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You are quite correct, Susan. But your point calls for a clarification of how we use language in this context.

If someone calculates the probability of something occurring to be 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000001, then many people will say that the chance is "zero" when they really mean it to be "virtually zero."

Going the other way, as with DNA matching, one might say that the criminal "is" guilty because the probability of evidence pointing to the criminal is .99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999. Technically speaking, the language is in accurate for the same reason.

And here we come to a dichotomy that I see very often. When people are taking a positive view on an outcome, when they apply this kind of interpretation they may say that there's a 1 in 10 quadrillion chance that the evidence does not point to the criminal. The positive thinkers here will focus on the 10 quadrillion. If they can't dispute the evidence, which would lower the 10 quadrillion side of the equation, the only recourse for the negative thinkers involves pointing to the 1, saying, So you're telling me there is a chance?

In general, we reject this approach because it ignores serious discussions of evidence and sounds like a cop-out. The only rational approach is to address the evidence head-on, that which led to the 10 quadrillion finding. This, I have found, is one of the easier way to detect a skeptic from a pseudo skeptic, and a reasoned believer from one who accepts things on faith, regardless of the evidence, if necessary.

I have no opinion on whether a universe preceded this one, by the way. I don't care. All I know is that a lot of people throw around "is" and "is not", 1 or 0, when it is more correct to say something like, It is "very, very likely" or "very likely not this or that." That's probably what you're picking up on here.

Subject Views Written By Posted
Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 46678 Graham Hancock 04-Jun-19 15:43
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 316 Darryl Sloan 04-Jun-19 19:05
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 256 Susan Doris 07-Jun-19 07:13
Definitely not an atheist 274 Robert Jameson 15-Jun-19 07:52
Re: Definitely not an atheist 224 Darryl Sloan 17-Jun-19 10:55
The goldfish analogy 195 Robert Jameson 22-Jun-19 07:23
Re: The goldfish analogy 189 Susan Doris 22-Jun-19 10:53
Re: The goldfish analogy 184 Robert Jameson 22-Jun-19 12:27
Re: The goldfish analogy 195 Susan Doris 22-Jun-19 15:04
Re: The goldfish analogy 194 Eddie Larry 22-Jun-19 19:16
Making something up is terrific and necessary in Science IF 193 drrayeye 22-Jun-19 21:44
Everything is natural 185 greengirl5 23-Jun-19 00:12
Don't stop there 195 drrayeye 23-Jun-19 00:47
Re: Don't stop there 193 hendrik dirker 23-Jun-19 03:35
I met Thomas Kuhn once, Hendrik, 187 drrayeye 23-Jun-19 05:34
From my 'Out of left field' file 185 Robert Jameson 23-Jun-19 09:55
Re: From my 'Out of left field' file 201 Susan Doris 23-Jun-19 12:52
Re: From my 'Out of left field' file 200 Robert Jameson 24-Jun-19 00:52
The paper clip analogy 182 Robert Jameson 23-Jun-19 00:27
Re: The paper clip analogy and chance 190 greengirl5 23-Jun-19 05:07
Monkeys bashing typewriters does not stack up 180 Robert Jameson 23-Jun-19 10:09
I believe you! 174 greengirl5 23-Jun-19 12:23
science jargon 194 drrayeye 23-Jun-19 06:54
Re: The goldfish analogy 185 Darryl Sloan 24-Jun-19 17:56
big bang 182 drrayeye 24-Jun-19 23:45
Re: big bang 180 Robert Jameson 25-Jun-19 03:18
Re: big bang 171 Susan Doris 25-Jun-19 05:16
Science vs. philosophy vs. pop culture 166 drrayeye 25-Jun-19 06:56
Re: Science vs. philosophy vs. pop culture 179 Susan Doris 25-Jun-19 07:15
There is more to science 169 drrayeye 25-Jun-19 12:10
Re: Science vs. philosophy vs. pop culture 171 Eddie Larry 26-Jun-19 21:51
Re: Science vs. philosophy vs. pop culture 187 Susan Doris 27-Jun-19 07:28
Rant of the month 184 drrayeye 27-Jun-19 08:30
Re: Rant of the month 169 greengirl5 27-Jun-19 23:15
Teach your children 180 drrayeye 28-Jun-19 03:36
Re: Teach your children 184 Susan Doris 28-Jun-19 05:11
Re: Teach your children 171 Darryl Sloan 28-Jun-19 08:17
Re: Teach your children 167 Susan Doris 28-Jun-19 10:21
Re: Teach your children 169 Susan Doris 28-Jun-19 13:06
Re: Science vs. philosophy vs. pop culture 169 Eddie Larry 27-Jun-19 19:02
Re: Science vs. philosophy vs. pop culture 178 Robert Jameson 28-Jun-19 07:36
Re: Science vs. philosophy vs. pop culture 167 Eddie Larry 28-Jun-19 14:25
Re: Science vs. philosophy vs. pop culture 171 Darryl Sloan 28-Jun-19 07:47
Evidence for a creator 182 Robert Jameson 28-Jun-19 09:45
Re: Evidence for a creator 186 Susan Doris 28-Jun-19 10:39
Re: Evidence for a creator 189 Robert Jameson 29-Jun-19 07:52
Re: Evidence for a creator 175 Susan Doris 29-Jun-19 09:29
Re: Evidence for a creator 181 Nolondil 30-Jun-19 14:38
Re: Evidence for a creator 171 Susan Doris 30-Jun-19 15:28
Re: Evidence for a creator 171 Eddie Larry 30-Jun-19 18:12
Re: Evidence for a creator 178 Robert Jameson 01-Jul-19 01:49
Re: Evidence for a creator 199 Susan Doris 01-Jul-19 08:12
Re: Evidence for a creator 169 Robert Jameson 01-Jul-19 22:10
Re: Evidence for a creator 168 Susan Doris 02-Jul-19 05:10
Re: Evidence for a creator 200 Robert Jameson 02-Jul-19 06:06
Re: Evidence for a creator 473 Poster Boy 03-Jul-19 17:08
Re: Evidence for a creator 187 drrayeye 29-Jun-19 10:48
Re: Evidence for a creator 174 Robert Jameson 30-Jun-19 01:30
Re: Evidence for a creator 177 Susan Doris 30-Jun-19 04:52
Re: Evidence for a creator and great scientific minds 179 greengirl5 30-Jun-19 05:42
scientistic jargon misses nuances 172 drrayeye 30-Jun-19 12:33
Re: scientistic jargon misses nuances 171 Susan Doris 30-Jun-19 14:02
Re: big bang 175 Darryl Sloan 25-Jun-19 19:26
Re: big bang 168 Susan Doris 26-Jun-19 05:10
Re: The goldfish analogy 176 Eddie Larry 25-Jun-19 00:53
Re: The goldfish analogy 167 Darryl Sloan 25-Jun-19 19:36
Re: The goldfish analogy 179 drrayeye 25-Jun-19 20:13
Re: The goldfish analogy 180 Susan Doris 26-Jun-19 05:16
Re: The goldfish analogy 173 Darryl Sloan 24-Jun-19 17:48
Re: The goldfish analogy 186 Darryl Sloan 24-Jun-19 17:46
Re: The goldfish analogy 176 Susan Doris 25-Jun-19 05:26
Re: The goldfish analogy 182 Darryl Sloan 25-Jun-19 19:43
Re: The goldfish analogy 173 Susan Doris 26-Jun-19 05:25
Re: The goldfish analogy 170 Eddie Larry 26-Jun-19 21:42
Re: The goldfish analogy 184 Darryl Sloan 24-Jun-19 17:30
"self" between the eyes 178 drrayeye 24-Jun-19 23:53
Re: "self" between the eyes 171 Darryl Sloan 25-Jun-19 19:48
Re: "self" between the eyes 168 drrayeye 25-Jun-19 20:09
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 191 rulebook54 24-Jun-19 19:45
Mod Note > rulebook54 - Threaded vs. Flat View 189 Dr. Troglodyte 24-Jun-19 22:25
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 178 Susan Doris 25-Jun-19 05:39
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 176 Susan Doris 25-Jun-19 13:56
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 168 Eddie Larry 25-Jun-19 14:21
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 174 Susan Doris 25-Jun-19 15:12
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 186 Eddie Larry 25-Jun-19 16:21
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 180 Darryl Sloan 25-Jun-19 20:18
the kingdom of God is within you 179 drrayeye 25-Jun-19 20:36
Re: the kingdom of God is within you 168 Susan Doris 26-Jun-19 05:39
Re: the kingdom of God is within you 168 drrayeye 26-Jun-19 06:33
Re: the kingdom of God is within you 163 greengirl5 26-Jun-19 07:10
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 176 Eddie Larry 25-Jun-19 20:42
Me 174 greengirl5 26-Jun-19 03:08
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 175 Susan Doris 26-Jun-19 05:31
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 177 Darryl Sloan 26-Jun-19 20:20
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 179 Darryl Sloan 25-Jun-19 20:04
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 175 Eddie Larry 25-Jun-19 20:37
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 172 Darryl Sloan 26-Jun-19 20:22
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 186 Eddie Larry 26-Jun-19 20:34
Cats and dogs 171 greengirl5 27-Jun-19 23:27
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 188 Susan Doris 26-Jun-19 06:54
July coming up 166 greengirl5 26-Jun-19 07:41
Cosmic consciousness-theism! 180 greengirl5 26-Jun-19 07:50
Re: July coming up 169 Susan Doris 26-Jun-19 09:08
Re: July coming up 170 greengirl5 26-Jun-19 10:46
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 180 Darryl Sloan 26-Jun-19 20:31
love from above 188 drrayeye 26-Jun-19 23:51
Re: love from above 173 Susan Doris 27-Jun-19 07:36
Kohlberg 171 drrayeye 27-Jun-19 08:06
Re: Kohlberg 171 Susan Doris 27-Jun-19 11:04
Piaget 174 drrayeye 27-Jun-19 19:21
Re: Piaget 173 Eddie Larry 27-Jun-19 21:49
Re: Piaget 166 Susan Doris 28-Jun-19 05:23
Re: love from above 162 Darryl Sloan 30-Jun-19 18:43
No time! ? ? 168 greengirl5 30-Jun-19 23:49
Re: Welcome to Darryl Sloan our author of the month for June 2019 207 Thanos5150 27-Jun-19 05:27
It's not in the text 192 drrayeye 26-Jun-19 21:25
Re: It's not in the text 190 Susan Doris 27-Jun-19 07:41
How Suart saves his family 179 drrayeye 27-Jun-19 08:17
Re: How Suart saves his family 196 Susan Doris 27-Jun-19 11:07
No 182 drrayeye 27-Jun-19 18:21
Am I the only one? 184 greengirl5 27-Jun-19 23:53
Re: Am I the only one? 177 Susan Doris 28-Jun-19 05:33
Re: Am I the only one? 170 greengirl5 28-Jun-19 08:00
Re: It's not in the text 193 Darryl Sloan 28-Jun-19 09:08
Let's try a different approach 182 drrayeye 28-Jun-19 15:42
Re: Let's try a different approach 169 Darryl Sloan 30-Jun-19 18:58
You are a good guy! 191 greengirl5 28-Jun-19 23:51
Farewell, everyone! 196 Darryl Sloan 30-Jun-19 20:22
Re: Farewell, everyone! 175 drrayeye 30-Jun-19 23:11
lets hear it for the universe 172 jazzmumbles 01-Jul-19 00:55
Re: Farewell, everyone! 174 Eddie Larry 01-Jul-19 02:47
Re: Farewell, everyone! 183 Robert Jameson 01-Jul-19 05:55
Re: Farewell, everyone! 187 Susan Doris 01-Jul-19 08:18

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