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Infinite monkey theorem

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Felix
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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by Felix » January 13th, 2020, 3:27 pm

green1: The infinite monkey theorem suggests that there is no need for God for an intelligent design. A monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.
And where did the monkeys and their typewriters come from?

It has nothing to do with intelligent design or the lack of it, because a medium is needed in which so-called random activity can occur, and to exist at all, that medium must be stable. In other words, there is really no such thing as random action because there can be no action at all in a vacuum - you can't build a house in mid-air.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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green1
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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by green1 » January 14th, 2020, 3:26 am

Steve3007 wrote:
January 13th, 2020, 10:32 am
I suspect that green1's point is that it takes an intelligent being (in that case a human) to recognise when the monkeys have stumbled on the Shakespeare. But I could be wrong.
Hi Steve, yes this is what meant. Thanks.

green1

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by Terrapin Station » January 14th, 2020, 6:58 pm

green1 wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 3:26 am
Steve3007 wrote:
January 13th, 2020, 10:32 am
I suspect that green1's point is that it takes an intelligent being (in that case a human) to recognise when the monkeys have stumbled on the Shakespeare. But I could be wrong.
Hi Steve, yes this is what meant. Thanks.

green1
What's the broader point with that, though? It would take an intelligent being to recognize when the monkeys have stumbled on Shakespeare, which implies that . . . ?

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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by green1 » January 15th, 2020, 3:40 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 6:58 pm
green1 wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 3:26 am


Hi Steve, yes this is what meant. Thanks.

green1
What's the broader point with that, though? It would take an intelligent being to recognize when the monkeys have stumbled on Shakespeare, which implies that . . . ?

This would mean that the “argument from design” still works.

green1

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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by Steve3007 » January 15th, 2020, 6:20 am

Another way of looking at it:

If (for the sake of argument) the Universe was infinitely large, and therefore contained an infinite quantity of matter, and therefore contained an infinite number of planetary systems, and therefore contained an infinite number of planets with life, and therefore contained an infinite number of planets with intelligent life:

Any conceivable sequence of letters, which to us might seem random, is the cultural equivalent of "The Works of Shakespeare" to at least one of those civilisations (actually, to an infinitely large subset of them). So the very first thing that the monkeys type is "The Works of Shakespeare" to somebody.

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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by Steve3007 » January 15th, 2020, 7:28 am

green1 wrote:This would mean that the “argument from design” still works.
Which is why when h_k_s asked a question beginning with this:
h_k_s wrote:If this is the only thing that you are basing your atheist faith upon...
My comment was this:
Steve3007 wrote:While you're at it, ask him (or her) when he's going to stop beating his wife.
i.e. His question has an unfounded implied premise (like the classic wife beating example). The question of whether you are an atheist or a theist is irrelevant. The argument you're making, for the purposes of this topic. is essentially a theistic one.

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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by green1 » January 15th, 2020, 8:16 am

Steve3007 wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 6:20 am
Another way of looking at it:

If (for the sake of argument) the Universe was infinitely large, and therefore contained an infinite quantity of matter, and therefore contained an infinite number of planetary systems, and therefore contained an infinite number of planets with life, and therefore contained an infinite number of planets with intelligent life:

Any conceivable sequence of letters, which to us might seem random, is the cultural equivalent of "The Works of Shakespeare" to at least one of those civilisations (actually, to an infinitely large subset of them). So the very first thing that the monkeys type is "The Works of Shakespeare" to somebody.
I have difficulties understanding how your idea applies to God creating life on a planet.

green1

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by Terrapin Station » January 15th, 2020, 8:51 am

green1 wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 3:40 am
Terrapin Station wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 6:58 pm


What's the broader point with that, though? It would take an intelligent being to recognize when the monkeys have stumbled on Shakespeare, which implies that . . . ?

This would mean that the “argument from design” still works.

green1
Taking the notion as an argument against "the argument from design" (it doesn't work as that as I noted as no one is positing that the world works via random selection of sets of limited variables), the idea isn't that the present, contingent world that we're in is a quickly-changing set of randomly determined states, the idea is that each random "text" produced (by the monkeys) is analogous to a universe life cycle (such as the big bang to a big crunch or whatever), each with its own unique properties. So there's no need for anything to be picked out of the stuff produced. We just happen to be in the midst of one particular text.

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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by h_k_s » January 15th, 2020, 1:32 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 7:28 am
green1 wrote:This would mean that the “argument from design” still works.
Which is why when h_k_s asked a question beginning with this:
h_k_s wrote:If this is the only thing that you are basing your atheist faith upon...
My comment was this:
Steve3007 wrote:While you're at it, ask him (or her) when he's going to stop beating his wife.
i.e. His question has an unfounded implied premise (like the classic wife beating example). The question of whether you are an atheist or a theist is irrelevant. The argument you're making, for the purposes of this topic. is essentially a theistic one.
This thread tangent is now a monstrous web of woven implications.

Loaded questions are all Sophist tricks.

And according to Plato we should avoid Sophist tricks like the plague. I agree with Plato on this.

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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by Terrapin Station » January 15th, 2020, 3:55 pm

h_k_s wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 1:32 pm
Steve3007 wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 7:28 am


Which is why when h_k_s asked a question beginning with this:



My comment was this:


i.e. His question has an unfounded implied premise (like the classic wife beating example). The question of whether you are an atheist or a theist is irrelevant. The argument you're making, for the purposes of this topic. is essentially a theistic one.
This thread tangent is now a monstrous web of woven implications.

Loaded questions are all Sophist tricks.

And according to Plato we should avoid Sophist tricks like the plague. I agree with Plato on this.
Plato was a great writer but I don't agree with him about much.

I see his knocks on the Sophists as being akin to trying to undermine competitors.

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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by h_k_s » January 15th, 2020, 4:42 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 3:55 pm
h_k_s wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 1:32 pm


This thread tangent is now a monstrous web of woven implications.

Loaded questions are all Sophist tricks.

And according to Plato we should avoid Sophist tricks like the plague. I agree with Plato on this.
Plato was a great writer but I don't agree with him about much.

I see his knocks on the Sophists as being akin to trying to undermine competitors.
I don't agree with Plato about much either, so I agree with you on that.

The Sophists were like any other lying, rhetorical body. Politicians, lawyers, the PTA --- they all fall into this boat.

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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by Terrapin Station » January 15th, 2020, 5:57 pm

h_k_s wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 4:42 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 3:55 pm


Plato was a great writer but I don't agree with him about much.

I see his knocks on the Sophists as being akin to trying to undermine competitors.
I don't agree with Plato about much either, so I agree with you on that.

The Sophists were like any other lying, rhetorical body. Politicians, lawyers, the PTA --- they all fall into this boat.
Was there any good reason to believe they weren't being honest?

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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by h_k_s » January 15th, 2020, 6:08 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 5:57 pm
h_k_s wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 4:42 pm


I don't agree with Plato about much either, so I agree with you on that.

The Sophists were like any other lying, rhetorical body. Politicians, lawyers, the PTA --- they all fall into this boat.
Was there any good reason to believe they weren't being honest?
Do you mean "they, the Sophists"?

The answer is that as advocates and rhetoricians, the Sophists probably used whatever arguments they could to win. And emotional arguments are very powerful and resonate with most people.

If you read Jerry Spence's book "How To Argue And Win Every Time," he too emphasizes emotional arguments as a strategy for winning.

However according to Aristotle and also to modern debate rules, emotional arguments are a fallacy.

So it's not so much a matter of truth or falsehood; it is more of a matter of logical integrity and ethics.

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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by Steve3007 » January 15th, 2020, 6:23 pm

h_k_s wrote:Loaded questions are all Sophist tricks.
I didn't refer to loaded questions. I referred to a question with a false premise. Maybe you mean the same thing?

If you see such questions as "Sophist tricks", why did you ask one?

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Re: Infinite monkey theorem

Post by Terrapin Station » January 15th, 2020, 8:30 pm

h_k_s wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 6:08 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 5:57 pm


Was there any good reason to believe they weren't being honest?
Do you mean "they, the Sophists"?

The answer is that as advocates and rhetoricians, the Sophists probably used whatever arguments they could to win. And emotional arguments are very powerful and resonate with most people.

If you read Jerry Spence's book "How To Argue And Win Every Time," he too emphasizes emotional arguments as a strategy for winning.

However according to Aristotle and also to modern debate rules, emotional arguments are a fallacy.

So it's not so much a matter of truth or falsehood; it is more of a matter of logical integrity and ethics.
Insofar as we're familiar with the Sophists' arguments, they didn't have much to do with emotion.

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