# Did God cough hard at the crucial moment?

But that presumes you know how likely an event the development of life is. I don't think anyone knows this. Or can even make a guess at it.

You can use a probability of probabilities approach to determine what's likelier here, statistically speaking, if you don't know the probability of something occurring but would like to know what the probability of it occurring exactly once.

What it allows you to do is make statements like "It's far more likely for it to occur 2, or 3, or 4, or 5, or 6 times, rather than just exactly 1 time".

So mathematically speaking we are able to say things about an event the probability of which we have no idea about.

I don't know what that means, to be honest. I can see you can say that sort of thing. But I've no idea if it has any bearing on reality.

I don't know what that means, to be honest. I can see you can say that sort of thing. But I've no idea if it has any bearing on reality.

According to my past math teachers, very much so.

Imagine that you have access to a button that, when pressed, yields a seemingly random number. You have no idea what the range of this device is - one time it yielded a 704,555, another time a 581,581,528, and yet another time it gave you a number with 17 zeroes behind it.

One thing you do know is that there is a range.

Now you want to ask this question: "Assuming that this number was pressed 50 * 10^8 times, how many times is it going to yield the number 1?"

You have no idea, right? Statistically speaking, on average to get the number 1 exactly once you'd have to press the button as many times as the number of possible numbers that it can return. So if the range was 0-10, in order to get 1 once, you'd have to press it 10 times, on average.

With that out of the way, you can say that the probability that it occurs exactly once hinges on the range being equivalent to the number of times the button was pressed, on average.

But since you have no idea what the range is, you have to assume that (if you got a 1) either A) you got incredibly lucky and got a 1 even though it's incredibly unlikely. It's so unlikely that it will never happen again.. or B) you got a 1, meaning that chances are it'll happen again, statistically speaking.

B is a lot more likely than A.

I don't really have time to explain it better than that. In the end things that happen exactly once are incredibly unlikely.

We don't know whether it's infinite or not, actually.

A lot of Christians say that we are God's chosen species and that he even has a special people, the Jews, who he pays special attention to.
I think you will find that most cosmologists believe the universe is bounded. If bounded, then finite. Infinite is a serviceable approximation in most contexts, but not this one.

If you want to be picky, it would be Hebrews, not Jews. You find it improbable that God would choose one world out of a huge number of worlds. It is no more remarkable that he would pick one man out of a few billion. The answer to both is the same--observation. The record is that it happened.

You can use a probability of probabilities approach to determine what's likelier here, statistically speaking, if you don't know the probability of something occurring but would like to know what the probability of it occurring exactly once.

What it allows you to do is make statements like "It's far more likely for it to occur 2, or 3, or 4, or 5, or 6 times, rather than just exactly 1 time".

So mathematically speaking we are able to say things about an event the probability of which we have no idea about.
I'm a degreed statistician. This is close to gibberish.

If the expected value is zero, but the experimental result is one, there is no conflict. The probability might be Tricia McMillan's phone number. Zaphod still has the only drive.

J

I think you will find that most cosmologists believe the universe is bounded.

Citation?

This is an unanswered question as far as i know.

If you want to be picky, it would be Hebrews, not Jews. You find it improbable that God would choose one world out of a huge number of worlds. It is no more remarkable that he would pick one man out of a few billion. The answer to both is the same--observation. The record is that it happened.

I.. don't think it's improbable that a supernatural entity would pick one of his/her creations to preside over. I have never said so one way or another.

If you re-read my post, I just think it's arrogant to presume that we're special and deserving of the attention of supernatural beings who create universes.

In the end things that happen exactly once are incredibly unlikely.

That's why some boys live more than once:

Wonder if his memoirs were from a parallel universe, or from more than one past lifes in this universe.

I'm a degreed statistician. This is close to gibberish.

If the expected value is zero, but the experimental result is one, there is no conflict. The probability might be Tricia McMillan's phone number. Zaphod still has the only drive.

J

What sort of degree do you have?

When were we talking about the expected value being 0?

What about probability of probabilities type analysis do you question? You seem to think it's all hogwash.. yet this sort of analysis is done all the time. So I'm curious which exact part you have an issue with.

I think you will find that most cosmologists believe the universe is bounded.
And where would I find that? Throw me a bone man.

Isn't finite and infinite the conceptual limit to a physical phenomenon? Even the universe may outlive human ability to ever answer the question. That the universe is expanding is hardly an indicator of wether it is finite or not. Are we still assuming that some one told us there was a beginning? All we are sure of being able to define is the almost 14 billion "year" section we can perceive.

Isn't finite and infinite the conceptual limit to a physical phenomenon?

It's a mathematical concept that applies to whatever you want it to apply to.

Even religion! You can have 0 Gods (atheism), 1 God (monotheism), 2 Gods, 3 Gods, and so on.. Or an infinite amount of Gods, if you want.

That pretty much covers all the bases, that's all the possible number of Gods right there. Infinity can apply to anything, to Gods, to space, to measurements.. to time.

That the universe is expanding is hardly an indicator of wether it is finite or not.

Well.. I completely agree, that's pretty good deductive reasoning on your part. An expanding universe doesn't tell you at all whether that universe is finite or infinite in size. I don't think any actual physicists would disagree with you about this.

Are we still assuming that some one told us there was a beginning?

We don't know if there was a beginning. All we know is that the Big Bang hints at a beginning of some sort - whether that's the beginning of all time or just parts of what we know as existence.. we just don't know... and maybe never will.

Even religion! You can have 0 Gods (atheism), 1 God (monotheism), 2 Gods, 3 Gods, and so on.. Or an infinite amount of Gods, if you want.

I don't normally entertain thoughts like this because I usually find they give me headaches, but couldn't one argue that 0 gods and infinite gods is essentially the same thing?

In the immortal words of Syndrome (or at least close to them): When everybody is special, then nobody is.

I.. don't think it's improbable that a supernatural entity would pick one of his/her creations to preside over. I have never said so one way or another.

If you re-read my post, I just think it's arrogant to presume that we're special and deserving of the attention of supernatural beings who create universes.

While everyone is rereading, try mine. It is not necessary to presume anything.

One of the problems with having a physicist brother is difficulty citing what you hear. I would stand to be corrected. That said, I stand by my statement that current thinking is large, but bounded.

In the immortal words of Syndrome (or at least close to them): When everybody is special, then nobody is.

Again, you will find this in many scriptures, including the Bible. Men are gods, God is God.

J

I don't normally entertain thoughts like this because I usually find they give me headaches, but couldn't one argue that 0 gods and infinite gods is essentially the same thing?

In the immortal words of Syndrome (or at least close to them): When everybody is special, then nobody is.

I disagree, since even with an infinite number of Gods, you could have 1 God per galaxy or even 1 God per an infinite number of Galaxies, assuming that the universe is infinite as well.

And 1 God per even just 1 galaxy sounds pretty God-like to me!

Citing 'what most Cosmologists think' would be ad authoritum. They don't know. Einstein didn't think God played dice and now 64% of physicists think he was wrong.

Timtofly said:
That the universe is expanding is hardly an indicator of wether it is finite or not.
Spatially the universe may or may not be infinite, my personal favourite idea is that the universe is shaped like a D12, proving conclusively that God plays D&D.
The model most theorists currently use is the so-called Friedmann&#8211;Lemaître&#8211;Robertson&#8211;Walker (FLRW) model. According to cosmologists, on this model the observational data best fit with the conclusion that the shape of the universe is infinite and flat,[3] but the data are also consistent with other possible shapes, such as the so-called Poincaré dodecahedral space[4][5] and the Picard horn.[6]
Temporally, the universe will not suffer from collapsing under its own weight as it were, so the expected lifetime of our spacetime bubble is infinite under current models.

As to whether it begin, we just don't know. We can trace the life of this spacetime bubble back to a very early point, but then the standard model breaks and we therefore lack the theoretical tools to say what may or may not have been around earlier. It is possible that there were various states of existence that preceeded our universe, or that this is it, as it were, and it all began at the 'big bang'.

But that presumes you know how likely an event the development of life is. I don't think anyone knows this. Or can even make a guess at it.

The discovery of amino acids, or whatever, in a cloud of intergalactic dust might make it more likely, but more likely than how likely? It seems an imponderable question.
Yes this

While everyone is rereading, try mine. It is not necessary to presume anything.

One of the problems with having a physicist brother is difficulty citing what you hear. I would stand to be corrected. That said, I stand by my statement that current thinking is large, but bounded.

Again, you will find this in many scriptures, including the Bible. Men are gods, God is God.

J
No, really. Current thinking isn't that the universe is bounded. To best measure, omega is equal to one, meaning the universe is flat, unbounded.

Again, you will find this in many scriptures, including the Bible. Men are gods, God is God.

Oh yes? What does it mean for men to be "gods", and God "God"?

While everyone is rereading, try mine. It is not necessary to presume anything.

One of the problems with having a physicist brother is difficulty citing what you hear. I would stand to be corrected. That said, I stand by my statement that current thinking is large, but bounded.
That's fine. You may have heard this of your physicist brother, and you may have a degree in statistics, but you have to understand that just stating these isn't cutting it. Verifiable support does.

It wouldn't be very difficult for a statistician with a degree to explain where Warpus' argument goes wrong.

And it wouldn't be that hard to present the current view from most cosmologists. Not to prove it's the prevalent view, but at least to give "it's bounded" some foundation.

It wouldn't be very difficult for a statistician with a degree to explain where Warpus' argument goes wrong.

Depends, if he has studied enough theoretical statistics and probability, he should be able to break down my argument and argue against it logically and I might be convinced that I'm wrong. I mean, maybe I am? Who knows. I don't think I am, but anything's possible.

But if all he has is a degree in applied statistics, then who knows.

For now I stand by my analysis. It seems that the only thing anyone's been able to throw at it is "You can't analyze probabilities of probabilities", but that sort of thing is done.. so.. I await someone's explanation as to why it wouldn't work in this case.

Replies
0
Views
290
Replies
24
Views
1K
Replies
61
Views
9K
Replies
83
Views
10K
Replies
3
Views
1K