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Author Topic:   What would it take?
Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 17 of 49 (26201)
12-10-2002 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by forgiven
12-10-2002 7:23 AM


Hi forgiven
quote:
brian, the odds of life appearing on earth has been calculated (sorry, i don't have the sources) to be greater than the combined total of all electrons in the universe to 1...
Lets think about the chances of you existing....
For this to happen, one of 100 million, say of your father's sperm fertilised your mother's egg. So thats already a 1 in 10^8 probability.
But thats not the whole story - your parents had to be born first to produce you, each with a probability (as above) of 1 in 10^8.
So total is now 1 in 10^24. Except your grandparents now add 10^32. And your great-grandparents add 10^64. Lets also for good measure take your great great grandparents (10^128).
So in five generations, the chances that your great great great grandparents produced you is: 1 in 10^(8+16+32+64+128) = 1 in 10^248. Obviously, the real probability is much less than this - I've only considered five generations. (If we assume a 6000 year earth, we'd have to consider at least 200! )
Now there's about 10^80 atoms in the universe, so therefore you don't exist.
Can you see what's wrong with this analysis?
PE
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Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense - Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by forgiven, posted 12-10-2002 7:23 AM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by forgiven, posted 12-11-2002 7:58 PM Primordial Egg has replied

  
Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 49 (26386)
12-12-2002 5:14 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by forgiven
12-11-2002 7:58 PM


quote:
i guess i wasn't as clear as i thought i was being... abiogenesis is possibly the leading theory of life on earth amongst the no-Creator branch... this is what i was speaking of, the odds of life *at all* being here... take into account not only the accidental nature of this solar system, but of this planet... then the perfect distances from the sun and moon... tilt of the axis, etc etc...
Thats exactly what I thought you were saying, and I've applied the same logic to the chances of you being here and come up with effectively zero. If you can see whats wrong with my analysis then that should make you go back and requestion the odds of abiogenesis you've alluded to above (which are normally far greater than the chances of you existing as calculated in my prev post).
PE
------------------
Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense - Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by forgiven, posted 12-11-2002 7:58 PM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by forgiven, posted 12-12-2002 7:40 AM Primordial Egg has replied

  
Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 49 (26407)
12-12-2002 9:30 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by forgiven
12-12-2002 7:40 AM


quote:
i can't quite wrap my mind around your example, p.e. ... there are too many invariables for a specific human example, such as number of times fertilization was attempted, health of sperm/egg, etc... and i don't know enough about genetics to know whether or not only one spermatozoa of a zillion can result in pregnancy... however, i do find your last sentence interesting... do you mean by it that the odds of all things being perfect for original life (chemically and also the physical sciences aspect) are lower than for one human?
The example I gave was deliberately highly simplified - if you add in more variables then you make the probabilities less, not more.
It serves as an example of how probabilities can be misused, much like they are for any probability of abiogenesis calculations you might have seen. And my misuse of probability is exactly the same as the one you've seen touted as the probability for abiogenesis.
The truth is that nobody can produce a probability, or even estimate one for abiogenesis, and anyone who claims to is probably using probability calculations no different from my example above. To which you have to apply the same standard of credibility to their' conclusions as you would to mine.
PE
------------------
Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense - Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by forgiven, posted 12-12-2002 7:40 AM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by forgiven, posted 12-12-2002 9:31 PM Primordial Egg has not replied

  
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