Author Topic: Genesis vs Evoluion  (Read 766 times)

Offline GBTG (OP)

Genesis vs Evoluion
« on: November 02, 2017, 01:46:49 PM »
How reasonable are you? How factual? Absolute proof is not possible for scientists or Christians, but what about statistical probability? If you had a probability of one in a  billion would that be enough? One in a trillion? Before I begin this discussion I think it worth while to come to some agreement as to what one can accept as a reasonable statistical number that would make something factual or unrealistically possible? I will take the highest, well reasoned number presented... ie it has to be based on the current population or all the human population to this point in history. You don't get to state infinity as that is absolute.

Thx, GBTG           

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2017, 01:55:28 PM »
Science works, prayer doesn't. EOF
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 01:58:22 PM »
If you had a probability of one in a billion would that be enough? One in a trillion? Before I begin this discussion I think it worth while to come to some agreement as to what one can accept as a reasonable statistical number that would make something factual or unrealistically possible?
Probability of what?

Offline Sal1981

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 02:04:00 PM »
Abiogenesis only has to happen once, then evolution takes over, even a one in a trillion chance is enough to win this genetic lottery.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 02:05:05 PM »
How reasonable are you?  And while you are at it, who are you?  What are your thoughts/beliefs?  Do you live under a bridge (a troll)?  Do you go into somebodies house and ask these type of questions of somebody you've not met before?
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline GBTG (OP)

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 02:37:07 PM »
Greetings!

lol... I was curious as to the nature of the responses I would get on this first post. My username is sufficient for my name, and I am a Christian that works in the academic science community. I understand that this puts me in the minority on a board such as this. I am curious though as to the factual reasoning or proven scientific (not theories) facts that have led you to the atheist conclusion? My intent here is purposeful as I am looking for insight as to the facts or statistical likelihood of your point of view being the most accurate?   

Presumably these facts can be proven, therefore it should stand to reason that there is some quantitative analysis or probability that makes them facts. Hence my original question. In other words what statistical probability makes an argument, point of view, or observation a fact? I would like to have some consensus as to what is an acceptable probability of being impossible or so unlikely as to not be possible?

Regards, GBTG 

« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 02:38:58 PM by GBTG »

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 02:38:57 PM »
r/iamverysmart

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 03:00:10 PM »
How reasonable are you? How factual? Absolute proof is not possible for scientists or Christians, but what about statistical probability? If you had a probability of one in a  billion would that be enough? One in a trillion? Before I begin this discussion I think it worth while to come to some agreement as to what one can accept as a reasonable statistical number that would make something factual or unrealistically possible? I will take the highest, well reasoned number presented... ie it has to be based on the current population or all the human population to this point in history. You don't get to state infinity as that is absolute.

Thx, GBTG           
Are you getting heaven points for flogging this around the forums?
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline trdsf

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2017, 03:19:10 PM »
How reasonable are you? How factual? Absolute proof is not possible for scientists or Christians, but what about statistical probability? If you had a probability of one in a  billion would that be enough? One in a trillion? Before I begin this discussion I think it worth while to come to some agreement as to what one can accept as a reasonable statistical number that would make something factual or unrealistically possible? I will take the highest, well reasoned number presented... ie it has to be based on the current population or all the human population to this point in history. You don't get to state infinity as that is absolute.

Thx, GBTG         
Big numbers (and small ones, for that matter) are irrelevant unto themselves.  If abiogenesis through sentience is a one in a billion event, then based on the discovery that between 1/4 and 1/5 of the stars in the galaxy have planets in their habitable zones, we would expect roughly 60 other intelligent species in the Milky Way alone.

The problem is pegging a number to the chances of abiogenesis.  We only have one datapoint: ourselves.  And it's very difficult to draw conclusions from a single datapoint.  If we get to Mars, Europa, Ganymede, Titan and find microbes there, that tells us life is very nearly inevitable, especially if it's found on Titan as transfer of material between Titan and Earth is sufficiently difficult as to be realistically impossible, and nearly as difficult from Europa and Ganymede.  For Mars, we'd want to find something that's not based on our particular chemistry, because plenty of material has gone from Mars to the Earth and vice versa.

Even so, with one data point, we can start assigning some sensible ranges.  The total number of stars in the galaxy is 100-400 billion -- hell of an error bar, but that's what the current state of observations is.  So the maximum number of stars that have planets in their habitable zones is 100 billion (25% of 400 billion) and the minimum is 20 billion (20% of 100 billion).

This lets us make an actual, if tentative estimate: the odds of intelligent life in a galaxy are statistically no worse than one in 100 billion simply because we observe that we exist and there may be as many as roughly 100 billion other potentially habitable stars in our immediate (relatively speaking) vicinity.  The odds may be better than that, by a little or a lot, but we have an observational reason to think they probably aren't much lower.

It's worth taking a moment here to note that the number of planets hosting life and the number of planets hosting intelligent life are two completely different things.  Right now I'm focusing on intelligent life.  If we find independent life forms in our own solar system, even if they're no more complex than bacteria, however, we should be forced to conclude that life is easy to evolve out of natural chemical systems.  The reason for this is because if we stick by our estimate above, we're asking a no-worse-than 1/100,000,000,000 chance to occur twice independently in the same stellar system -- since life is a necessary precondition for intelligent life, we know the odds of life must be no worse than the odds of intelligent life.  That's not a 2/100,000,000,000 chance, that's a 1/10,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance or thereabouts.  So if we find two (or more) independent strains of life in our solar system, we can conclude with some confidence that life -- not necessarily intelligent life -- is fairly common.

Now.  Odds of the Genesis account specifically?  Zero.  In order for Genesis to be factually accurate, virtually all of biology, chemistry and physics have to be wrong.  Odds of any external supernatural creator?  Until the existence of one is demonstrated, we don't need that theory to explain what we see, so functionally zero.  Call it ε.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 05:24:09 PM »
Greetings!

lol... I was curious as to the nature of the responses I would get on this first post. My username is sufficient for my name, and I am a Christian that works in the academic science community. I understand that this puts me in the minority on a board such as this. I am curious though as to the factual reasoning or proven scientific (not theories) facts that have led you to the atheist conclusion? My intent here is purposeful as I am looking for insight as to the facts or statistical likelihood of your point of view being the most accurate?   

Presumably these facts can be proven, therefore it should stand to reason that there is some quantitative analysis or probability that makes them facts. Hence my original question. In other words what statistical probability makes an argument, point of view, or observation a fact? I would like to have some consensus as to what is an acceptable probability of being impossible or so unlikely as to not be possible?

Regards, GBTG
Read the thread 'Jesus--fact or fiction'--it contains facts.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 05:39:57 PM »
Abiogenesis only has to happen once, then evolution takes over, even a one in a trillion chance is enough to win this genetic lottery.
And the fact that it probably happened more than once, after major disasters, is a strong indicator that life really is tenacious.

D.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline GBTG (OP)

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2017, 06:14:35 PM »
Big numbers (and small ones, for that matter) are irrelevant unto themselves.  If abiogenesis through sentience is a one in a billion event, then based on the discovery that between 1/4 and 1/5 of the stars in the galaxy have planets in their habitable zones, we would expect roughly 60 other intelligent species in the Milky Way alone.

The problem is pegging a number to the chances of abiogenesis.  We only have one datapoint: ourselves.  And it's very difficult to draw conclusions from a single datapoint.  If we get to Mars, Europa, Ganymede, Titan and find microbes there, that tells us life is very nearly inevitable, especially if it's found on Titan as transfer of material between Titan and Earth is sufficiently difficult as to be realistically impossible, and nearly as difficult from Europa and Ganymede.  For Mars, we'd want to find something that's not based on our particular chemistry, because plenty of material has gone from Mars to the Earth and vice versa.

Even so, with one data point, we can start assigning some sensible ranges.  The total number of stars in the galaxy is 100-400 billion -- hell of an error bar, but that's what the current state of observations is.  So the maximum number of stars that have planets in their habitable zones is 100 billion (25% of 400 billion) and the minimum is 20 billion (20% of 100 billion).

This lets us make an actual, if tentative estimate: the odds of intelligent life in a galaxy are statistically no worse than one in 100 billion simply because we observe that we exist and there may be as many as roughly 100 billion other potentially habitable stars in our immediate (relatively speaking) vicinity.  The odds may be better than that, by a little or a lot, but we have an observational reason to think they probably aren't much lower.

It's worth taking a moment here to note that the number of planets hosting life and the number of planets hosting intelligent life are two completely different things.  Right now I'm focusing on intelligent life.  If we find independent life forms in our own solar system, even if they're no more complex than bacteria, however, we should be forced to conclude that life is easy to evolve out of natural chemical systems.  The reason for this is because if we stick by our estimate above, we're asking a no-worse-than 1/100,000,000,000 chance to occur twice independently in the same stellar system -- since life is a necessary precondition for intelligent life, we know the odds of life must be no worse than the odds of intelligent life.  That's not a 2/100,000,000,000 chance, that's a 1/10,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance or thereabouts.  So if we find two (or more) independent strains of life in our solar system, we can conclude with some confidence that life -- not necessarily intelligent life -- is fairly common.

Now.  Odds of the Genesis account specifically?  Zero.  In order for Genesis to be factually accurate, virtually all of biology, chemistry and physics have to be wrong.  Odds of any external supernatural creator?  Until the existence of one is demonstrated, we don't need that theory to explain what we see, so functionally zero.  Call it ε.

Well stated, I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the post, and the accompanying statistics! I believe that life is actually far more ubiquitous in the universe than that number. I fully expect that we should find copious amounts of life under the icy surface of Europa.

Question two does life elsewhere make Christianity, or more specifically the Bible inaccurate?

Warm regards, GBTG
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 07:17:30 PM by GBTG »

Offline Mr.Obvious

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 06:44:09 PM »
Well stated, I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the post, and the accompanying statistics! I believe that life is actually far more ubiquitous in the universe than that number. I fully expect that we should find copious amounts of life under the icy surface of Europa.

Question two does life elsewhere make Christianity or more specifically the Bible inaccurate?

Warm regards, GBTG

I dunno. I think you'd be better off asking that on a christian forum.
None of us think the bible accurate to begin with. And the same with Christianity.
If something is wrong, this additional fact would not encrease 'the wrongness' of the bible or the religion(s) it inspired. Wrong is wrong.
E = Mc²

In the end, we are all standing in the dark,
trying to figure out why we are here.
But let us not choose one direction
without proof of where it is headed.

Check your pocket for matches
so we can observe and learn together
as fast friends and relative idiots.

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2017, 06:59:44 PM »
Question two does life elsewhere make Christianity or more specifically the Bible inaccurate?
The Bible makes the Bible inaccurate:

It's chock full of contradictions and errors of history, science, etc., and so there's no reason at all to take it the least bit seriously.
God Not Found
“Money supplants skill; it's possession allows us to become happily stupid.”
Bill McKibben, The Age of Missing Information

Re: Genesis vs Evoluion
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 07:40:55 PM »

Question two does life elsewhere make Christianity, or more specifically the Bible inaccurate?

Warm regards, GBTG
There is ample evidence that Christianity and Jesus are fictions--and that the bible is also a fiction.  All three are based on much earlier traditions.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?