## Monday, September 3, 2007

### More responding to Marcsana on post 1

Once again, Marcsana's original is in plain text, my responses are in bold.

Here is a much shorter posting about probability. Statisticians say that for something to be impossible, the probability has to be 10 to the 50th power.

No they don’t. That’s something that William Dembski made up. It doesn’t have backing in the scientific community at all, and you won’t find it in any statistics textbook.

When you wrote about probability, you wrote this:
“The same is true of forming molecules. Even if the chances of forming a particular molecule are very tiny in one trial, if there are billions upon billions of trials, the chances of that molecule being formed are very great.”

[snip long post about an article on talk.origins]

I am not going to address the long insertion about what’s written on the talk.origins website, as I neither wrote it nor claimed it, and it’s mostly irrelevant to this discussion. I will address this bit, condensed somewhat for understandability:

Probability doesn’t work that way. Probability says that for each attempt, the odds are for this. You can’t look at all the attempts as an aggregate whole. Each individual attempt has the same odds of assembling itself. The lottery example holds no water. This assumes there is a prize and since evolution is undirected, there is no “prize.”

This is simply false. I am not looking at “evolution,” I am looking at the probability of a molecule forming. As for “You can’t look at all the attempts as an aggregate whole. Each individual attempt has the same odds of assembling itself. “- I think you have an extreme misunderstanding here- I am not sure where you took statistics, but you may want to talk to your professor! Of course you can look at the number of attempts as crucial to the outcome. That is what probability is all about. The more attempts, the greater the chances that an event will occur. I do not need to assume a “prize” or have a “direction” to calculate probabilities. Either something happens or it doesn’t.

“Evolutionists often try to bluff their way out of this problem by using analogies to argue that improbable things happen every day, so why should the naturalistic origin of life be considered impossible. For example, they say the odds of winning the lottery are pretty remote, but someone wins it every week. [snip more examples of the same] So they argue from these analogies to try to dilute the force of this powerful argument for creation.

In all the analogies cited above, there has to be an outcome. Someone has to win the lottery. There will be an arrangement of cards. There will be a pile of sand. There will be people walking across the busy street. By contrast, in the processes by which life is supposed to have formed, there need not necessarily be an outcome. Indeed the probabilities argue against any outcome. That is the whole point of the argument.”

This explanation makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, either logically or statistically. In the case of the lottery, there are two probabilities- either you win or you do not (or, in the case of a specific number being drawn, either that number is drawn or it is not.) Not winning is an outcome. In the case of a specific molecule forming, either it does or it does not. Not forming is an outcome. In both cases, a binomial distribution can be calculated. You may remember this formula from basic stats:
1-p=q
where p= the probability of an event occurring in one trial and q= the probability of an event not event occurring in one trial. Q is every bit as important to this calculation as P is. And, quite obviously, the larger the number of trials, the greater the chances that the event happens.

As with most things, evolutionists require that things be much simpler than they really are. Even all this aside, the probabilities are so high for the first cell to form, that it just can’t happen. There isn’t enough time in the universe.

You have not shown that.

This model was shown in http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html#Search

Creationists do this with probability:
Simple chemicals---bacteria

Evolutionists say it’s not that simple:
Simple chemicals—polymers—replicating polymers—hypercycle—protobiont—bacteria

I find it quite interesting that you cite this article (both here and above) yet you do not appear to have read it. It deals, quite elegantly, with all of the arguments that you brought up. Yet you use the same arguments this article so clearly refutes, without addressing them. The sections “Coin tossing for beginners and macromolecular assembly “ and “Search spaces, or how many needles in the haystack?” are especially relevant.

You cannot just pick and choose the parts of an article that you like.
Why, if you are going to use this article as a reference, do you not specifically address its conclusions?

But you still don’t get around information theory arguments.

Which have nothing to do with probability calculations. That's just deflection.

And this still doesn’t explain the first protein very well.

Explain what, exactly, about the first protein?

Nor does it offer how any of this is possible within the constraints of what we know about biology.

Actually, theories of organic molecule formation fit perfectly well with what we know about biology, and this article specifically addresses some of these points. You fail to give any examples of why they do not, nor do you specifically discuss the points in the article.

And it doesn’t show how each of these made those small leaps since it requires increasingly more information and proteins.

Actually, that is exactly what the model shows, and what the article discusses. Perhaps you should study each of the steps involved and address them directly.

If you truly wish to discuss probabilities, I recommend that you return to the article you cited twice, and actually deal with the arguments it presents, rather than throwing up yet another army of straw men.