# Re: Question for Sean Pitman

"On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 15:46:27 -0800 (PST), in article
<f5608fd4-4d9e-4dc4-bf6c-59a78e0de2cb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Seanpit
stated..."

On Jan 8, 6:46=A0am, TomS <TomS_mem...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 05:25:07 -0800 (PST), in article
stated..."

On Jan 8, 7:38=3DA0am, Seanpit <sean...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Jan 8, 4:26=3DA0am, "'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank" <lfl...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote=
:

How do you calculate the odds of a nonrandom event, =3DA0Sean?

Some people are exceptionally dense. =3DA0I just explained to you, Len=
ny,
that the odds I'm calculating are the odds of a random event hitting
upon something that can then be non-randomly selected. =3DA0What do yo=
u
not understand about that? =3DA0The odds are not of a non-random event
happening. =3DA0Those odds are 100% once the target is actually found =
by
purely random chance. =3DA0So, the only real question is, what are the
odds that a target will be found in a given span of time?

<chuckle> what's amusing about seeing sean call someone else 'dense'
for not applying his version of statistics is that, if sean applied
statistics to creationism, he wouldn't be a creationist. =A0creationism
has failed 100% of the time it's been used.

but, of course, the man behind the curtain neglects to address the
failure of his own ideas...

Of course, the odds that a random event happening are completely
dependent upon the particular assignnment of probabilities.

For example, the odds that the house will win in a gambling game
are close to 100%. Even though the house takes every precaution
that it is truly random. (The house prudently makes sure that the
outcomes are random for each event, as long as they know that in
the long run, the odds strongly favor the house. Departures from
randomness can hurt the house: a crooked dealer, or a customer who
detects a pattern.)

Yes indeed. The question here is, how long does the house expect it to
take for the house to win a big, on average? In other words, how
often is a particular event expected to happen in a given span of
time. That's the question here. How long will it take, on average
for a random search to find a novel beneficial target in sequence
space given that the location of the target is not directly known?
Answering that question requires the use of some statistical analysis
- some real math.

My example was not clear.

I was giving an informal example of a random event - that the
house wins - in which the outcome is very close to certainty.

It was intended to show that "random" does not always mean
something like "every outcome is equally likely".

It can also include the case in which the outcome is a near
certainty. (I believe that even the case in which the outcome
is 100% certain, even if only one outcome is possible, can also
be random. But to mention this is only likely to raise a lot of
fuss, so I wouldn't push it.)

"How long will it take on average for a random search ...?" It
depends on what the random search is. There is no answer to the
question independent of the distribution of the variables
involved.

--
---Tom S.
"As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand."
attributed to Josh Billings

.

## Relevant Pages

• Re: Secret US Government at War With Christianity
... This beam of sound can pass through walls of a house without causing ... classified technology can be used to attack a person in his home ... incorporated into a targeting scope that can target people through ...
(alt.politics)
• Re: Howard Dean: Still Crazy After All Those Months
... 'okay' to have the government take your house if they feel like putting a hotel where your house is." ... I made no moral judgment since one ... the 4's complaining about the vote. ... No. Dr. Dean is the target of the callow Enright. ...
(rec.sport.football.college)
• Re: Question for Sean Pitman
... odds that a target will be found in a given span of time? ... Even though the house takes every precaution ... Show us itsd corresponding genetic sequence in chimps. ... Use all the real math you like to demonstrate why one sequence coulod ...
(talk.origins)
• Re: police target bad driving
... They don't target anything. ... Someone broke into our house on Monday. ... The reason the police can't be bothered is that most of the burglars, ... about having things like road tax either. ...
(uk.transport)
• Re: Question for Sean Pitman
... Some people are exceptionally dense. ... statistics to creationism, ... the odds that a random event happening are completely ... the odds that the house will win in a gambling game ...
(talk.origins)