Re: [asa] Shermer and Inevitability

From: Nucacids <>
Date: Sat Nov 07 2009 - 00:19:59 EST

Hi Gordon,

I'm just pointing out how something can be inevitable, yet happen once. Of
course, the hang up is with the word "inevitable." So let's just say that
something can be likely to happen, yet happen once. If enough people play
the lottery, someone is likely to win. We wouldn't argue that it is wrong
to think someone is likely to win because everyone else lost, would we? Or
what about arguing that if someone is likely to win the lottery, then
hundreds of other people should also win the lottery. Would that make
sense? That seems to be Shermer's argument.


----- Original Message -----
From: "gordon brown" <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, November 06, 2009 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Shermer and Inevitability

> On Fri, 6 Nov 2009, Nucacids wrote:
>> Not necessarily. If event X has the likelihood of happening once every 3
>> billion years, then after 3 billion years, it becomes inevitable and it
>> happens once.
> Mike,
> I don't follow this. You seem to be saying that since in a standard deck
> of playing cards one thirteenth of them are kings, therefore if I draw
> thirteen cards from the deck, it is inevitable that one of them will be a
> king. This is easily shown to be false. There are many 13-member sets of
> cards from that deck that contain no kings.
> Gordon Brown (ASA member)


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Received on Sat Nov 7 00:20:28 2009

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