Since 1859 Darwinist have made their living leveraging mere logical possibility (no matter how astronomically improbable) into scientific certainty. And that is why I thought of them when a friend posted this on Facebook.

## 33 Replies to “But Should We Discount it as a Practical Possibility?”

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That may be a British raccoon as that looks like a Vickers .303 machine gun he’s manning – or raccooning. Either way, don’t mess with raccoons.

And while it’s highly improbable you’re going to fall victim to a raccoon firing a belt-fed machine-gun, it’s not unheard of for hunters to be injured or even killed by their own rifle being accidentally discharged by their dog.

it’s not unheard of for hunters to

be injured or even killed by their own rifle being accidentally discharged by their dog.claimFIFYThere was just such an alleged incident here a year or two ago. When I read the story, I concluded it must either be the world’s most dexterous dog, or far more likely, a cover story to avoid legal trouble (two people were injured).

The point is being missed in a way that points exactly to the issue. Notice the specification in the OP. It is very intricate and detailed. Notice the examples of accidental discharge caused by dogs. Now run both through the explanatory filter. If we see a racoon shooting a machine gun in exactly the way specified, what is the inference to the best explanation? Some intelligent agent intervened to cause it. If we see a dog brush against a rifle causing it to fall over and discharge, what is the best explanation? That is well within the realm of chance. And that is why those hunters were not charged with murder.

The extremely complex specification represented by the racoon is – take your pick – even the most simple cell, any organ, any living thing.

Number of subatomic particles in the universe: 10^80

Probability of a protein forming by chance in a prebiotic soup: 1 in 10^164 power

Probability of finding a single protein fold: 1 in 10^77

Total number of trials available for an evolutionary trial to find that 1 in 10^77 stable protein fold: 10^40

Conservative estimate for the first cell forming: 1 in 10^41,000th power

More realistic probability for the first cell forming from the thermodynamic perspective: 1 in 10^340,000,000

The “odds that a cell would reassemble itself under ideal natural conditions (the best possible chemical environment)” would be one chance in 10^100,000,000,000.

The probability of life forming when taking into account “interactome space”: one in 10 followed by the exponent 7.9 x 10^10

Number of times that Darwinian processes have been observed to create a protein: ZERO

Probability that Intelligence can create functional information: 100%

Seversky’s typical reaction to being shown all these astronomical probabilities against his atheistic theory being true:

🙂

Latemarch

How does a dead person claim anything? Seance?

Don’t extremely improbable things that can be exhaustively specified happen all the time?

Do they? Examples, please

BA,

I find it interesting that the photo has indeed got a Vickers machine gun (as Sev got in before me), a revision to the Maxim design. The M1917 Browning, of course, comes from that genius, John Moses Browning and operates on a gas principle not a recoil principle. Both are conditional oscillators.

The 250 round belt remains, but 0.303 was the standard loading for most Vickers guns. Interestingly enough, the US did adopt a Colt built 30-06 version of the Vickers dateline 1915 and did ship them off to WW1 in France where given numbers they likely saw significant frontline use, credibly far more than the Browning.

Could a Raccoon fire it? Only if it had been properly set up, a rather unlikely circumstance.

And I think this one is no longer possible, it looks like remaining stocks were sent to the UK after Dunkirk and as they were not desired back by the US they were destroyed by the UK.

The probability vs impossibility case may be best answered on possible worlds. In no PW can there be a square circle. In our world an unaided swimmer could not swim from San Diego to Hawaii, but in a PW where Hawaii were say 20 miles offshore, that would be a different story.

If a case K is

maximallyimplausible under relevant circumstances C it is conditionally practically impossible.p(K|C) ~ 0,

which does not need to be mechanically specified once we have a good reason to draw the inference.

Now, if we have a different circumstance on the relevant PW so that p(K| D) is materially greater than 0,

p(K|D) = m, m being a positive real or hyperreal and non-infinitesimal value in the span (0,1] and m != 0, being significantly larger than 0. m!~ 0

i.e. likelihood of K on ED materially exceeds that on C and there is no credible option E that is more plausible then the actual occurrence of K indicates D is a more plausible explanatory circumstance than C.

This is of course key to the design inference.

First, C –> blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, facing the search challenge in configuration space challenge. D –> intelligently directed configuration. There is no plausible extra case E.

Where K –> FSCO/I, D is a more plausible explanation than C.

Such is what the per aspect explanatory filter draws out.

KF

EG, consider the case, mortal wound so that one may speak before expiring. This is similar to earlier lockouts you have exerted in recent days. Kindly, draw the lesson that what you imagine as so does not necessarily exhaust what may well be so. KF

I had in mind the old trope where the victim is able to write “ZEKE” (the killer’s name) in blood with his finger, and then collapses immediately after completing the last stroke.

KF,

i.e., a real number in the interval (0, 1]?

Edit: My mistake, they are not the same.

There are infinite real numbers between 0 and 1

ET,

There are infinitely many between 0 and 1 (but no real x between 0 and 1 is itself infinite, obviously).

DS, I am leaving room for calculus hence my leaving room for hyperreals, the standard parts of which will be reals. We don’t want m infinitesimal or as a “fat zero” otherwise, and m must be significantly larger than the estimate for on C, large enough that it is not a fat zero or a skinny one. (And yes, there is some discussion on that out there.) KF

DS, I think ET was saying there are transfinitely many reals between 0 and 1. Surrounding each real of course is a cloud of infinitesimals in the close neighbourhood that is also transfinite in terms of how many values are there, I symbolised ad hoc-ly *r*. KF

Kairosfocus: I think ET was saying there are transfinitely many reals between 0 and 1.No,

EThad it right: there are infinitely many reals between 0 and 1. Actually, there are infinitely many reals between any two values you pick.KF,

Well, there’s really no need to include nonreal hyperreals just to do calculus. In this context, there is no advantage that I can see in going beyond

R.(the) Nonreal Hyperreals- Sounds like a great name for a band 😎

Once, I had a 3-number combination lock. The numbers were 21 and 27.

@DaveS back in the day (way back) i did Calc 1,2,3 and DiffyQ 1 and 2 with zero knowledge or discussion of hyperreals.

ET: (the) Nonreal Hyperreals- Sounds like a great name for a band ????It would have to be a psychedelic band!!

JVL, the transfinite is more ontologically cautious terminology. KF

DS (attn RP), the hyperreals are legitimate as well as useful and there is no good reason to lock them out. And yes, epsilon delta stuff with limits also works. There’s more than one way to skin a catfish. KF

Retired Physicist: @DaveS back in the day (way back) i did Calc 1,2,3 and DiffyQ 1 and 2 with zero knowledge or discussion of hyperreals.That is correct. You can get through all the mathematics you need for engineering without even mentioning hyperreals. In fact, you can get through a lot of mathematics period without mentioning hyperreals.

Did you ever get to fast Fourier transforms? That stuff kicks ass.

KF,

They’re fine for this application, if you enjoy gratuitous complexity. 😛

JVL I want to say Fourier transforms were taught around the same time as Laplace transforms. If I recall correctly Fourier is a two-sided Laplace with i multiplied in. Probably calculus 2. If not, then the ODE class. It was OK, but wasn’t my favorite math in the world. That would be groups and rings. 😀

BTW the hyperreals are a closed ring. I never did anything interesting with them though.

Retired Physicist:Groups and rings? You took that as an engineering student? Wow. The only thing I hated more than abstract algebra was statistics. That’s a real pile of poo. Give me some number theory and I”m well good.

A related brain teaser:

What is the integral between 0 and 1 of the following function?

f(x) = 1 for x – rational, f(x) = 0 for x = irrational

Explain your answer.

Fasteddious,

It’s not Riemann integrable, but the Lebesgue integral equals 0, since the value of the function equals 0 except on a set of measure zero.

@JVL I did not take that as an engineering student. Why would you think I took that as an engineering student? I took lots of unnecessary math classes when the professors were good, to fill up science electives I needed, back when i was an undergrad. You don’t do that stuff in grad school because you’re usually working 70 to 80 hour weeks in physics. I would take any undergrad classes that Dr. S_________ taught, just for fun because he was such a great teacher, for instance. If you can make Idempotents fun, you are a special type of person.

When I was an undergrad in college I did live in a house with three engineering students, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, and I did tutor them in math. One poor fella I tutored in Statics and he just couldn’t get the concept that you add up all the force vectors they have to net zero. So if you add up all the vectors you have, and it is not zero, there’s another force with equal magnitude in the opposite direction. After he failed his statics class the third time he had to choose a different major. The Good Lord didn’t bless us all equally, as they say.

RP,

Was that me you tutored? 🙂

I had a great high school physics teacher and tried studying physics in college, but it wasn’t to be, alas.