The Probability Bomb — 6 Comments

  1. Since I’m pretty sure some stuff is coming up…well, I’d like to point out a little essay I made on a “Monsanto Corn” criticism.

    It’s actually interesting to look over in more detail, as how the study was done…shows why people tend to say “Scientists need to look at Science.”

    The study showed that the rats got tumors at 2-4 times the rate. Pathology was confirmed under microscopes. Big deal,, right?

    Well…He did a two year study. The specific rats he got? Have a 80%-70% chance of getting cancer! His control group…was only 10 rats. Which means that, well…if you happen to get a lucky group of rats in the control…Say, only 4 of them get cancer. Then, well…the ‘normal’ rate of cancer in the other group would be 2 times. Then, even if you use a hundred rats for the experimental group…you’ll get a false positive. And, he apparently only used ten for the EXPERIMENTAL group.

    The solution in these cases, is to use a LOT more rats. 65, specifically.

    This is why all scientists have to study statistics. It lets them understand better how to separate ‘random chance’ from “actual good study”.

    The pregnant woman one has another issue. All the research says is that a specific protein, in trace amounts, was found in the body. But NOT at toxic levels! In fact, the paper said nothing about any health issues whatsoever.

    However…most people who aren’t scientists wouldn’t KNOW these facts. Especially, you know, the cancer percentages for the specific type of rats. Or, be able to do the math on ‘statistical significance’.

    Similarly, there’s often a lot of people who point out apparent flaws in evolutionary theory, or planetary theory, etc…

    Which are actually explained quite well by pre-existing theories. They just don’t recognize the explanation, because they haven’t studied it, or they find data in the debunked theory that sounds compelling when someone has never heard of why it’s not. (Comet that broke off from Venus, for instance, sounds compelling until you realize that Venus’ atmosphere means a comet ‘breaking off’ from it is well nigh impossible. Or that the ‘moon dust’ argument has been handled, etc.)

    This also brings up the “Extraordinary games requires extraordinary proof” thing. Namely, one bad data point doesn’t, generally, mean you throw out an entire theory. And, you go for the theory that best explains everything with a minimum of assumptions.

    For instance…either there’s a massive conspiracy to cover up something….or someone just missed a memo. (Pick a conspiracy theory you disagree with…about all of them can be explained thusly)

    Now, this also leads to something else. Ironically? One mistake in the bible…doesn’t disprove the existence of God. Even eliminating the entire Torah as historically inaccurate…doesn’t mean there is no God. It doesn’t mean there IS one…But it’s up to individual people to decide.

    Now, a large series of errors to core components…is rather more of an issue. But, that’s neither here nor there. Personally, I firmly believe in God. As long as someone doesn’t disprove the New Testament…I’m find with the Old Testament mostly being legends. (Where you draw the ‘legends’ and ‘history’ line is a different story. There is definitely a point where the OT was mostly history, and can be historically verified.)

  2. One the random mutation front so called ‘junk DNA’ (DNA that does not appear to have a useful purpose) protects us to some extent, if junk DNA mutates it generally doesn’t matter, it doesn’t do anything.

    Even if Junk DNA is/has been disproved, humans can stand a certain amount of random mutation without apparently harm.

    Unfortunately for the guy in the tube the Heisenberg weapon isn’t making a few minor changes, it likely scrambling rather large chunks of his active DNA.

    I’m curious, is their any mention of cancer and genetic diseases in any historical Christian texts?

  3. *Takes off socks…shows off webbed toes*

    *POints to diagnosis of Autism*

    Both are caused by genetic mutations. Both are inheritable. Furthermore, scientists have been able to generate evolution amongst bacteria in labs. (That said? You can argue that it gets exponentially more complicated.)

    Basically? “Evolutionary random” and “Actual Random”…are rather different. And the negative randoms tend to get more publicity.

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