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Old 03-11-2011, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
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Rabbi Adam Jacobs: A Reasonable Argument for God's Existence

I am seriously tired of this same old argument repeated ad nauseum as proof for the existance of god:

(from the linked article) "Suppose you took scrabble sets, or any word game sets, blocks with letters containing every language on Earth and you heap them together, and then you took a scoop and you scooped into that heap, and you flung it out on the lawn there and the letters fell into a line which contained the words, 'to be or not to be that is the question,' that is roughly the odds of an RNA molecule appearing on the Earth." (Dr. Robert Shapiro, Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Chemistry at New York University)"

Well yea, that would be something. But what if you threw the scoop a million times, a billion times, a trillion times, a quadrillion times? How many stars are there in the universe? How many planets? Conservative guesses say there are around 10 sextillion planets in the universe. That's A LOT.

Are are the letters necessary to complete the phrase in the pile? If so, there is a chance it will come up at least once if the scoop is repeatedly thrown long enough.

This does NOT prove a god created life. The universe is big enough to make such odds possible. And if we were the lucky number, we would never know any different.

Last edited by Chango; 03-11-2011 at 12:53 PM..
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:25 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,754,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Rabbi Adam Jacobs: A Reasonable Argument for God's Existence

I am seriously tired of this same old argument repeated ad nauseum as proof for the existance of god:

(from the linked article) "Suppose you took scrabble sets, or any word game sets, blocks with letters containing every language on Earth and you heap them together, and then you took a scoop and you scooped into that heap, and you flung it out on the lawn there and the letters fell into a line which contained the words, 'to be or not to be that is the question,' that is roughly the odds of an RNA molecule appearing on the Earth." (Dr. Robert Shapiro, Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Chemistry at New York University)"

Well yea, that would be something. But what if you threw the scoop a million times, a billion times, a trillion times, a quadrillion times? How many stars are there in the universe? How many planets? Conservative guesses say there are around 10 sextillion planets in the universe. That's A LOT.

Are are the letters necessary to complete the phrase in the pile? If so, there is a chance it will come up at least once if the scoop is repeatedly thrown long enough.

This does NOT prove a god created life. The universe is big enough to make such odds possible. And if we were the lucky number, we would never know any different.
Interesting. I am not one that gets into discussions on the existence of a creator. However, you brought up an interesting point.
First of all, why are you getting tired of the point made? Are you looking all the time on the subject? Just curious.

Now, the example you provide after the source you cited I notice something that made me think. Ok, so you said " there is a chance it will come up at least once if the scoop is repeatedly thrown long enough." The example to me it required someone to toss out the letter over and over until it happens once. Is that far off the realm of possibilites? What do you think? Enlighten me. I read a lot of the arguments on the existence of God in these forums. However, I decided not to get involved discussing because my perceptions is that minds are made up to the point that there is no real discussion, just a lot of spiteful rhetoric. Both sides of the issue claim to be open minded but I do not see that. You bring up point and I will have to ask you to explain further. If it mades sense or not, I may still aske a lot of questions. Take care.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elamigo View Post
Interesting. I am not one that gets into discussions on the existence of a creator. However, you brought up an interesting point.
First of all, why are you getting tired of the point made? Are you looking all the time on the subject? Just curious.

Now, the example you provide after the source you cited I notice something that made me think. Ok, so you said " there is a chance it will come up at least once if the scoop is repeatedly thrown long enough." The example to me it required someone to toss out the letter over and over until it happens once. Is that far off the realm of possibilites? What do you think? Enlighten me. I read a lot of the arguments on the existence of God in these forums. However, I decided not to get involved discussing because my perceptions is that minds are made up to the point that there is no real discussion, just a lot of spiteful rhetoric. Both sides of the issue claim to be open minded but I do not see that. You bring up point and I will have to ask you to explain further. If it mades sense or not, I may still aske a lot of questions. Take care.
Well, I'm probably tired of the argument because I spend too much time here.

As far as the hand that tosses the scoop in the analogy? That would be the laws of physics in real life. If god created life, there would be no need to toss the scoop 10 sextillion times; he'd just arrange things to make life work and plant the seeds...
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:52 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,754,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Well, I'm probably tired of the argument because I spend too much time here.

As far as the hand that tosses the scoop in the analogy? That would be the laws of physics in real life. If god created life, there would be no need to toss the scoop 10 sextillion times; he'd just arrange things to make life work and plant the seeds...
Thanks for the reply. I am not Christian but I know they believe the Bible creation in different ways. Some do believe it was in 6 days that god created things, literaly. Others believe he is the source of energy that originated from all originated and they do not see a problem god simply putting all ingredients and for them to develop into what is now. If I was going to beleive that, it would make more sense to me. I believe a lot of the problem people that believe in evolution and/or do not believe in a creator base it a lot on what religious people say. Just as it may be a mental block for many religious people to step back and look is some of their belief pass the test of logic, the same with the other side. Both are discussing based on what the other said is saying instead of simply looking at things detached from the other side arguments.
You may say how can you look into it without what the other side is saying, well, why can't you? Take care.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
12,899 posts, read 18,442,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elamigo View Post
Thanks for the reply. I am not Christian but I know they believe the Bible creation in different ways. Some do believe it was in 6 days that god created things, literaly. Others believe he is the source of energy that originated from all originated and they do not see a problem god simply putting all ingredients and for them to develop into what is now. If I was going to beleive that, it would make more sense to me. I believe a lot of the problem people that believe in evolution and/or do not believe in a creator base it a lot on what religious people say. Just as it may be a mental block for many religious people to step back and look is some of their belief pass the test of logic, the same with the other side. Both are discussing based on what the other said is saying instead of simply looking at things detached from the other side arguments.
You may say how can you look into it without what the other side is saying, well, why can't you? Take care.
There is a lot of truth in that. Taking a firm stance on one side or the other of any argument is basically putting on the blinders and disregarding any otherwise logical proof that may weaken your own argument.

True elightenment isn't about winning an argument but at comming to the most accurate and complete understanding of reality possible.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Rabbi Adam Jacobs: A Reasonable Argument for God's Existence


Are are the letters necessary to complete the phrase in the pile? If so, there is a chance it will come up at least once if the scoop is repeatedly thrown long enough.
No offense, but the proper response to this is NOT "if you do it enough times you'll get it." Yeah, statistically, anything is possible. All the molecules of air on my side of the room could statistically decide to move downstairs and suffocate me but the likelihood of it happening is absolutely horrible.

Put another way:

You're leaving out the MAJOR function of how evolution works when you simply say "Do it enough times and you're good to go." Believe it or not, the statistical odds are just as bad as you think just by doing it over and over again.

"To be or not to be, that is the question."

Do you realize the odds alone of casting this particular set of scrabble tiles? Let's assume, just for arguments sake, that you already have the right number of tiles needed to spell out the quote you're referring to with all the letters jumbled up and mixed up. I count thirty letters in that phrase. So, the odds alone of just doing things over and over are as follows:

1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 * 1/30 = 1/4.85x10e45

So, when you leave out the things that selection does and leave it to "do it enough times and you're good to go," you too are committing the same sort of egregious fallacy.

HERE IS HOW IT ACTUALLY WORKS:

Essentially, you cast all your tiles out. With each letter having a corresponding tile, there is a 1/30 individual chance that a tile will fall in its proper place. Those tiles that DO fall in their proper place will be kept on the lawn. Those that do not, will be scooped back up and cast out again. So, let's assume the first throw looks like this:

"Ta kj od ald ie ne titu os ple uysqpoin"

Now, we leave the correctly corresponding tiles ON THE LAWN, And scoop up the incorrect ones. Using an odd symbol to show the difference between the correct and incorrect ones, this is what we should have currently residing on the lawn:

"T❈ ❈❈ o❈ ❈❈❈ ❈❈ ❈e t❈❈❈ ❈s ❈❈e ❈❈❈❈❈❈❈n"

In this case, this is currently the "fittest" creature for it's environment. It's by no means a perfect match. In fact, it looks more like a preliminary Wheel of Fortune answer than anything else. But you cast another set of tiles out and this is what you have:

"To jk ob utt iu be tiku is rhe qifsalnn."

Scoop the tiles back up but leave the ones that are in their correct place on the lawn. Here is what we now have:

"To ❈❈ o❈ ❈❈t ❈❈ be t❈❈❈ is ❈he q❈❈❈❈❈❈n."

Now, throw the tiles back out again. Let's say you come across this:

"To he on nut mo be tuit is nhe quetsion."

Scoop the tiles back up and leave the correct answers in place. This is what it will look like:

"To ❈e o❈ n❈t ❈o be t❈❈t is ❈he que❈❈ion."

As you'll see, we can keep doing this until we have the MOST SUITABLE string of characters for the environment. The previous entries, the ones that were not suitable, still existed, they were merely more primitive forms of the string of characters we asked for. In other words, you could look at the following sets as your FOSSIL RECORD. Here is the evolutionary lineage of the fossil record of this string of characters:

"T❈ ❈❈ o❈ ❈❈❈ ❈❈ ❈e t❈❈❈ ❈s ❈❈e ❈❈❈❈❈❈❈n"

"To ❈❈ o❈ ❈❈t ❈❈ be t❈❈❈ is ❈he q❈❈❈❈❈❈n."

"To ❈e o❈ n❈t ❈o be t❈❈t is ❈he que❈❈ion."

MISSING LINK

MISSING LINK

"To be or not to be that is the question."

Here, you can see how a very simplified sample of common evolutionary mathematics works. It is glaringly obvious that the "Missing Links" do not really have to be present to figure out what the phrase is. We know what we currently have and we know we had something grossly similar "two chains" ago. It doesn't take rocket science to put the rest together.

So, in actuality, it is the selection process that VASTLY reduces the astronomical likelihood of something happening. The faux pas that nearly every denialist makes is that evolution happens in one cast of the tiles. In fact, the very unbelievability of such a thing is exactly what is called for in the "creation" model - that some being cast a very lucky set of dice.

Next time you hear this incredulous argument, please do not just say that "Give it enough times and it will happen." That is only half the argument, it is still misleading, and it is still inaccurate! We will never crush the mind virus that is anti-intellectualism and stupidity if we do not give proper explanations to our responses!
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: around the way
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GCSTroop is absolutely correct and I'm rather upset that he beat me to posting it.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
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I've heard all of the arguments like a tornado flying through a junk yard and somehow putting together an airplane which is similar to what this is saying but it completely misses the point of what is actually happening. No scientist has ever stated that life was instantly put into existence by an event that happened all at once, it's the religious people who make that claim about the God they believe in. Science puts forward the reasonable claim that the existence of life is the result of countless bits of activity which do not require astronomical odds of occuring and that they accumulate over extremely long periods of time. The fossil record documents the evolution from single celled life through all of the appearances of new species, occasional mass extinctions, and all of the other twists and turns that have happened until the present day. Now a tornado can fly through a junk yard in a few seconds and I wouldn't ever expect anything to be assembled by pure chance but we're talking about hundreds of millions of years of seemingly insignificant changes in biological terms but if these miniscule changes give an organism even the smallest better chance of survival it's reasonable to expect that that small change will eventually become the norm for similar organisms because life is a kind of competition for physical traits. The traits that promote survival will be passed on to new generations and the ones that don't will result in the extinction of organisms that don't have them.
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Old 03-11-2011, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
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More technical than I wanted to get but you're right GCS Troop. Life didn't just spring up as fully formed multicellular organisms, and RNA DNA wasn't created in a day either (or six, for that matter )

My main point is the same though; you just can't argue against probability in a universe as large as ours.
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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Absolutely correct. Over about a billion years over the entire surface area of the Earth, myriad combinations resulted in nothing important, but only one had to go right.

God is the result of ancient people being unable to say, "We simply don't know".
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