Posted: Dec 20, 2018 2:04 pm
by TopCat
Hermit wrote:Nobody has managed to explain to me by what criterion we can determine the point at which something becomes so unlikely that it could not possibly have occurred without the intercession of a supernatural entity. Until then an (un)likelihood, no matter how great or small the odds, will always remain just that - an (un)likelihood.

If you won the lottery, I wouldn't put it down to anything other than excellent luck.

But if you predicted the lottery numbers, and they came up, and then you showed that you could do it reliably, then we would be justified in suspecting that something non-random was going on.

Obviously if that was the case, it wouldn't follow that Goddidit, nor that you had an open psychic window into the future, and it would probably be fairly easy to sleuth out how you'd managed to knobble the lottery machine.

But if someone started reliably and instantaneously restoring amputated limbs, that would be a different matter and it would be ridiculous to just write it off as "unlikely but so what".

Clearly there would be something Going On (TM) which would warrant investigation.

Again, it wouldn't follow that Goddidit. As I've opined elsewhere I think it would be more likely (whatever that means) that it was super-advanced benevolent aliens that had just arrived on the scene, than the god of the goat-roasters, who has been singularly rubbish at regrowing limbs ever since he was invented.

But unlike the amazing ricocheting rock, I don't believe there's anyone here for whom the supreme unlikelihood of the regrowing limbs would be worthy of no more than applause.