Similar to the shakespeare-typing monkeys. Improbable and impossible are two different things, and the anthropic principle also squeezes in here.--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 19:08, 7 October 2007 (EDT)
- I'm not sure how RW likes to name its articles, but a future home for this might be "Hoyle's fallacy." --Ode 19:34, 7 October 2007 (EDT)
- RW doesn't have a policy on names, however if you'd like, i can rename this Hoyles, and then the tornado title could redirect to it...or any variation of such a thing, although my wiki-skilz are a bit on the wane, as evidence by my recent boo-boos.--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 20:30, 7 October 2007 (EDT)
Comments on Shakespeare argument and Anthropic Principle
It is my opinion that the Anthropic Principle (at least in its weak form, as used here) has very little use in a scientific discussion such as this. Saying something IS does not speak to the veracity of the mechanism of getting it to be. If you have a suggested mechanic for anything that is highly improbable, that is evidence (not proof, but hard proof is often hard to come by) that that mechanism is wrong. If you have a competing mechanism that is less improbable, then one would tend to prefer that one. The weak anthropic principle does very little other than, ironically, try to shut down rational investigation, in a goddidit way. It no more renders evolutionary theory free from the burden of backing evidence than it does a person who leaps out of a plane without a parachute and surviving. Saying that obviously he survived, as improbable as that is, so it doesn't need an explanation, is infantile. The important points are that evolution DOES have corroborating evidence, the analogy is bad, and there is no good competing theory.
To the Shakespeare analogy, there is a simple counter-illustration I use. First, I show how incredibly unlikely their scenario is, so they can't back out and try saying its different than complexity from life. Then, I add in a mechanic somewhat similar to natural selection. Every time a monkey doesn't get the next letter to be the one we want, we simply erase it, and let it try again. The probability is now quite high you can get a Shakespearian work in short order.