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Consider the following passage:

(1) No matter how large the environment one considers, the origin of life cannot be a random process. (2) Troops of monkey thundering away at random on typewriters could not produce the works of Shakespeare, (3) for the practical reason that the whole observable universe is not large enough to contain the necessary monkey hordes, the necessary typewriters and certainly the waste paper basket required for the deposition of wrong attempts.

My question is for the extended arguments, does it come in the form of (1:2) (2:3) or (2:3) only ?

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See Patrick Hurley, A Concise Introduction to Logic, Ch.16 Extended Arguments :

The logical analysis of extended arguments, such as those found in editorials, essays, and lengthy letters to newspaper editors, involves numerous difficulties. Such arguments are often mixed together with fragments of reports, pieces of expository writing, illustrations, explanations, and statements of opinion. Proper analysis involves weeding out the extraneous material and isolating premises and conclusions. Another problem stems from the fact that lengthy arguments oft en involve complex arrangements of subarguments that feed into the main argument in various ways. Distinguishing one subargument from another is oft en a complicated task.

To facilitate the analysis of extended arguments, we will assign numerals to the various statements in the passage and use arrows to represent the inferential links.

(1) seems weakly related.

The argument can be analyzed into : premise (3), conclusion (2).

The whole observable universe is not large enough to contain the necessary monkey hordes, the necessary typewriters and certainly the waste paper basket required for the deposition of wrong attempts.

[Therefore,] troops of monkey thundering away at random on typewriters could not produce the works of Shakespeare.

Probably, we may say that the above argument support the general conclusion:

[Thus,] no matter how large the environment one considers, the origin of life cannot be a random process.

  • Thanks for the answer ! I bluntly just put 3 implies 2 cause I cannot see 2 implying 1. But I think 2 still can imply 1 weakly and hence my answer is wrong. – ilovewt Sep 10 '18 at 9:59
  • While the argument as stated may actually be true, it is meant to imply that the stadard model of evolutionary abiogenesis is therefore impossible because it is a "random process", which is monumentally stupid. The process may involve some randomness at the mutation level, but the far more important part of the process is selection, which is the very opposite of random. – Lee Daniel Crocker Sep 10 '18 at 23:45

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