Poker players don’t lose with bad hands, they lose with great hands. I once saw a player dealt a four of a kind while the other player was dealt a full house. Those are the second and third best hands in poker, but the fellow dealing the cards had a royal flush—the highest hand in all of poker. If you have four of a kind or a full house, then you are supremely confident, and by the time those cards were dealt everyone had all their pennies on the table. It was a complete loss for those two players and an illustration of the dangers of a great hand. If you have a bad hand, then you won’t make losing bets. But great hands are susceptible to losing bets. *Read more*

## 9 Replies to “Evolution and Poker: Professor Says There are no Scientific Problems With Evolution”

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Cornelius,

One of the published replies to my 2000 Math. Intelligencer article made exactly the same argument. Here is how I responded to this in my book later:

Here is what the head line said:

Evolution and Poker: Professor Says There are no Scientific Problems With Evolution

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Well of course not, science isn’t used in ‘evolution’.

The hypothesis of ‘evolution’, is used for evidence.

So no matter the probability, it has to have happened, because ‘evolution’ says so.

http://patternsofcreation.weebly.com/

Dr Hunter:

Looks like some folks are confusing particular individual outcomes of a configuration space, and specific, describable clusters of such microstates.

When we can cluster like that, then the relevant probability is not that of having any one individual state, but of being in one or the others of a given cluster.

This should be familiar from the trick of designating far tails of distributions in hyp testing. The statistical weight of the bulk is so high relative to that of the tail that if one is somewhere by chance, one is far more likely to be in the bulk. And, within a certain degree of confidence, being in an unusual outcome that fits a function or the like by chance is minimal relative to getting there by intent.

And, this is indeed closely related to the warrant for the second law of thermodynamics, where spontaneous changes strongly tend towards the more heavily weighted clusters.

When I therefore see the kind of objection noted, and I know that most scientists with graduate level training basically will all but certainly have done basic statistics along the way, I am left to wonder why the obvious connexions are not being made.

GEM of TKI

F/N: Where we have a 500 bit string, the Planck time quantum state resources of our solar system, ~ 10^57 atoms, 10^102 is about 1 in 10^48 of the possibilities. A sample on blind chance and mechanical necessity will be so unlikely to be in anything but the bulk that we have no right to expect anything unusual, If we see something very unusual, the most reasonable explanation is choice. Posts in this thread — as opposed to monkeys typing at random, are a case in point

right on, the tighter you can compress the information in a random coin toss distribution string, the more unlikely it is. The probability that the distribution of 1000 coin tosses could be described in 1000 bits(H,T) is 1. However, the distribution of a 1000 fair coin tosses being compressible to a single bit H or T, is close to 0. Therefore hitting 1000 heads or tails in row is nearly 0.

hey kf, merry Christmas pal

Many happy returns!

nice article

F/n: it would help to read here on. Happy Christmas to all, don’t go too heavy on inductive turkeys and Christmas puddings!