So I don't think the firing squad analogy is a logically sound one. Please give me some feedback (but don't use any complicated philosophical language).
Quote from: SimonIveson on April 01, 2016, 11:27:42 pmSo I don't think the firing squad analogy is a logically sound one. Please give me some feedback (but don't use any complicated philosophical language).I think the point of this “firing squad analogy” is to personify the forces of randomness, where science has not yet risen to a serious understanding of the improbabilities of a protein or a nephron. These forces are considered so virulent that they may as well be called active forces, rather than passive chances. If the analogy is understood in this way, you see we are characterizing past probabilities, by using familiar recent situations. Your counterargument (1) seems to amount to, “We’re here, it happened, so it isn’t possible to imagine that it didn’t happen.” This begs the question, which is exactly how it could’ve happened. The same improbabilities acting back then are just as active today, and possibly God is overcoming them on other worlds, after ours seems to have been started.Objection (2) is also answered by comprehending the analogy to be poetic or metaphorical in nature. A way to think about this is using the monkey with typewriters nonsense, that theorizes the works of Shakespeare eventually arise if enough time is given. This only succeeds when repetition of wrong combinations is not allowed. Once repetition comes in, the infinity of chances becomes infinitely dense, the practical consequence of which is that no monkey ever succeeds in a sentence of more than a word or two. This is the “virulent force,” that the firing squad analogy personifies. It isn’t being argued randomness makes choices to be perverse. It’s a way to understand randomness. The analogy you supply of a man improbably surviving shipwreck after shipwreck proves the need of a stronger analogy to get the point across, so I’d have to stand with Craig on choosing to present it. To understand the firing squad analogy properly, it should be added that they are really trying to hit you, and they are using real bullets. Such is the force of randomness against evolution! Perhaps you could say God “pays” the forces to look the other way, but such payment must involve continuous work, still going on today.
Actually the monkey and typewriter analogy does not depend on errors ever being repeated. It depends on unimaginable numbers of monkeys and unimaginable amounts of time, and this is what the universe provides. There are more galaxies than human bings on earth and more star in each galaxy, etc. And that's just the known universe. So, any attempt to figure the odds of life evolving by chance are bunkum because the processes must be incredibly complex and so any small mistake in the input data into any computation of the odds could lead to a huge error in the output. I have no doubt that the odds are vanishingly small, but the universe and time are unimaginably vast, so any argument that says evolution is so improbable as to make it impossible without divine intervention are DOA.