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View Diary: Best Creationism come-back ever? (199 comments)

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  •  If we're looking at low-probability events... (16+ / 0-)

    ...then try this: There were likely about 6 billion people on the face of the earth when you were born (give or take).  The fact that you are YOU, rather than a banker in Manhattan, or a nomadic tribesman in Chad, or a fisherman in Norway, or a factory grunt in Shanghai or a Pacific Islander in the Marshalls, is an increadibly low-probability event.  You had a 1 in 6 billion chance of being you, yet you exist.

    Moreover, if you believe that life arose spontaneously on Earth, and that humand evolved from such life, you have to account for a vast nubmer of incredibly-low-probability events all took place to get us where we are now.

    Thus, low probabilities, alone, are not a successful argument here.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:49:50 AM PDT

    •  A common one I use on them is (8+ / 0-)

      the  human eye is amazingly complex. So complex, in fact, that impossible for  its development had to anything other than the result of lots and lots (and lots...) of random things and chance events.

      "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

      by HugoDog on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:06:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to mention that there are several different (25+ / 0-)

        types of eyes that have evolved separately.  What intelligent designer tries out many different structural  methods of solving the same functional problem and then leaves them all hanging around?

        "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

        by Oliver St John Gogarty on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:24:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lots of them (6+ / 0-)

          Car companies. Architects. Civil engineers (think about all those different kinds of bridges, freeway interchanges, etc.). OS coders.

          Not to mention that one could readily argue for more than a little artistry on the part of a Prime Mover, which allows for even more variety on artistic grounds.

          "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

          by pragmaticidealist on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:17:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or natural selection (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OldDragon, Orinoco, Nailbanger

            in differing environments with different chance mutations.

            Why do creationists watch the Westminster Dog shows and the like, note the differences bread into horses such that some turn out to be Arabian thoroughbreds and others Clydesdales, and not believe nature "sculpted" wild animals just as man has his domesticated stock?

            Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

            by Helpless on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:52:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because man is intelligent (7+ / 0-)

              so man gets to breed horses and dogs, but nature is not intelligent, so all those non bred things need a designer, and didn't evolve anyway because that's just a theory.

              Alice didn't think she could believe impossible things, but the Red Queen disabused her of that notion: "You simply haven't practiced enough, my dear! Why, when I was your age I made it a point to believe six impossible things before breakfast!"

              "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

              by Orinoco on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:49:51 PM PDT

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            •  I'm not defending Creationists (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jeffersonian Democrat, PinHole

              I'm just answering your question. It does us no good to pose questions that can be easily countered by those we engage, whether to enlighten or discredit.

              As to why Creationists believe what they believe, I can only guess, not being one myself. I suspect it has to do with the fairly common human tendency to take comfort in simple answers to hard questions. In the face of a world that seems to so many to be increasingly harsh, increasingly cruel, increasingly beyond human scale and decreasingly subject to taming to human desires and needs, I suspect that there's a great deal of comfort to be found in the idea that the folk who promulgate the theories and create the technologies that make life seem so increasingly alien are simply wrong, and that the whole shebang was created specifically to be intellectually baffling, a test to prove the supremacy of faith over reason.

              But that's just a guess. I was just offering a response to your question about intelligent actors. Sometimes circumstances require innovation, and sometimes change is just fun. If for us, why not for God?

              "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

              by pragmaticidealist on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:47:18 PM PDT

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              •  You left out the part about mountebanks (as (0+ / 0-)

                Mencken called them) using the anxiety and credulity of the masses for their own self-gain or even more nefarious purposes.  There is a reason that scientific fundamentalism is so much more common and influential in America than in Western Europe.

                "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

                by Oliver St John Gogarty on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 08:05:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  As an architect I support intelligent design (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            417els, pragmaticidealist

            which ought I think to include making the connection between the climate change resulting in rising sea levels and the design and building of cities located at river mouths as contraindicated.

            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

            by rktect on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 02:51:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Ah yes, the "Great Chain of Being" argument. (0+ / 0-)

            About as medieval as the natural law argument against "artificial" (whatever the fk THAT means) birth control.  No wonder a good chunk of Americans still believe that the Sun goes around the Earth -- so many of their institutions (Fundamentalist churches, Catholicism, the SCOTUS Gang of Five) think that human intellectual progress stopped in 1500.

            "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

            by Oliver St John Gogarty on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:58:50 AM PDT

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        •  I can imagine an intelligent designer (8+ / 0-)

          trying many different designs, but I'd question why eagles got the better Mark 7 version while man got the substandard Mark 4.

          Makes even less sense when you realize man was created in god's image, which implies that god has the inferior eyeballs as well. Hold on, if god already had the design for man (his own self), then he isn't the designer, is he?

           

          "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

          by Orinoco on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:44:58 PM PDT

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          •  I like to differentiate design from build (0+ / 0-)

            so that in the evolution of a design by an intelligent designer within a sense of creation where its easier to erase a sketch than a civilization the expectation would be to define experience as having already made all those mistakes before and humans second chances at getting their religions dogmas right by now should about be done.

            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

            by rktect on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 03:07:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  That one doesn't work (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PinHole

        because they view the complexity of the human eye (and anything else too complex for them to understand) as proof of its creation by a higher power.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:38:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the eye thing really bugs me... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sidnora, HugoDog

          I don't know what biologists have reasoned about about the evolution of the eye, but my own reasoning on the issue says an eye is pretty simple in the grand scheme, given enough time. All it takes is a cluster of cells sensitive to light that gives it an advantage, after that it's all iteration and improving resolution.

          "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." -Henry Ford

          by sixeight120bpm on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:10:19 PM PDT

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        •  The reason I use it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sidnora

          is because it is often the first example they use when talking to me face to face. I try to use it before they do.
          It tends to stop them in their tracks.

          "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

          by HugoDog on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 08:51:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Or worse.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA, SilentBrook, antirove, 417els

      All of those random umpteen zillion sperm and egg combinations before even becoming that one in six billion people.

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:28:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How about Cain and Abel? (27+ / 0-)

      These are Adam and Eve's kids.  But they had wives and children even though they were Earth residents 3 and 4.  How did that work?  It doesn't sound like something that Rick Santorum would consider the normal order of things.

    •  I am me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, McWaffle
      There were likely about 6 billion people on the face of the earth when you were born (give or take).  The fact that you are YOU, rather than a banker in Manhattan, or a nomadic tribesman in Chad, or a fisherman in Norway, or a factory grunt in Shanghai or a Pacific Islander in the Marshalls, is an increadibly low-probability event.  You had a 1 in 6 billion chance of being you, yet you exist.
      I'm no scientist, but your conundrum reads much like the grade schoold riddle, "If you were the engineer of a train with 13 box cars, 15 flat cars, 1 coal car, [on and on], who is the engineer of the train?

      Key to your ditty is "when you were born".  Understandable that you exist once you were born.

      Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

      by Helpless on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:59:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's just silly (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, Orinoco, mrkvica, McWaffle

      There is a 100% chance that I would be me. If I was one of those other billions of people, I would still be me.

      Life is not a low probability event. Any planet with liquid water will develop life eventually. (See the Miller experiment)

    •  Say you buy a Quick Pick lottery ticket (0+ / 0-)

      In that case the system creates random numbers for you.

      Would you then grab the ticket and shout, "The odds against you getting these very numbers is enormous!"

      Yeah, but so what. I was going to get some set of numbers.

    •  I think you need to distinguish (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybersaur

      between different types of low probability events.

      Flip a coin 20 times

      Imagine your sequence is

      HHTHTTHTTHHTHTTTHTHHT - The probability of getting this exact sequence is slightly less than 1 in a million.  But you wouldn't think it at all remarkable.

      If you got HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

      or

      HHHHHHHHHHHTTTTTTTTTTTT

      even though these sequences have exactly the same probability of occurrence as the top one we would be much more struck by the unlikelihood of the either of the latter two.  This is because they fall into the relatively small set of highly ordered combinations.

      Extremely unlikely event are extraordinarily common  So much so that they are quite unremarkable.  What is remarkable when an event occurs that falls into an extremely unlikely category.

      "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

      by matching mole on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:11:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also your six billion figure is a bit on the high (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        not a lamb, cybersaur, Nailbanger, mrkvica

        side for the population of the earth at birth for readers here unless the age of the average kossack is about 14.  The global population was just over 3 billion when I was born in 1961 and there are probably a few elderly readers who were born before we reached 2 billion in 1927.

        "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

        by matching mole on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:15:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, that greatly underestimates the odds (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybersaur, coloradocomet, 417els

      No one was ever destined to be one of the 6 billion.  You have to compare against all the potential people that might have been born under slightly different circumstances, but weren't.   If your mother had had a headache that night, you never would have been born. In fact, because she didn't have that headache on your conception day, somebody else who would have been conceived the next night never came into existence.  And of course there's the whole point of which sperm cell won the race; if you're dad had yawned an extra time your spermy might not have been the one that made it.  

      The odds against any individual coming into existence are so astronomical as to be beyond human comprehension.   And yet the ones who won the lottery are here talking about it while all the others are not.  

    •  That first doesn't ACTUALLY work (0+ / 0-)

      but it is probably enough to convince a creationist.

      "I am me" is a simple tautology. It means nothing to ask "What if you were born in Chad?" because there's no disembodied "I" floating around searching for bodies to inhabit. People are minds, minds are brains. A person born a nomadic tribesperson in Chad is "me", to the extent that they are a mind in a body in Chad, as "I" would be, were I a mind in a body in Chad.

      "I wish you luck on not hating your parents for mixing up such an unthinkable person." --The frickin´ HP--

      by McWaffle on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 09:17:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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