Mathematics and The Debate

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Sapper Woody, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Sapper Woody

    Sapper Woody
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    As a staunch Creationist, I absolutely hate it when Creationists use arguments that are easily dismissed, disproven, or even weak as proof of Creation. There are a multitude out there. So, as a budding physicist/mathematician who has had an interest in the Creation/Evolution debate since I was about 9 years old, part of my hobby is debunking the arguments used by Creationists.

    Lately, one of the arguments that has been on my mind is the mathematic improbability argument. There are numerous forms, but the basics is, "Evolution is so improbable that scientifically it is impossible". I have been doing quite a bit of research into the matter, and have decided to write a paper as to why I believe that this argument is very fallible, and should never be used by Creationists.

    As I used the "math input panel" on my windows computer to make the formula used in the document, it won't copy and paste into this window. So, I uploaded it to google drive and made a shareable link so others could view it.

    You can view it here.

    Feedback is appreciated.

    Edited to improve paragraph formatting.
     
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  2. InTheLight

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    I like your premise--if creationists concede that the odds of evolution happening are astronomical, they are still conceding that it could happen. And since evolution depends on chance occurrences and long eons of time, the creationist is leaving the door open. After all, the odds of winning Lotto are extremely high but someone ends up winning. Imagine a Lotto game where there were orders of magnitude more players and the numbers needed to match up were many, many more but there were millions of years for the players to compete. Someone would end up winning.

    I could not see your calculations in the document on Google Drive, but since I know how they are done it didn't matter to my understanding.
     
  3. InTheLight

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    As to creationist arguments that I wish they would quit making, my pet peeve is the 2nd law of thermodynamics, or the entropy argument. Yes, entropy is usually observed to be a process of degradation, but that does not mean that it always is so.
     
  4. Rob_BW

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    Your points made me think of the Fermi Paradox.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox
     
  5. BobRyan

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    OK - some critique of your 32-peptide example then .

    http://creation.com/self-replicating-enzymes

    Self-replicating Peptides?
    Amino acids can be formed (with difficulty12) in Miller-type experiments where reducing gases are sparked, unlike ribose and the nitrogenous bases. Thus some evolutionists are investigating protein-first rather than nucleic-acid-first theories of the origin of life. But proteins do not have anything analogous to the base-pairing in nucleic acids. So there was a surprise in August 1996, when some newspapers and science journals reported a peptide that can reproduce itself. David Lee et al. reported that a short peptide derived from part of a yeast enzyme can catalyse its own formation.13

    Lee et al. made a 32-unit-long a-helical peptide based on the leucine-zipper domain of the yeast transcription factor GCN4. They found that it catalysed its own synthesis in a neutral, dilute water solution of 15 and 17-unit fragments. This was an ingenious experiment, but it does not help the evolutionary cause because:

    1. Where would the first 32-unit long chain of 100 % left-handed amino acid residues come from? Amino acids are not formed as easily as Lee et al. claim. If they form at all, they are extremely dilute and impure, as well as racemic (50–50 mix of left and right-handed forms). Such amino acids do not spontaneously polymerise in water.
    2. Where would a supply of the matching 15 and 17-unit chains come from? Not only does the objection above apply, but what mechanism is supposed to produce the right sequences? Even if we had a mixture of the right homochiral (all the same handedness) amino acids, the chance of getting one 15-unit peptide right is one in 2015 (= one in 3 x 1019). If it is not necessary to get the sequences exactly right, then it would mean that the ‘replication’ is not specific, and would thus allow many errors.
    3. The 15 and 17-unit peptides must be activated, because condensation of ordinary amino acids is not spontaneous in water. Lee et al. used a thiobenzyl ester derivative of one peptide. As they say, this also circumvents potential side reactions. The hypothetical primordial soup would not have had intelligent chemists adding the right chemicals to prevent wrong reactions!
    4. The particular 32-unit chain was an a-helix, where hydrogen bonds between different amino acid residues cause the chain to helicize. This common structure is more likely to be able to act as a template under artificial conditions. Lee et al. claim that b-sheets, which also depend on hydrogen bonding, might also be able to act as templates. This seems plausible. a-helices and b-sheets are known as the secondary structure of the protein.14
    The exact way in which the protein folds is called the tertiary structure, and this determines its specific properties. Although Lee et al. say: we suggest the possibility of protein self-replication in which the catalytic activity of the protein could be conserved,
    they present no experimental proof.

    ==========================

    They ask a good question -- where did the background environment of nothing but neutral, dilute water solution of 15 and 17-unit fragments - supposedly come from in the proposed abiogenesis argument?
     
  6. BobRyan

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    As for "impossible odds" -- even the atheist evolutionists are now arguing for this -

    1/10^120 is as they say such an extreme example of fine tuning that "nobody thinks that is an accident".



    16:50 min:sec is "instructive" - and even the atheists can't ignore those odds.
     
  7. BobRyan

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    The odds against evolution are not "what are the odds that evolution will start right here on my desk" - the odds are against evolution happening at all - in the entire universe.

    Impossible - as a term in mathematics is accepted in our universe in all of time as 1/10^50 because it is taking into account all the atoms in the entire universe over all of known time - where every interaction is an attempt to achieve the desired outcome.

    Which is why nobody is going for the 1/10^120 as "sure... that will happen".

    Rather - they argue that the only way for that to be "dumb luck" chance - is if there were 10^50 other entire universes to choose from.
     
  8. MsGuidedAngel

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    I Believe in - Our True GOD who art in Heaven Created the Heavens ( Universe ) and the Earth, He Created us in His Own Image, He Loves us all through His only Begotten Son Jesus-Yeshua Christ!!

    So, I Believe that our True God who art in HEAVEN CREATED Everything!!
     
  9. Smyth

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    Sorry, your paper is garbage. First, cut out most of the irrelevant commentary from your article. Second, explain the background of the self-replicating 32 chain amino acid to which you refer.

    I can only speak on my understanding, so if say anything wrong, correct me. But, what are the odds of even getting just the first amino acid, Arginine, in this chain correct? ZERO. Arginine has never been found in nature (outside of life). How do you even start to build a chain when even the first link doesn't exist?

    Suppose we had a pond of amino acids magically creating the 32 chain amino acid every second. Even if you poured together all the amino acids needed, and only the amino acids needed, your chance of getting the needed combination for the chain is still ZERO, I'll let someone else do the math.

    Suppose you have the exact amino acids you need, it would quickly decay in nature. Sorry, that's the way thing are. The atoms of this chain would find much happier and simpler arrangements. E.g. the hydrogen and oxygen in each of the amino acids of the chain would quickly recombine, forming water.

    Suppose you had a magically stable chain of these two 32 chain amino acids, what's the chance of it replicating? ZERO. It only combines two specific 16 chain amino acids, and they don't exist, for all the above reasons.

    Suppose you magically have a sea of the 32 chain and 16 chain amino acids (what are the odds of billions of chains of these specific amino acids), replicating all day long, year after year. You still wouldn't have life. You'd just have a sea of amino acids. There's no replication mistake it could make which would move it toward life, as there's not a single change that would make this replication more viable (there is a chasm that would need to jumped).

    There's not the least bit of gray area, the odds of life forming spontaneously are too low for anyone to objectively believe.
     
  10. Sapper Woody

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    Great way to start a discussion. But I'll ignore the rudeness and attempt to respond as if you didn't start out with an insult.

    Kindly show me what that is.

    Ok.
    Taken from: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2014/OB/c4ob01168f#!divAbstract

    Simply put, we haven't seen it happen in nature, but if the conditions are right, it can happen. Which was my point in the paper, which you missed. Not that it happens all the time, but that it has a possibility, however small, of happening.

    In a simple essay, I decided to "cut some fat", when I began going off the rails and talking exactly about your argument. A brief synopsis is that using our exact templates of life, the odds are very small (NOT zero). However, from an evolutionary standpoint, life didn't have to happen as we know it. It could have gone many other different ways. The energy in which a state exists now does not necessitate that it has to exist in that state always. Scientists are using the amino acids that they are because they appear to be the simplest form of self-replicating life. They are not set that these are the acids that first appeared as life. They are just using this because they seem to be the easiest thing to use with our current knowledge.

    Now, what I think is funny;
    I showed you the math. It's not zero. It's very, very low. But still not zero.

    And there's where you're wrong. Too low does not equal impossible. A common argument we Creationists use that is a flat out lie is that the odds are so low that mathematically they are zero. This isn't true. Mathematically, .0000000000000000000000001 does not equal zero. Any number other than zero does not equal zero.

    Now, there are numbers which we can decide are PRACTICALLY impossible, that is, you don't have to figure them into your plans. But no number is FACTUALLY zero unless it is zero. And that was the whole point of the paper. We cannot cede that there is a possibility. Any time we as Creationists bring math into the argument, we will lose the argument. Period.
     
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  11. Sapper Woody

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    Exactly. But, not just the known universe, anywhere in an infinite number of universes. And, any number multiplied by infinity is still going to equal infinity.

    I have to correct you here. Firstly, the number you are attempting to cite isn't atoms. It's particles. Secondly, it's not the universe, it's the known universe. Meaning, that's all the particles that we know of. Inside an infinite universe, there is an infinite number of particles. And as I said, any number of odds multiplied by infinity has a 100% chance of happening.

    To keep it very simple, and on smaller numbers, if there are 30 marbles in a jar, and only one red, I have a 1 in 30 chance (3.3%) of picking that red one. If I try twice (after replacing the first marble), I'd have a 59 out of 900 chance (6.6%). Trying three times would give me a 2611 out of 27000 chance, or about a 9.5% chance. Four times would be 102719 out of 810000, or 12.7% chance. 25 tries would give me a 57% chance, or greater odds than not happening.

    As you can see, the odds go up with each try. And this shows two things that we fail to realize as Creationists; Firstly, as I've stated, infinite chances mean 100% odds. Secondly, the particles in our universe aren't a "one and done" try. It's over and over.

    If you ask a Mathematician if those odds would happen, they'd just say, "It's impossible". But, if you were to ask again, "Is it really impossible?" They'd respond, "technically, no. It's not impossible. Just very very improbable." Because honest mathematicians know that only zero equals zero.

    [QUOTE}Rather - they argue that the only way for that to be "dumb luck" chance - is if there were 10^50 other entire universes to choose from.[/QUOTE] Again, we have an infinite universe. From their perspective, if we weren't on earth having this conversation because the odds were too low here, we'd be on another planet having this conversation. Because no odds are too low with infinite chances.
     
  12. Sapper Woody

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    I want to amend something I said in my previous posts. Technically speaking, the odds would never arrive at 100%. Because (x-y)/x will always be less than 1, assuming that y is positive and smaller than x. (In our case of the marbles above, x=30 and y=29 (the odds of it not happening)). However, mathematically speaking, we can use the limit to determine that as x approaches infinity, the odds equal 1. For those of you who remember your calculus, you would divided all terms by the highest factor of x in the denominator. This would leave us with (1-0)/1, which equals 1, or 100% odds.

    Now, again, technically speaking the odds would be .999...infinite number of nines. Which are pretty good odds, I'd say. So, now, we lose the argument trying to use the exact same argument we're trying to use. "0.0000.....01 is practically impossible". So, in an infinite universe, it'd be practically impossible (using our own argument) for evolution to NOT have occurred.

    So, we need to lay off the math argument. We will lose that argument.
     
  13. Smyth

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    Most of what you wrote is fat.

    When odds get so low, it's nonsensical to quibble over ZERO vs. some incomprehensibly small number. For that 32 chain amino acid to play a role in creating life, a number of steps have to be made, where each step has essentially a zero chance of success. Your claim that this argument is easily dismissed, disproven, or weak is dishonest.

    We do understand chemistry well enough to calculate the odds at essentially ZERO even in the most contrived theoretical circumstances. Maybe one day scientists will make a discovery that changes the odds from ZERO. But, until that day, it's not scientific to believe in abiogenesis.

    Perhaps the whole concept of "odds" confuses you. So, let's forget about speaking in terms of odds. All that need be said is that life doesn't come from non-life. That's so evident and universal, it's a law of nature.
     
  14. Smyth

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    You say the odds of your amino acid chain forming is 1 in 10^40. How did you come to that number? It doesn't matter, I"ll accept it for argument's sake. You're assuming a purely mathematical exercise of 32 amino acids selected from the set of amino acids found in living organisms. But:

    1) There is not and was not an ocean of organic soup.

    2) An ocean of organic soup wouldn't contain all the amino acids needed (experiments with organic soup only create a few of the necessary amino acids).

    3) An ocean of all the necessary amino acids wouldn't produce chains of 32 amino acids (that's like in winter snow castles falling from the sky instead of just snowflakes).

    4) The replicating 32 amino acid chain joins two specific 16 amino acid chains together, each chain with 1 in 10^20 chance of forming. So, for one duplication to happen, even if the above problems are disregarded, in mathematical theory, is 1 in 10^80. So, even if you had an organic soup ocean with a Trillion chains forming every year, it would take 10^68 years for just one duplication of something as utterly insignificant as an amino acid chain. Evolutionists believe the Earth to be less than 10^10 years old.

    Sappy Woody, your article is so sloppy and insulting that you should't call yourself a Creationist.

    Live only comes from life.
     
  15. Sapper Woody

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    Again, you wish to point out something you believe is extra, rather than just say a blanket statement?

    It's not when the whole argument hangs in that balance.

    Essentially zero is not zero.

    And so now I'm dishonest by pointing out the flaw of an argument that makes our position weak?

    Again, essentially zero is still not zero.

    Ad Hominem. So you know, my job for the first years of my military time was to calculate the odds of IEDs being set at certain places and certain times. Also, as a math major, statistics is a large part of what I do. Not only do I understand odds, I have a deep understanding of odds. Just so you know.

    Now, if you want to stand on that platform, that's all well and good. Just don't bring math into it.
     
  16. Smyth

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    Sappy Woody must believe in flying pigs. I think they're too improbable, given the number of necessary and specific mutations required, that I'd have to actually see one to believe one exists. But, Woody has no such hangup. If you tell him pigs fly, he has no reason to doubt it.
     
  17. Sapper Woody

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    And the resort to ad hominem. If you can't try to debate the facts, then please refrain from the debate. This was meant to be a discussion on the improbability versus the impossibility of evolution via the argument of mathematics. Yet, instead of coming to the table with a discussion, you open up with "Your paper is garbage", continue with "You shouldn't even call yourself a creationist", and end with an absurd logical conclusion.

    Now, if you want to continue to discuss the issue, rather than trying to throw punches at me, I'd be glad to do so. But I'll not sully my reputation on this board by sinking to your level and replying in kind.
     
  18. Deacon

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    My father, coming from an evolutionary perspective, dismisses the odds argument by simply saying, "We're here, we beat the odds".

    I perform cardiac stress tests in a nuclear cardiology lab.
    Among the many calculations performed is a pretest probability of heart disease.
    Insurance companies love this and routinely deny the study to low probability patients.
    Oddly enough if you've done enough of these studies you recognize the benefit of doing the test on low probability patients.
    We've all heard of the competitive marathoner that drops dead during a run...
    With stress testing, probably like with IEDs, when the odds are life or death, you don't bet on the long odds.

    Why would anyone want to use weak or faulty arguments as a proof of creation?

    Rob
     
  19. BobRyan

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    because we "imagine an infinite number of universes"?
    because "we could have infinite chances for a rock to turn into a rabbit" with an infinite number of much-imagined universes.

    Recall that the "infinite number of universes" idea for atheists is really 'infinite number of failures" - the idea being that you can always 'imagine" a zillion more failing universes for 'the god of atheism' if that is what is needed to swallow some very very unlike set of "just so stories".

    How is that even a game that Christians would be interested in playing?
     
  20. BobRyan

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    Indeed the religion of "rocks will turn into rabbits over time" could simply argue "success" by saying - "Hey look - rabbits exist".

    But once we leave the dark ages - more critical thinking is required for such stories to ever be taken seriously.
     

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