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Gnosital 01-20-2008 05:58 PM

Speaking of fun with probabilities
 
http://jef.raskincenter.org/publishe...principle.html

Quote:

Jef Raskin wrote
UNDOING THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE: THE SUITABLE CONDITIONS PRINCIPLE, OR, HOW A TOY DROVE THE DESIGN OF THE UNIVERSE

I have a toy that consists of a hollow, transparent sphere about 10 cm across into which you can place a number of 5mm diameter white beads. There are 60 of these beads, each imprinted with a number from 1 to 60. One button on the machine makes it stir them vigorously. A second button on the apparatus causes a scoop to move so that it picks up exactly one of the beads and presents it for viewing.
There is nothing to make the device choose one bead over another, and the beads are nearly identical in any case, their differences are not such to make one more likely to be chosen than its mates. The device was made for games of chance, and it can be considered a good randomizer. My friend Julie ran the machine 100 times, each time with a full load of beads. Here is the output:
06, 31, 42, 29, 33, 05, 26, 01, 05, 28,
22, 32, 59, 59, 09, 57, 16, 46, 12, 13,
16, 25, 45, 14, 12, 38, 37, 51, 10, 34,
21, 10, 09, 35, 21, 23, 60, 09, 04, 33,
12, 32, 32, 13, 28, 11, 54, 46, 58, 33,
25, 07, 09, 02, 19, 60, 52, 23, 29, 48,
52, 35, 18, 13, 57, 45, 15, 24, 28, 24,
05, 59, 03, 03, 45, 22, 48, 53, 27, 18,
49, 01, 59, 37, 17, 51, 36, 33, 09, 41,
04, 43, 06, 39, 31, 60, 32, 06, 17, 41.

The probability p that we would get exactly this sequence is 1/(60100) or, approximately,
p = 1.5 * 10-178
Each turn of the machine takes about one second; to produce another sequence of this length therefore takes at least 100 seconds (actually a lot longer because of mixing time). To have a 50-50 chance of getting this same sequence again, you'd have to turn out sequences on the order of 10178 times, which would take at least 10180 seconds. The age of the universe is currently thought to be less than 20 billion years; it is less than 1018 seconds old. We can be pretty confident that even if I were to have the machine generate sets of 100 numbers for the next few billion years, the sequence shown above would not be likely to turn up again.
If the force of gravity had been ever so slightly different, if the coefficient of friction of the surface of the balls varied from what it was, if the charge on the moving electrons that drove the motor were barely different from what it is, or if any of a number of other physical laws or constants had been changed, the sequence would have come out differently. In other words, the result of this experiment depended on the nature of the universe, the interplay of its laws, the value of its constants, and its unique history. For example, if our planet were too hot, the plastic of which the machine was to be made would melt, and the experiment could not have been carried out. Can we therefore conclude that "all the particular laws and regularities in nature are united in a single principle law: Somewhere in the universe this machine must create this particular sequence"?
This conclusion is peculiar. It argues that because of a unique result to an experiment we can conclude that behind the laws of the universe is the need to evoke this result. Yet the conclusion is a paraphrase of the last sentence of an article which attempted to justify the anthropic principle. (Kuzin, A. "The anthropic principle." Quantum, January/February 1999)
The anthropic principle is the teleological belief that the universe was "tuned" to make life in particular, human, conscious life inevitable. Teleology is causality worked backwards, a later event influencing a prior event, or that somehow a physical system "knows" to head toward a "desired" outcome...


Rat Bastard 01-20-2008 06:15 PM

Woah! 6 appeared exactly 3 times! 666! It's the end times! Say Hallelulah! [/fundie theist]

calpurnpiso 01-20-2008 09:19 PM

the interesting thing in Gnositall sequence is the corner anomaly. From left to right in a cross pattern we have the following numbers:

06-28-04-41. The sum of each pair is 6-10-4-5. A reverse number is 5 -4-10-6.
The pattern of random creation is obvious. The sum of the first sequence is 79 while the sum of the pairs is 25 whose addition is 7, adding 79 and 25= 104. The sum is 5, which is exactly the same number of the bottom right corner! The key is in the reverse number which is always older. The number 5 is regarded as the pair + 1. This is the secret additional coefficient of odd numbers thus the probability can be predicted been proportional to the adition of numbers at the corners when dealing with the numbers within the square :)

The Fibonacci sequence can be nicely integrated with this numerical cube using the additional sequence revealed by this technique thus giving us the ability to grasp a pattern of random events making them predictable.

a different tim 01-21-2008 05:37 AM

Quote:

Gnosital wrote (Post 466262)

Yeah, that's about what I think.

I'd distinguish, however, between the strong and weak anthropic principles.

The strong one is the version that got taken apart in that quote. The weak version works the other way round, that is, it uses the existence of humans as a datum to make predictions about universal laws. For example, Fred Hoyle famously used the fact that "humans exist, we are carbon based, therefore there must be a lot of carbon about" to predict values for energy states in the carbon nucleus (assuming carbon is created in stellar nucleosynthesis). His value was spot on.

In the weak anthropic principle, there is no teleology involved. The confusion, I think, comes from considering this sentence: "Universal constants have values x because humans exist"

Strong anthropic parsing: "Humans somehow caused the universe to be like this, it must have been created for us or there's a quantum observer effecet etc".

Weak anthropic parsing: "We can deduce, from the existence of humans, that out of the many possible states for the universe, it happens to be in this one".

a different tim 01-21-2008 05:38 AM

Quote:

calpurnpiso wrote (Post 466266)
the interesting thing in Gnositall sequence is the corner anomaly. From left to right in a cross pattern we have the following numbers:

06-28-04-41. The sum of each pair is 6-10-4-5. A reverse number is 5 -4-10-6.
The pattern of random creation is obvious. The sum of the first sequence is 79 while the sum of the pairs is 25 whose addition is 7, adding 79 and 25= 104. The sum is 5, which is exactly the same number of the bottom right corner! The key is in the reverse number which is always older. The number 5 is regarded as the pair + 1. This is the secret additional coefficient of odd numbers thus the probability can be predicted been proportional to the adition of numbers at the corners when dealing with the numbers within the square :)

The Fibonacci sequence can be nicely integrated with this numerical cube using the additional sequence revealed by this technique thus giving us the ability to grasp a pattern of random events making them predictable.

A cross pattern! Praise Jebus!

Choobus 01-21-2008 09:43 AM

Quote:

a different tim wrote (Post 466286)
The strong one is the version that got taken apart in that quote. The weak version works the other way round, that is, it uses the existence of humans as a datum to make predictions about universal laws. For example, Fred Hoyle famously used the fact that "humans exist, we are carbon based, therefore there must be a lot of carbon about" to predict values for energy states in the carbon nucleus (assuming carbon is created in stellar nucleosynthesis). His value was spot on.

what the fuck??? That is not how he predicted the relative proportions of the elements. It involved some complicated rate equations for nuclear decay chains in stars that were bounded by known properties of stars and quantum mechanics. He used the fact that humans exist more by existing himself to do the calculations than as a basis for the validity of those calculations. The antropic principle (strong or weak) is pointless wank and has as much value to humanity as pascals wager.

mmfwmc 01-21-2008 10:08 AM

The weak anthropic principle is a tautology, so it's pretty much useless except for slapping down theists when they try the strong anthropic principle.

Kate 01-21-2008 11:37 AM

Quote:

Gnosital wrote (Post 466262)
http://jef.raskincenter.org/publishe...principle.html

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGHHH gasp AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! !!!!



:cry::cry::cry::cry:

a different tim 01-21-2008 11:40 AM

Quote:

Choobus wrote (Post 466309)
what the fuck??? That is not how he predicted the relative proportions of the elements. It involved some complicated rate equations for nuclear decay chains in stars that were bounded by known properties of stars and quantum mechanics. He used the fact that humans exist more by existing himself to do the calculations than as a basis for the validity of those calculations. The antropic principle (strong or weak) is pointless wank and has as much value to humanity as pascals wager.

The paper's here. He used the rate equations to find the energy state that fit abundances of the carbon/oxygen ratio suitable for life, which he knew existed. He then predicted this energy state would exist.
He says explicitly that he was using the weak anthropic principle. In his book. Which he wrote.(P89)

I agree the weak principle has little use except for slapping down theists. As far as I know Hoyle's is the only prediction it has ever made. But, according to Hoyle, it did make it.

Choobus 01-21-2008 11:50 AM

That is at best disingenuous. His calculations do not use the anthropic principle. His claims to use the anthropic principle are bogus. He is using known abundences, which is quite different. Remember, this is the same guy who claims that the fact that human nostrils point down is an evolutionary protection against alien spores from space. It is possible to seperate the actual science from the anthropic bullshit.

This is why he got shafted out of his nobel prize.

a different tim 01-21-2008 12:00 PM

*shrug* He reckoned he started from an anthropic argument. He also seems to claim, in the book, that the abundances in life are slightly different from inanimate mixtures, and that life was his starting point. He may be bullshitting though as he was old and mad by then and the book is pretty badly written compared to some of his other stuff.

However, he wrote the paper, so I'm prepared to take him on trust as to what led him to think in that direction.

Yes, I know about the alien spores.

Choobus 01-21-2008 12:03 PM

Maybe I am wrong; if you can show me the part of his argument that depends on the anthropic principle (as opposed to a simple claim that it does) I will gladly beg for your forgiveness.

a different tim 01-21-2008 12:11 PM

Well, I don't fucking know. I can't do maths of that magnitude as you well know. I'm merely basing a claim on what Hoyle was thinking on what he says he was thinking.

I'm not sure, looking back on this, that using known abundances is that different from weak anthropic principle. Maybe that's what he meant and he considers that anthropic. I'll argue that if you like but it's probably a bit futile.

Choobus 01-21-2008 12:37 PM

This serves only to demonstrate how utterly useless the anthropic principle is.

a different tim 01-21-2008 01:09 PM

It's good for starting arguments.


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