Monday, April 27, 2015

Q&A - 27/4

Comment

I do not believe in a higher power because you cannot prove the presence of God is more likely than not, scientifically.

But you can

Let F be the event something appears organized, and G that there is a creator. Goal is trying to prove the probability P(G|F) > P(~G|F); the tilde sign means "not", the negation of the event, the | sign means "given", i.e. P(A|B) is probability of A given B, that is, assuming B happened, what's the likelihood of A. Using the Bayes Theorem,

 P(G|F) = P(F|G)P(G) / P(F)

 P(~G|F) = P(F|~G)P(~G) / P(F)

Geeks can notice the trick there; we flipped the probabilities, so we could start from something we know. Everyone agrees P(F|G) > P(F|~G), that is, "given" there is a creator, the probability something appears organized is more likely, than given not. As for the rest, we must take P(G) = P(~G) because that is apriori belief, believing something from get-go. If P(G) is not equal to P(~G) you are a bigot.

Well, then P(F) is the same on both equations, P(G) equals to P(~G), with all else being equal and since P(F|G) > P(F|~G), then we must conclude P(G|F) > P(~G|F).

Boom.

Given something appears organized, a creator is more likely. Q.E.D. my brotha.. Whazzup!

Question

What does that say about intelligent design?

Nothing

The fact that there is a creator says nothing about how the designer designs. I write a genetic algorithm that can modifies itself, it goes after a problem, after many changes it is done, and its final form is different from the thing I created in the beginning. I wrote the code so it could evolve, but did nothing afterwards.

And, looking at the poor form we have right now as humans, it is pretty unlikely that we are designed as we are now. The final form of the design is pretty stupid and still a work in progress. Evolution is real.

Question

But some scientists argue there is no God, i.e. Richard Dawkins, and Stephen Hawking.

Yeah but..

Hawking says a lot of things, alien invasion [1], AI gone wild, all that.. But in general some of the backlash in scientific circles has to do with the resentment of actions taken by the Catholic Church throughout its sorry history and its Catholic God which might have pushed people to go P(~G) > P(G). CC tried to "define" exactly how the designer designs, and it failed. Thank God.

In the same vain, I also accept there is also a form of courage in the way atheists say "I don't know for sure, and I will remain in this non-knowing state until I do know for sure". This can be commendable. We've only shown the probability is higher for one case than not, noone can show existence of God anything with probability 1 (100% confidence).

Question

But didn't Kant show, logically, both presence and non-presence of God can be proven? And since he is a luminary..

Forget the luminaries

These "luminaries" did not know math the way we do now. We are in better shape than they are.

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[1] I don't understand why people do not start with "any sufficiently advanced (spacefaring) civilization must have developed ways of organization, collaboration that would preclude them from being opressors" - a variation of opposable thumbs hypothesis, but for aliens, instead of immediately drawing parallels to barbaric events from our past, or to our relationship to animals. I like being ready, being "loaded for bear", sure, but it seems the two sides of the "alien question" are not getting equal coverage. Military / industrial / media complex at work here perhaps?