# RE: Small probabilities

From: Glenn Morton <glennmorton@entouch.net>
Date: Sun Nov 06 2005 - 10:32:05 EST

> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
> Behalf Of Bill Hamilton
> Sent: Sunday, November 06, 2005 8:01 AM

> I read Dembski's response to Henry Morris
> (http://www.calvin.edu/archive/asa/200510/0514.html)
> and noted that it raised an old issue I've harped on before: that you can
> specify a probability below which chance is eliminated. There is a
> counterexample given (among other places) in Davenport and Root's book
> "Random
> Signals and Noise" (McGraw Hill, probably sometime in the early 60's) that
> goes
> like this:
> Draw a line 1 inch long. Randomly pick a single point on that line. The
> probability of picking any point on the line is identically zero. Yet a
> point
> is picked. Am I missing something?
>
Hi Bill, I was intrigued by your math example. The answer is related, IMO
to Zeno's paradox, whose solution hints at the quantization of space. In
reality there are not an infinity of points on the line. The Planck length
is the shortest link and that is 10^-35 m (or something like that I am not
going to look it up). Thus the chance of the point being picked is 1 inch
divided by planck's length (using the same units which this sentence isn't.)
When I get the units right, I come up with something like each "point"
having a chance of 10^-37 or so and thus the chance is not zero and thus it
is possible to pick a point.
Received on Sun Nov 6 10:35:20 2005

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