103 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

Your reasoning would be sound if you picked any random human who ever lived and checked whether they would be alive today. This chance would indeed be rather low. (Because today's world population is ...
Stephan Kolassa's user avatar
41 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

Shuffle a standard deck of 52 playing cards and look at the arrangement you end up with. Assuming your sorting was completely random the probability of you getting that exact arrangement is about 1 in ...
user33828's user avatar
  • 511
33 votes

Is the SETI project built on false premises?

Scientists use statistical significance measures all the time, discussed here: How improbable does an event have to be before we can say it didn't happen by chance? "Life occurring on earth ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
  • 21.7k
25 votes

Scientific stance on 'life from non-life, naturally'?

First, please refrain from terms like 'mainstream science'. There is science, based on reproducible processes with empirical evidence, and there are other human practices. Some science may be known ...
Philip Klöcking's user avatar
  • 13.9k
21 votes

Did Charles Darwin say anything on why life was formed in the first place?

One has to keep apart different layers: a) abiogenesis (the emergence of life) vs. evolution (the development of existing life over generations) and b) the incompatibility of biblical accounts of the ...
Philip Klöcking's user avatar
  • 13.9k
20 votes

Comedy we play everyday and pretend everything is fine?

The first person who comes to mind is Albert Camus who won the 1957 Nobel Prize for literature, and authored many writings that contributed to the ideas in the philosophy known as absurdism. "......
joseph h's user avatar
  • 301
15 votes

Is it justified to communicate one’s feelings regarding someone’s abortion decision?

Abortion is very contentious, arousing all kinds of strong feelings. Some people believe that the unborn's life should trump the interests of the mother, while others believe the opposite. Some people ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 21.7k
13 votes

Is it justified to communicate one’s feelings regarding someone’s abortion decision?

"give the lady some cooling off period, and some counselling" I get the good intention behind this, but in practice, these things tend to exist exclusively to try to convince a woman that ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
  • 9,779
10 votes

Is the SETI project built on false premises?

Let's focus on this part of the question: "On what basis can we ever say, even if this pattern was detected, that this was generated by intelligent lifeforms outside earth?" Bayesian ...
Scott McPeak's user avatar
9 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

The first time I recall encountering this argument was in Alan Moore’s Watchmen, where the probability of what you describe is likened to “events with odds so astronomical they’re effectively ...
user137369's user avatar
9 votes

Is life the root cause of all suffering?

According to Buddha's Theory, It is not a theory; it is large set of traditional philosophy, world-view, precept or partly religion. The word "theory" implies that there is something here ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 2,733
8 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

The probability of an event X happening, GIVEN THAT IT HAS HAPPENED, is always 100%. I hear thinking like you give used in many flawed arguments. For example, I once got into a conversation with ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 269
8 votes

Do distinctions and concepts exist?

Concepts are relations between two or more phenomena. Distinctions are discrete concepts whose function is to classify. Concepts and language are very closely related. I discuss this in my post on the ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 1,281
8 votes

Is life the root cause of all suffering?

"Desire" is one possible translation for "tanha" in Pali. But other translations would be "thirst" or even "craving". I think "craving" is more useful ...
Frank's user avatar
  • 2,454
7 votes

Did Charles Darwin say anything on why life was formed in the first place?

Different subject matters Note: Philip Klöcking answers the title question, this answers the question in the body. The original work of Darwin was named "On the origin of species by means of ...
MichaelK's user avatar
  • 5,144
7 votes

Scientific stance on 'life from non-life, naturally'?

This topic has been beaten to death in many many forums. A quick net search on abiogenesis would yield a very large amount of hits. There is even a web site with a FAQ on it at http://www.talkorigins....
BillOnne's user avatar
  • 1,537
7 votes

Do distinctions and concepts exist?

What you are asking about is the place of abstract objects in our universe. There are basically three approaches to abstract objects: Nominalism holds that abstractions are invented by us. This is ...
Dcleve's user avatar
  • 13.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Is fire a living thing?

Interesting idea, possibly the wrong place to ask that question, but still something I will do my best to answer. Fire is not typically considered a form of life because it is a property of both the ...
Dallas Crenshaw's user avatar
6 votes

If all of us are going to die one day why should we care about the feelings and emotions of others?

Even animals care for their young ones (their feelings and emotions also). This is an already-installed quality in most living things. Haven't you seen mother birds hatching their eggs? Will they ...
SonOfThought's user avatar
  • 3,793
6 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

A couple of brief pointers on how to think about this: First, in your question you are assuming that the passage of time is an objective feature of reality. That is, in order to give a full ...
Schiphol's user avatar
  • 2,637
6 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

Right now I am looking at a pair of scissors laying on my desk. What are the chances of that?!?? Think about it: that pair of scissors had to be created; the desk had to be created. The house that ...
Bram28's user avatar
  • 2,719
6 votes

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

Dead or unborn people don't ask themselves : "Why am I not alive today?". By contraposition, you've got your answer: You can ask yourself the above question, it means you're alive.
Eric Duminil's user avatar
  • 1,109
6 votes
Accepted

Is there any Ancient Greek philosopher that we know came from an underprivileged background?

As noted above Epictetus was born a slave, and he was an "ancient" Greek, though after the classical period. Diogenes was born to an affluent family but lived on the streets as a homeless ...
Nelson Alexander's user avatar
6 votes

Is it justified to communicate one’s feelings regarding someone’s abortion decision?

In this answer, I try to explain to OP why he got stiff feedback from social media; I am trying my utmost not to take a stand on the issue of abortion. If you feel that I write something about ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 2,733
5 votes

Is fire a living thing?

Probably this is the right place to ask. Following such definition, some rocks would be alive (they can grow slowly by incorporating minerals on its structure, then when they break, the process can ...
RodolfoAP's user avatar
  • 7,416
5 votes
Accepted

Does there exist truly objective thoughts?

You are correct, in that as we define the terms, a knowledge of a perfect objectivity is not possible. And to be pedantic, even what you refer to as the "electromagnetic wave" is not proven ...
Chris Degnen's user avatar
  • 5,869
5 votes

Is the pleasure of drugs better than long term achievements?

My first point is: hard drugs aren't generally as good as people imagine. Heroin makes your skin itch all over and gives you terrible constipation. Cocaine turns you into an intolerable arse of a ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
  • 21.7k
5 votes

Can we rule out God as an explanation for the origin of life without knowing a natural explanation?

1.) Every physical process has a physical cause 3.) God is not a physical cause Almost nobody who believes in god/s believes this; you've functionally defined God out of existence in your premise. ...
g s's user avatar
  • 5,885
5 votes

Why we haven’t observed any galactic civilization of III or IV type?

Perhaps for one or more of the following reasons: There are no such civilisations. They exist but are too far away. They deliberately cloak their presence to escape our notice. They only consume ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 21.7k

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