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  • Odds against your existence

    This was kind of a cool breakdown of the odds against each of us ever existing.


    http://visual.ly/what-are-odds
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  • #2
    That made my head hurt...not really that hard though.
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    • #3
      Headaches aside, that is fantastic.

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      • #4
        I think that the comment beneath it is more interesting...

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        • #5
          If only the top sperm make it to an egg, how do you explain all the idiots walking around? How is it that their blood line is not extinct?
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          • #6
            Originally posted by TLopez View Post
            If only the top sperm make it to an egg, how do you explain all the idiots walking around? How is it that their blood line is not extinct?
            Ponder this, if that was the TOP sperm to make it to the egg, just imagine what what kind of winners would be walking around if the second rate sperms fertilized as well.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by TLopez View Post
              If only the top sperm make it to an egg, how do you explain all the idiots walking around? How is it that their blood line is not extinct?
              Originally posted by mentalflex View Post
              Ponder this, if that was the TOP sperm to make it to the egg, just imagine what what kind of winners would be walking around if the second rate sperms fertilized as well.
              If sperm were either intelligent or conscious, or if they had an inherent code of ethics, you would both have good points, haha.

              Unfortunately the TOP sperm is just the one with the pointiest head that got shot out first
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              • #8
                There's another flaw in the logic of how those "odds" are calculated. They concentrate on one event going back to the big bang but only as this one event. This is a common argument used by creationists to "prove" that only an intelligent being could have created humans because of the "odds" of humans evolving.

                This is called the Anthropic Principle. To give an analogy, Imagine that you kept flipping a coin over and over and over and over again. And in one sequence of events, you finally get 10 heads in a row. You record that "event" and then present it to somebody as "what are the odds that I would have flipped 10 coins in a row"? And you present some astronomically low odds to prove how incredible that sequence of flips was. What is lost is how many failures occurred leading up that situation.

                So back to the universe example. The Anthropic Principal assumes that with us being intelligent beings living in the perfect set of conditions, it would be practically "zero" chance of it occurring on its own. But what is ignored is that it is possible (and likely) that trillionsXtrillionsXtrillionsXtrillionsXtrillionsX trillions of failed universes existed leading up to our particular "fine tuned" one. So in essence, there is nothing special about it other than we are existing in that universe, marveling at how it's "impossible" for us to exist while the universe itself has gone through an infinitely long history without us being along for the ride.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by davidb View Post
                  There's another flaw in the logic of how those "odds" are calculated. They concentrate on one event going back to the big bang but only as this one event. This is a common argument used by creationists to "prove" that only an intelligent being could have created humans because of the "odds" of humans evolving.

                  This is called the Anthropic Principle. To give an analogy, Imagine that you kept flipping a coin over and over and over and over again. And in one sequence of events, you finally get 10 heads in a row. You record that "event" and then present it to somebody as "what are the odds that I would have flipped 10 coins in a row"? And you present some astronomically low odds to prove how incredible that sequence of flips was. What is lost is how many failures occurred leading up that situation.

                  So back to the universe example. The Anthropic Principal assumes that with us being intelligent beings living in the perfect set of conditions, it would be practically "zero" chance of it occurring on its own. But what is ignored is that it is possible (and likely) that trillionsXtrillionsXtrillionsXtrillionsXtrillionsX trillions of failed universes existed leading up to our particular "fine tuned" one. So in essence, there is nothing special about it other than we are existing in that universe, marveling at how it's "impossible" for us to exist while the universe itself has gone through an infinitely long history without us being along for the ride.

                  Let's say you DID flip 9 heads in a row, can you tell me the odds that the 10th flip will be heads? ;-)





















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                  • #10
                    Exactly...the odds of the next flip being heads is 50%. And actually that's a good point, I shouldn't have used the term "odds" in my example. I used it incorrectly. More accurately, I should have said the probablity of flipping 10 heads in a row is very, very small. The odds of flipping an 11th heads is still 50/50. In fact, the article should not have used "the odds are practically zero" either. They are mixing and matching odds and probability together. Just like in that example from the article. The probability might be infinitely small of me existing...but the "odds" of me existing aren't really as small as the article would have you believe. It's a classic example of lieing with statistics.

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