there are a lot of different ways something can turn out. All of the options in this scenario have the same probability, but one option has to happen.

Now, the odds of getting struck by lightning? 1 in 750,000
Odds of winning the powerball? 1 in 195,249,054

You have a better chance of winning the Powerball eight times in a row than you do of having a deck of cards in any particular order.
Now, which one is impossible?

posted on Oct, 22 2010 @ 12:23 AM

Wasn't it you who were insisting a couple of posts earlier that a low enough probability of something happening is the same as its being impossible? By the same token, what would a high enough probability equate to, if not inevitability?

My belief in the inevitabiliy of spontaneous biogenesis is just the same as my belief that the sun will rise tomorrow. And I am really not interested in refuting the addlepated assertion that lack of belief is itself belief.

Madnessinmysoul has more patience than I. If you ask him nicely, he may explain it to you.

edit on 22/10/10 by Astyanax because: I see he already has.

posted on Nov, 10 2010 @ 08:16 AM
To quickly point out a new point. People bring forth all sorts of 'probabilities' for our universe existing in the manner it does and being able to support life etc.

...Well, I figured out the probability yesterday, with the help of a mathematician I know.

1 in 1.

Why?
Well, what's the number of observed universes? 1
How many universes have we observed that have life-supporting, stable, etc properties? 1

Therefore, the chance of our universe being able to support life is 1 in 1. 100%

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