probabilities from RE: The scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design

From: Dr. David Campbell <amblema@bama.ua.edu>
Date: Tue Nov 29 2005 - 16:04:38 EST

> Whatever that sequence ends up being has the same
> degree of probability as the sequence 1 to 100,000 – in theory! But
> a significant resultant number, or a perfect number, looks to be
> impossible. A number with the appearance of randomness is what we
> would expect. But probability theory makes no such distinction. Any
> sequence is equally improbable.
> But the conclusion is where the misapplication occurs: Whatever the
> sequence was, it is so improbable, therefore, there could not have
> been a Super Bowl!
> This is the kind of probability theory abuse creationists invoke as
> “proof” that evolution did not occur. In essence, they are confusing
> probability with predictability. If the sequence could have been
> predicted, then the odds are so low that it would have been a miracle
> had the sequence of numbers been seen beforehand.

Similar fallacious reasoning is also used by anti-Christian sources.
E.g., miracles are much rarer than non-miracles. Therefore, I can
assume that any selected event is probably not a miracle.
or
The probability of the exact course of the history of life occurring
as it did is extremely low. Therefore, it must just be a
metaphysically random chance that things are the way they are.

-- 
Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections Building
Department of Biological Sciences
Biodiversity and Systematics
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0345  USA
Received on Tue Nov 29 16:07:10 2005

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