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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26004 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2011 :  10:38:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

So if I generate a bit string 500 bits long. The result, whatever it may be, cannot exist?
It's not that it cannot exist, but that it cannot be due to chance alone. Dembski's "logic" insists that the result of a mere 500 coin flips is so unlikely as to be impossible by chance alone, even though we can get such a result in under an hour.

This is why he had to up the ante with ideas like "Complex Specified Information," which basically contends that the results of those coin flips (or Bit-Strings) have to mean something before we can declare them to be designed. String D, the all-zeroes Bit-String, is highly specific (to us humans, it's more "significant" than a random string of 1s and 0s), but not complex, so it doesn't matter if it's well beyond the UPB, it could have been created by a lawful process, like the aforementioned digitizing of an electrical ground.

But what if the lawful process itself is designed? A CSI-detection process would fail to find it.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2011 :  11:04:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dembski's "logic" insists that the result of a mere 500 coin flips is so unlikely as to be impossible by chance alone, even though we can get such a result in under an hour.


That's what I was trying to say, if I generate a random number, the resulting number was created by chance. I could use a computer program to generate as many 500 bit numbers as I have time to create, so how can anyone say that any 500 bit combination cannot occur by chance?

This is why he had to up the ante with ideas like "Complex Specified Information," which basically contends that the results of those coin flips (or Bit-Strings) have to mean something before we can declare them to be designed.


Given how easily it is to debunk this man's maths, and given that he still has a following, I suspect continuing to discredit him in this avenue of thinking to be a waste of time.

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26004 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2011 :  14:45:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

That's what I was trying to say, if I generate a random number, the resulting number was created by chance. I could use a computer program to generate as many 500 bit numbers as I have time to create, so how can anyone say that any 500 bit combination cannot occur by chance?
Well, you'd have to create over 10132 "candidate" 500-bit numbers per second to have seen all of them just once within the age of the universe, if you were looking for a "special" 500-bit number. Assuming our best computers can examine a trillion candidates per second, you'd have to farm the problem out to 10120 such computers to be assured of finding the solution in 13.7 billion years. But there are only 1080 elementary particles in the visible universe, so you can see there's a problem somewhere.

And that problem, as it relates to biology, is that DNA (and proteins) doesn't get thrown together in completely random strings and then "tested" against nature, "tornado in a junkyard" style. Very much smaller functional strings get modified into larger, still-functional strings which get modified into differently functional strings. So it's not like nature is "looking for" a single target string, anyway, but is instead accepting of lots of different strings, even those that are less than optimal solutions for whatever problem a species faces.
Given how easily it is to debunk this man's maths, and given that he still has a following, I suspect continuing to discredit him in this avenue of thinking to be a waste of time.
This thread is about giving IDists a chance to do what they claim to be able to do. Dembski himself certainly won't be answering my challenge, since "show your work" is, to him, a demand for a "pathetic level of detail" that ID doesn't need to meet (not being a "mechanistic theory" like evolution). There's a possibility, however, that one of his followers or colleagues might come along and show us how to apply the math correctly to a mere dozen examples, and thus demonstrate ID theory in action (something that hasn't been done to date) and have us all eating crow. I'm all for that.

I might need to find a way to get this thread better "advertised" before that will happen, though...

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Machi4velli
SFN Regular

USA
854 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2011 :  21:01:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Machi4velli a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The UPB is complete nonsense. Anything with a probability in nature is essentially repeatable, so just find the probability that some independent events all happen:

event 1 AND event 2 AND event 3 AND .... AND event n, and the probability of them all happening happening will be P(event 1)*P(event 2)*...*P(event n)

Let event 1 be that some specific sub-atomic particle decays at precisely 2 PM tomorrow afternoon. Use n atoms located so far apart that we have no reason to suspect they effect each other. There, add enough of these events and the probability will eventually be below 10^-150.

The only argument to defend it is that we don't understand the underlying structure of how this works, but that's a completely un-allowable claim -- if this were allowed, we can use the same argument to debunk literally any other argument.

Also, something with probability zero can actually happen the way probability is typically defined (not meaningful to go into the math here, probably only Ricky knows, lol), but that very well may be a quirk in our logical structure.

"Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
-Giordano Bruno

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge."
-Stephen Hawking

"Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable"
-Albert Camus
Edited by - Machi4velli on 04/11/2011 21:04:22
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