Thursday, August 10, 2006

Okay, Let's Settle This Once and For All!

If trolls like Annie want to convince me that their deity (or deities) exists, here's a very simple way to do it:

1. First, answer this question: Is your deity willing and able to influence the roll of a die in order to convince me of his existence? If so, proceed to step 2.

2. Contact the James Randi Educational Foundation and apply for the James Randi Paranormal Challenge. The idea for your challenge will be this: Get a d10: A 10-sided die. Make a simple machine or something to roll the die. Roll it three times in the preliminary and have it come up "10" (or 0, depending on the die) three times. Then do it again in the formal test. You have a 1 in a million chance of winning by dumb luck, but if your deity exists, you shouldn't need luck.

3. Just to drill the point home, apply for at least one other skeptical challenge and pass it.

If you can do that, I will immediately pick up a copy of a holy book of your choice.

Edited because I made a truly horrid math mistake. But even the original 1 in 1040 probability shouldn't be a problem for the almighty.


Ranson said...

The link to Advancing Hordes just raised my respect for you even higher.

Anonymous said...

Actually, they have one chance in 10^40 of winning by dumb luck (since you require a perfect score in both the preliminary and the actual test - standards much stricter than Randi's own, I will point out).

Of course, it's possible the troll in question doesn't know the difference between a million and 10^40, they're both just big numbers. :) Anyway, by Dembski standards, one chance in 10^40 is "impossible", even if you have a whole planet to make simultaneous attempts and a billion years to try.

Bronze Dog said...

Oops. Looks like I goofed on the math.

Let me think about this:

d10 comes up 10: 1 in 10 chance.
Second d10: 1 in 100.
Third d10: 1 in 1,000

Looks like it only has to be six tens in a row. Something just seems off about that.

Jeff Rients said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It would never work. d10 is used in D&D. D&D, of course, is the tool of the devil. Thus, Satan will able to make it roll differently. Instead of the holy 10 10 10, you will get the satanic 6 6 6.

Uh-Duh ...

Michael Bains said...

I rolled 10 10s in a row once in a dream. So I know Gawd is real.


Anonymous said...

Looks like it only has to be six tens in a row. Something just seems off about that.

Uh, why? log10(10^6) = 6. 10^40 would be for 40 10's in a row (or any other specific outcome in 40 rolls).

Bronze Dog said...

I know. Just seems like such a small number to get such a big one from. Oh well. I'll just keep redoing the math in my head to make sure we aren't making mistakes.

Of course, the small number of die rolls just emphasizes the weakness of the faith of whoever inevitably claims that it's "impossible."

What kind of faith is so weak that it can't survive a handful of dice?

I'll test my negative confidence right now: I'll roll the d10 I have associated with a theocratic anti-hero right now. If he worshipped their nearly-identical stone idol instead, he'd get along just fine with them.

8 8 7 5 9 4

Fairly high average, but nowhere near divine.

Bronze Dog said...

Correction: They won't claim it's impossible: They'll make excuses for their deity.

Recall one of the Early Treehouse of Horrors episodes of The Simpsons:

Scene is in India. Performer ties himself into some kind of yoga knot, stands on his head, and "walks" with his ears.

Bart: "I can do that, but I don't wanna."

Infophile said...

Actually, I think I know exactly what her response would be:

"why the HELL do you think GOD would stoop so LOW as too proove HIMSELF to YOU bunch of HATEFUL SINNERS"

I'm even predicting that'll be sic.

But wait, what if she says something different or nothing at all? Then I'll just excuse myself with Time Traveling 101: Predicting the future changes it. So you can never prove that that initial prediction was wrong!

Bronze Dog said...

You need to be faster on the draw, Info. She said it last night.

Dikkii said...

Not that Annie will need it, I've got your second skeptics challenge lined up here.

Infophile said...

Bah. Stupid work, getting in the way of the fun stuff. Well, it appears that even though I did get the phrasing off, I was correct on the capitalization.