# What is the Threshold of Intolerable Miraculousness?

Discussion in 'The Cesspool' started by Eugene Shubert, May 19, 2017.

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1. ### StrangerInAStrangeLandSubQuantum MechanicValued Senior Member

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The math does not add up so I tested it.

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3. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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No, you didn't.

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5. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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I recall a TV program which took advantage of this system

They advertised for people willing to bet at horse racing events with a chance to win big time

From memory they finished up with about 1000 people

At the first event each person was given a horse to bet on

All the winners were kept

All those whose horse lost were refunded their bet and left the experiment

The winners moved to another race where their winnings were carried over

This system continued until the program finished with 1 winner with a lot of money

The program aired with a headline something like

Winner picks 10 winners in a row and turns $X into$XXX

No mention of the other 999 who lost

Sorry I can't be more specific or provide a link but I'm sure someone out there knows a lot more about this than I do

It would be intolerable if no one knew more than me

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7. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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That's what I'd always thought (the number of Jewish thinkers in European history speaks for itself) but I'm pleased to see it confirmed.

What I cannot abide in these Seventh Day Adventists and other biblical literalists is that it requires a huge effort of will to remain ignorant, simply to try to achieve the manifestly impossible - and therefore foolish - objective of taking every word in the bible literally. As I've observed before, in Christianity, people were already writing of the need to interpret the bible by 400AD, because apart from anything else it is not internally fully consistent (e.g. the two different stories of Genesis and many other examples). And the mere fact that there are many translations again makes it logically impossible to treat every word, of every translation, as literal.

What a perversion of the intellect, to spend one's life fighting against reason like this!

And dear old Eugene seems to be the end product of this process.

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8. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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Woo comes in various flavours but in the end it's just Woo?

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9. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Yes I don't think it's woo exactly. That's more the sort of crystals-and-shit, keep it vague, man, stuff we get from New Agers.

This is creationism, which is very focused: focused that is on propping up an untenable fiction that every word of the bible must be taken literally. No allegories, no figures of speech, no flights of literary fancy, no stories told in the idiom and culture of ancient people to get an idea across. All. Literally. True. And so every other dimension of human thought and discovery must be force-fitted to the words (in what translation exactly I don't know) of the bible.

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10. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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Sounds like Woo flavoured with nuts

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Concentrated

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11. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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It's interesting. The Millerites, which Eugene says he belongs to, were a very strange US sect that thought the Second Coming would take place in 1843-44 and a lot them fixed on 22nd Oct 1844. When nothing happened this became known as the "Great Disappointment", and a lot of Millerites gave it up (well you would, wouldn't you?) and moved off to other denominations. However Millerism didn't die entirely and gave rise to Seventh Day Adventism.

The whole thing is a phenomenon of the cauldron of American extreme Protestant sects - which makes me as an Englishman feel slightly guilty that we exported all our nutters to the States.

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12. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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Lucky here in Australia we only got loaf stealers

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13. ### danshawenValued Senior Member

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I also had serious objections to the Young Earth Creationist aspect of the Seventh Day Adventist church.

Judaism has the same idea that the history of their tradition only goes back about 5,000 years, but they don't spend a lot of effort impressing on followers the idea of an exact date of creation based on the book of Genesis, which originally came from Judaic tradition, or that a literal interpretation of the Torah is necessary to faith. Rabbinic tradition encourages debate about the Torah, and this is reflected in the pages of the Talmud. No effort is made either to translate the Torah from the original Hebrew, and in some portions Aramaic, nor to erase or revise any of the text that strongly suggests an influence of ancient Greek culture that is there because Alexander the Great conquered and attempted to assimilate their culture into the polytheistic Greek tradition.

Each time a religious text is translated, much less influenced by another culture, something is lost. Almost all of the original Torah manuscript on sheep skin was lost in antiquity. The parts that remain are only there because of oral tradition passed down through generations. These are quite detailed, including all 613 of the original commandments, most of which deal with the treatment of slaves.

And the rest of Judeo-Christian tradition arrived in those literally interpreted religious texts which included Genesis as part of their religious cannon. As you have observed, treating such religious artifact remnants as if it were part of a science textbook is something reserved to the personal purgatory of religious orthodoxy of any religious tradition. It never made any sense. I don't think it was ever intended to.

Documents like "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and even portions of the King James version of the christian bible, particularly with respect to emphasis on the role of Judas Iscariot in betraying their messiah to the Romans, are fabrications deriving from other religious traditions' paranoia more than anything else. They were intended to incite hate and intolerance against Jews, and have worked their magic only too well throughout a long history of mistrust of the first religion to teach its followers to read and use mathematics for commerce.

Don't forget that the rule of law (as opposed to that of Kings) comes originally from Judaic tradition, as did the days of the week, and the Shabbat, or Sabbath. You're all very welcome.

Even the word "AMEN", appearing across many religious traditions is an acrostic formed of three Hebrew words (ref: The Talmud, Shabbat 119b) "El Melech Ne'emon" (translation: The Lord is a trustworthy king".) The word Amen first appears in the Book of Numbers (5:22). Here it is simply interpreted as "truely", or "so be it".

Last edited: May 23, 2017
14. ### Eugene ShubertRegistered Senior Member

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How did the professor respond to the fantastically improbable event? Did he say, "Wait a minute. This can't be happening. Undeniable miraculousness violates a fundamental law of physics because it surpasses the threshold of intolerable improbability?"

Last edited: May 23, 2017
15. ### danshawenValued Senior Member

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I was the one who originally "leaked" that "wedge strategy" document. It went viral from where I originally posted it on the American Mensa discussion forum. Someone else lifted it from there and the rest is history. So, in a way, I suppose I am responsible for whatever happened to Eugene in terms of his lack of science education. I'm very sorry about that, Eugene.

I suppose it's true what they say about religion;

Religion is like a nail; he harder you hit it on the head, the deeper it crawls back into the woodwork. Oh, wait; no, that's termites.

16. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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There's an XKCD for that!

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17. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Don't worry, you aren't. The Discovery Institute is all about Intelligent Design. They use the techniques Billvon describes, but ID is a kind of pseudoscience that they invented to get God into science teaching in schools. That's quite different from Eugene's views. ID accepts most of science, but tries to shoehorn the unscientific idea of "design" into it.

Eugene is from older stock: he is a biblical literalist, which means a Young Earth type creationist. You know, creation accomplished in 7 days, age of the Earth acc. Bishop Ussher's chronology etc etc.

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18. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Just tell me what lesson you think you draw from it and then I'll comment on that.

19. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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I would not quibble with much of this at all. I have certainly read that Christianity is thought by some to be a synthesis of Judaism with Greek philosophy.

20. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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No

He said

I have to stop mixing magic mushrooms with whiskey

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21. ### RJBeeryNatural PhilosopherValued Senior Member

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If you want an example of intolerable improbability let's discuss the odds of the Universe randomly finding itself at minimal entropy during the Big Bang.

That's $10^{{10}^{123}}$

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100%

23. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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Ummm

The Big Bang starts

as I understand it

from a completely compressed state of energy or matter or space or whatever

Whatever it was it was very very VERY compressed

Now to exist at such a compressed level you have to order the EVERYTHING (what ever it is) into the smallest possible space

Hence being so compressed automatically makes it at minimal entropy

After the Big Bang it is on the slow billions of years downhill slope to the everything is even again but a lot colder

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End of discussion but there might be a book in it

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