- #1

Lightermahn

Is that true every event has %99.99 chance to occur eventually if the time is infinite ?

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In summary, the conversation discusses the theory of "if it can happen, it will happen" in an infinite amount of time. It is noted that this theory only applies to events that are physically possible and not those that defy the laws of physics. The concept is further explored through examples such as the infinite monkey theorem and the 3D random walk, where it is shown that in some cases, not every event will occur given infinite time. The conversation ends with a question about the difference between 2D and 3D in this scenario, which remains unanswered.

- #1

Lightermahn

Is that true every event has %99.99 chance to occur eventually if the time is infinite ?

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- #2

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Why did you pick 99.99 ? There is nothing special about that number.Lightermahn said:Is that true every event has %99.99 chance to occur eventually if the time is infinite ?

Events which defy the laws of physics have a zero percent chance of happening regardless of the length of time but I believe the theory is that in an infinite amount of time, eveything that can happen will happen. I'm not convinced myself but that's personal prejudice, not based on science or math.

- #3

Lightermahn

Well sorry I meant the event that are physically possible. Thanks for your comment.phinds said:Why did you pick 99.99 ? There is nothing special about that number.

Events which defy the laws of physics have a zero percent chance of happening regardless of the length of time but I believe the theory is that in an infinite amount of time, eveything that can happen will happen. I'm not convinced myself but that's personal prejudice, not based on science or math.

- #4

cosmicminer

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So that means if the tallest man on Earth is 2.40 meters tall, if we wait long enough somebody 3 meters tall will turn up.

I have in fact tried this using random sample from the normal distribution and noted the extreme values. With 1000 samples it gives me an extremum of say 3 standard deviations. With 5000 a bit higher. With 15000 higher and so on. The extremum keeps on increasing.

- #5

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I don't see what this has to do with the subject at hand, which is "if it can happen it will happen". Sure people will be shorter and taller than the norm and sometime to surprising degrees, but so what. There are NOT going to be 50 foot tall people.cosmicminer said:

So that means if the tallest man on Earth is 2.40 meters tall, if we wait long enough somebody 3 meters tall will turn up.

I have in fact tried this using random sample from the normal distribution and noted the extreme values. With 1000 samples it gives me an extremum of say 3 standard deviations. With 5000 a bit higher. With 15000 higher and so on. The extremum keeps on increasing.

A more interesting question, I think, is since it IS physically possible, will there ever be a person who has one Asian parent and one African parent, and is exactly 7' tall (give or take 1/16"), and has one leg just slightly shorter than the other, and has one brown eye and one blue eye, and who has blond hair, and who has 6 fingers on his left hand, and who has buck teeth and who was born with no ear lobes and a deformed left big toe.

The "everything that can happen will happen" thesis says yes there will. I'm no so sure.

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cosmicminer said:

So that means if the tallest man on Earth is 2.40 meters tall, if we wait long enough somebody 3 meters tall will turn up.

I have in fact tried this using random sample from the normal distribution and noted the extreme values. With 1000 samples it gives me an extremum of say 3 standard deviations. With 5000 a bit higher. With 15000 higher and so on. The extremum keeps on increasing.

And this is why the normal distribution is just an

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Lightermahn said:Is that true every event has %99.99 chance to occur eventually if the time is infinite ?

No, this is not true. You might be thinking of the infinite monkey theorem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem But what you should keep in mind that this does not describe reality in general. It describes a very specific situation where some very specific conditions must be satisfied. If those conditions are not satisfied, then not every event will necessary occur.

For example, consider the 3D random walk. So you just take a spaceship and start flying in random directions. It can be shown that you will not visit every point even given infinite time. On the other hand, in 2D, you will visit every point in infinite time.

Whether an event occurs or not given infinite time is a difficult question. You should know more details before you can decide it.

- #8

berkeman

Mentor

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micromass said:For example, consider the 3D random walk. So you just take a spaceship and start flying in random directions. It can be shown that you will not visit every point even given infinite time. On the other hand, in 2D, you will visit every point in infinite time.

Interesting! Is there a brief reason why there is a difference between 2D and 3D for this?

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berkeman said:Interesting! Is there a brief reason why there is a difference between 2D and 3D for this?

Unfortunately, I know no intuitive reason for it. I can prove it though, but it's not very enlightening. I hope somebody else can give an intuitive picture of why this is true.

"Infinite time" refers to a theoretical concept where time is considered to have no beginning or end. It is often used in discussions about the potential outcomes of events happening over an indefinite period of time.

Theoretically, yes. In an infinite amount of time, every possible event will occur. However, this does not mean that every event will occur in a specific order or with a specific frequency. Some events may occur more frequently than others, while some may never occur at all.

In theory, yes. However, it is important to keep in mind that we do not have a definitive understanding of time and its potential infinite nature. Additionally, other factors such as probability and practical limitations may affect the likelihood of certain events occurring.

The concept of infinite time does not necessarily contradict the concept of probability. In fact, probability can still be applied to events occurring in an infinite amount of time. However, as mentioned before, some events may have a higher probability of occurring compared to others.

The concept of infinite time is a theoretical concept and therefore, it cannot be proven or disproven by scientific evidence. It is often used as a thought experiment in discussions about probability and the potential outcomes of events over an indefinite period of time.

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