Re: Comments on Snoke's approach

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Sat Sep 24 2005 - 02:11:39 EDT

I still struggle with this conceptualization. It sounds like the model
is that of a a bunch of parts lying around with a probability computed
for how they might assemble a single molecule (of DNA).
But in nature, it is not a single-molecule assembly process. Instead
there are bunches [large numbers] of alternative assemblies going on at
any given time, and I don't see this sort of thing figured into
probability calculations.
Am I missing something?


Iain Strachan wrote:

>You wrote:
>> Let me start with the well-worn, oft-used analogy of dealing a hand of
>>bridge. Pick up your cards and no matter what cards you have, you could
>>truthfully exclaim that the probability of your being dealt that particular
>>hand is infinitesimally small. But you wouldn't be justified on that basis
>>in accusing the dealer of cheating and manipulating the cards. However, if
>>prior to dealing the cards, someone had written down a possible hand and if
>>after the hand is dealt the cards match that specific pattern, you would
>>indeed be justified in suspecting foul play. The point is that merely
>>having an extremely low probability of occurrence is not an argument for
>>cheating--or for design. Consideration must be given to the bigger picture
>>such as the number of combinations possible. For a hand of cards, the
>>number of possibilities is also vast so that the probability of having a
>>low-probability hand is actually one hundred percent.
>> When applied to your numero/geometrical findings, it isn't nearly as
>>easy to calculate the number of possibilities as it is in a deck of cards.
>>But it is fair to say that the total number of possible geometric or
>>numerical results is incredibly vast and that every one of them has a low
>>probability of occurring. As in the deck of cards, whatever combination
>>arises, it will be a low-probability combination. Even if the combination
>>has some degree of interest, there is no significance whatsoever unless
>>there is a specific prior detailed articulation of the pattern to be
>>expected. No, I'm sorry but Rev. 13:18 doesn't even come close to such an
>Your hand of cards example is a good one, but I think the same
>arguments you make about pre-specifying the hand of cards and then
>getting it being "foul play" can reasonably be applied to Vernon's
>findings. I don't have definitive answers yet, but I think one can
>find a genuine low-probability figure that actually means something,
>by using the concept of description length and Kolmogorov complexity
>(indeed I shall shortly be using the concepts of Minimum Message
>Length/Minimum Description length in my professional work).
>The key point is that it takes a certain length of description to
>describe 13 cards. If there were another random hand, to describe the
>entire sequence of 26 would take twice as much information to describe
>it. But if, as in your case, a pre-specified hand then turns up in
>your hand, then the entire sequence of 26 can be described in not much
>longer than the 13 because you give the 13 and then say "same again".
>Given this you can then calculate your very low probability and claim
>A similar example can be given with coin-tossing. Toss a coin 100
>times and the sequence probability means nothing, even though it is
>2^-100. But toss it again and get a repeat of the same sequence, and
>it does mean something because the entire sequence of 200 can be
>described in a lot less than 200 bits. If a sequence of N bits can be
>described in M bits where M<N then the probability of that happening
>is 2^(N-M) and that will be a meaningful figure.
>You say that the number of possible geometric codings of Vernon's data
>must be vast, but each time a symmetry is produced, in principle it
>means that a reduced description length can be found, and a meaningful
>probability ascribed to it. I only looked briefly at Vernon's data to
>see how this could be done, and achieved some low probability
>description-length based answers. They weren't as low probability as
>some of the figures Vernon is claiming, but they were still
>sufficiently low to indicate that some form of numerical design is
>present in the Gen 1:1 sequence. All this does not speculate on who
>the designer might be. A history of Maths professor I know who is an
>atheist was equally convinced that Gen 1:1 was designed when I showed
>him the patterns, but he was convinced that it was human and not
>divine design and that this sort of thing went on a great deal in the
Received on Sat Sep 24 02:14:35 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Sep 24 2005 - 02:14:35 EDT