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Is it mathematicly/statisticly impossible for all of existence to be created randomly

  1. Nov 25, 2005 #1
    is it mathematicly/statisticly impossible for the universe and existence (i'm talking from the moment of the big bang to when life first appeared) to have happened randomly? so many billions and billions of thing's had to happen just right from the big bang to when life first appeared with out anything going wrong to have happened randomly. i was just wondering if it was mathematicly/statisticly impossible for all this to happen randomly?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 25, 2005 #2
    I would think that its perfectly possible, but do not forget that even the big bang theory is not accepted by the whole world. If this is more of a philosophical question on your part, it might be wise to seek answers outside of mathematics and science as well. i would be interested to see other responses to this question though, as i am only offering my opinion.
     
  4. Nov 26, 2005 #3
    "God does not play dice."
     
  5. Nov 26, 2005 #4
  6. Nov 26, 2005 #5

    Tide

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    The Law of Large Numbers does not hold for N = 1. Moreover, statistical deductions on the basis of a single known event are a bit shaky. :)
     
  7. Nov 26, 2005 #6

    HallsofIvy

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    No, that's not true. billions and billions of things did happen and we are the result of that. If some had happened differently, the universe might well be very different and we might not be here to ask about it- but the fact that things did happen that way and we are here doesn't mean that there was any "plan" to produce us.

    You can't talk about probabilities a posteriori. If I pick one number out of 10 million, the probability that I would get, say, 123730 would be 0.00000001. But it would make no sense to pick a number and then say "look, I got 123730. That couldn't have happened by chance!"
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2005
  8. Nov 26, 2005 #7
    ^^^

    The reason for that is that all the probablities are equal.

    If there were 10 million red balls in a jar, and 1 blue ball (no puns please), then getting the blue ball would indeed give us cause to be suspect of the randomness.
     
  9. Nov 26, 2005 #8

    Tide

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    That presumes that you know something about the distribution of colors in the jar - which we don't - and even then it does not diminish in any way what Halls said. It is entirely possible to be dealt a royal flush on the first draw and we cannot infer "design" on the basis of that single observation. It might be a different matter if we are repeatedly dealt the royal flush but we have only one data point and even that is somewhat dubious.
     
  10. Nov 28, 2005 #9

    benorin

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    We live in the uni-verse, uni means single and verse means spoken sentence; thus we live in a single spoken sentence.
     
  11. Nov 28, 2005 #10

    Curious3141

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    This ain't "General Math".
     
  12. Nov 28, 2005 #11
    Of course, we're the ones colouring the balls, and we've done so after the fact. Pulling a ball out of a jar of red balls, painting the ball blue and then exclaiming "Wow, what are the chances we would pull out a blue ball?" is basically what we are doing when we label the current state of the universe as a particularly special outcome.
     
  13. Nov 28, 2005 #12

    SGT

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    You must understand that things don´t assemble randomly. They assemble according to the laws of physics and chemistry. As HallsofIvy pointed, things have hapenned following those laws.
    A simple example can explain that. What is the probability of getting 100 aces in the toss of 100 dice? It is so small, that if someone started tossing the dice from the beginning of the Universe until now, one toss per second, the odds are that it would not have happened still.
    But let´s change the laws. Instead of picking all the dice after each toss and tossing them again, we let all aces in place and toss only the other dice. In a few minutes we would have the 100 aces.
    That is how things work in Nature. The winning combinations are kept and the loosing ones are repeated endlessly.
     
  14. Jan 11, 2006 #13

    benorin

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    By this I mean to say that God spoke the universe into existence.
     
  15. Jan 14, 2006 #14

    HallsofIvy

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    So your theology is based on a pun?
     
  16. Jan 14, 2006 #15
    Any theology is based on a pun.
     
  17. Jan 15, 2006 #16

    benorin

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    Let me rephrase that:

    By that I mean to indicate that I believe that God spoke the universe into existence.
     
  18. Jan 22, 2006 #17
    how did the laws of physics come into being? wouldn't someone(god) have to have basicly written these laws? well anyway, what i was trying to ask is what are the odds/probability the universe just came into existence on it's own? are there any mathematicly equation's that prove the universe could not come into existance on it's own or that it can. it's just a curiosity i have.
     
  19. Jan 22, 2006 #18

    HallsofIvy

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    Yes, we understood that was the question and that question was answered-
    1) You cannot calculate odds of an event without postulating some apriori probability distribution.

    2) Even if the outcome you observed aposteriori has very low probability of happening, that does NOT mean that it didn't happen randomly.

    Suppose the procedure is "pick a number between 1 and 1000000 at random with every number being equally likely to be picked" (i.e. postulating the uniform distribution). The probability that the number 127312 will be picked is, of course, 1/1000000. But in fact the probability that any specific number will be picked is that. I can't wait until after the number is chosen, see that it was, for example, 127312 and declare that the probability of that be chosen was so low, it couldn't happen at random!
     
  20. Jan 24, 2006 #19
    And for a physicist's example of Halls' point,

     
  21. Jan 24, 2006 #20

    russ_watters

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    Or to rephrase: the odds of seeing a unique license plate (or unique universe) are exactly 1. Guaranteed.
     
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