Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Design inference: A guy can get too lucky …


In fact, a whole bunch of convenience stores can get too lucky.

Carl Hallet, 49, won $100,000 in Atlantic TAG on Oct. 3. In 2005 he won $50,000 and in 2006 he won $5,000.

“I’ve always said if you buy the right ticket at the right time, you’ll win, and I put my faith in God,” Hallet told CBC News.

But new security rules introduced in Atlantic Canada mean his win must be investigated for at least 30 days, and so far Hallet has not received his prize.

The rules were adopted in March after studies showed retailers in Atlantic Canada were winning 10 times more often than statistically probable over the last six years.

Blame it on climate change.

Also, new at The Mindful Hack:

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The inner lives of people classed as vegetables

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The Spiritual Brain’s Amazon blog

Do selfish genes explain why you want to hear about your grandfolks?

Multiple lottery wins do make one suspicious. So the authorities will investigate. If there was no tampering, will that perhaps demonstrate that the "design inference" doesn't always lead to the right conclusion? Or if Hallet IS right and God's hand is in this, would the lack of evidence of tampering demonstrate that God's action doesn't always represent some intervention that suspends natural laws? ReligionProf
Denyse, The latest catalog of the Teaching Company just arrived and a featured new course is "Understanding the Brain" by Jeanette Norden of Vanderbilt. Since I haven't the time to get to the Spiritual Brain yet, do you know anything about this person's perspective on the issues or this particular course. I was just curious since for me I find I can learn more easily from DVD lectures than from a book. This seems more of a neurons in motion approach which is what I would expect from a science course from the Teaching Company but thought it might be useful to appreciate your book if I went through this first. Any thoughts? jerry
I haven't read The Spiritual Brain yet but I have just finished reading Niall McLaren's Humanizing Madness: Psychiatry and the Cognitive Neurosciences and that really got me thinking and reading around more widely. So I have discovered "panpsychism" (in which material objects like rocks and trees are imagined to be conscious) and learned that materialism and naturalism aren't seen by all people as being the same thing. That is, naturalists believe that natural things need not be material. So when they propose mind body dualism they're not talking about substance dualism but about a dualism between brain matter and its "emergent" (for lack of a better word) properties. Several times I've come across writers who propose that consciousness results from the integrated outputs of processes occurring in "virtual machines" in the brain. McLaren does this (and devotes a section of his book to a discussion of Turing's "Automated, Non-Conscious Decision Maker") because he wants to see psychiatry and psychiatric treatments put on a rational, scientific footing (and we all know that, in this era, to be scientific a theory must be naturalistic) but he knows that the mind is something other than the brain. Then I came across this site where, in an essay titled, "On the Analogy Between Mind/Brain and Software/Hardware" the author writes
In fact, the very first "giant brain" digital computers did not need or use any software! They were "reprogrammed" by changing the hardware, by actually replugging the old-style telephone exchange connections between the physical components (relays, tubes and subassemblies of these).
So I thought it might be possible that all the neuronal connections in the brain could be organised in such a way that they become "software" driving "virtual machines" which are, therefore, "hard wired" into the brain's architecture and maybe, somehow, this could result in self-awareness. But now, while I sympathise with McLaren's efforts to get psychiatrists to stop imagining that all mental disorders are biologically based, and having read more about panpsychism as well as the account of the neurosurgeon who discussed all manner of things with a person whose frontal lobe he was removing, I am convinced that the "virtual machine" account of the mind does not hold up. And then, of course, there are those reports of near death experiences. I'm not particularly interested in the "tunnel of light" etc., but the fact that people can remember and accurately describe what happened where their body was lying (and elsewhere) while they were unconscious is proof enough that self-awareness, or being mindful, does not rely on intact brain function. Janice
Occam's razor arguments require plausibility. Out of body manipulation of lottery outcomes suggests a plausible mechanism of action. Climate change does not. Science wins. MacT
If you invoke the multiverse argument, then there is a multiverse with every possible explanation for the lotto wins. What is the probability that we live in a multiverse where the explanation is random chance? The same probability for a single universe, if all multiverses are equally likely. The multiverse argument isn't that useful for explaining arbitrary unlikely events, only unlikely events that are necessary for our existence. It only explains that we live in one of the multiverses like ours. Likewise fine-tuning in the universe can be explained by a multiverse if the fine-tuning is necessary. Unnecessary fine-tuning that simply increases our quality of life is still improbable unless there is a designer. drel
Wouldn't Occam's razor support climate change as a more economical hypothesis? - d. O'Leary
No, no, no Denyse, don't you get it? There are infinite universes,and we just happen to live in the particular universe in which Carl Hallet's triple win of the lotter is instantiated. How do I know this? Simple. Mr. Hallet won the lottery three times; that is statistically practically impossible in a single universe; therefore, there must be infinate universes. My logic is airtight. Indeed, it is the same logic supporting the unifying theory of all of biology. I think you owe Mr. Hallet an apology. After all, he can't help it that he lives in a wierd universe where a wildly improbably outcome just happens to be instantiated. Poor man, to be maligned so much for no good reason. BarryA

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