Re: [asa] Multiverse and ID

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Sat May 09 2009 - 13:26:40 EDT

On Sat, May 9, 2009 at 5:03 PM, Dave Wallace <>wrote:

> Iain Strachan wrote:
>> I remember we discussed this quite a bit on the list when Lawrence first
>> posted the link to Koonin's paper, with the astronomical 10^(-1018)
>> probability calculation.
>> The problem I have with Koonin's approach is the same as the problem I
>> have with ID.
>> The difficulty is that it isn't really an explanation. To invoke
>> something (be it Multiverse, or an Intelligent Designer) that can explain
>> ANYTHING is no explanation at all. It is as if I had a data set of, say 100
>> measurements and stated that given a sufficiently complex mathematical
>> function y(x) I can produce an exact fit to my dataset. But this applies
>> even if the data is just random noise.
> And the resulting polynomial is close to useless for interpolation or
> extrapolation.

Just to be pedantic and geeky, I should add that even if a low order
polynomial were used to get a reasonable fit to the data, it would still be
useless for _extrapolation_ because the polynomial grows without limit
outside the domain of the data fitting. For example, function approximation
using Chebyshev polynomials is only valid within a fixed range (I think
normalised to the range -1 to +1.

However your point about _interpolation_ is exactly what I meant.


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Received on Sat May 9 13:27:13 2009

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