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  1. #1
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    A million Monkeys

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namast


    There has been thoughts regarding randomness in the universe...If left to random selection ( so they say) any possible outcome could happen.

    One example often given is to take a million monkeys with a million type-writers and let them bang on it for a million years, and there's the possibility that via randomness, they will produce a great work - say Moby Dick or The Grapes of Wrath. It suggests given enough time and enough 'tries at it' the universe could produce living beings and even assemble them in a way that they could be aware of themselves.
    I always found it curious that this was generally accepted, yet not proven.

    So, today as I read a science article in January's Astronomy Magazine, Bob Berman put this notion into perspective for me, so I thought I would pass on the idea for your consideration

    This monkey business
    Take a million monkeys with a million type-writers and let them bang on it for a million years. Let's see the probability of them even producing the 1st sentence found in Moby Dick i.e. Call me Ishmael. There are 16 characters here ( counting the spaces and the period). Let's take a look at the type-writer that has 58 keys. How many possible keys can the band of monkeys hit to get this sentence ? Well, it is 58 keys to the 16th power ( 58^16th) possible key strokes. Remember we're looking for these 16 characters in Call me Ishmael out of the 58 that are available on the key board. That number = 16.4 trillion quad trillion attempts.
    But we have a huge work force ( a million moneys) working 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, banging on these keys.

    What is the chance, say a 50-50 probability that just one monkey will get this first sentence correctly typed. Well it would take 2,100 trillion years for this to occur. To just get 16 characters in order. What of the whole book ? Moby Dick has 212,758 words in it.

    You have to ask , does this pass the common sense test on what seems reasonable for randomess and a meaningful outcome ? For me it does not. Pure randomness is very attractive but when it comes to purposeful outcomes different methods of thinking and analysis are needed. But of what ? Of awareness itself.

    The notion that a bunch of atoms over long periods of time will generate the opportunity to produce consciousness and awareness let alone moving beings is staggering. For me and my thinking it is beyond the notion of randomness.

    The ~position~ for me is this universe is innately intelligent and creative... it loves to create, therefore it is purposeful. I am of the opinion that only one notion is needed for the whole universe to collect itself around to produce environments and conditions for this notion to be fulfilled. What is that one notion ?

    Some say expansion ( just to expand, evolve) , others say the ability (for the universe) to experience itself. Others say it is just play, and the ablity for the universe to exert its freedom ( svatantrya).

    Within this phenomenon of experience-expansion the human plays its part as the universe is efficient and nothing is created that does not play a role in this notion it wishes to unfold.



    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #2
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    Re: A million Monkeys

    Namaste Yajvan,

    First, a quote from one of my favorite novels:

    ""Ford!" he said, "there's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out.""

    --Arthur Dent, in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams



    I certainly agree with you on your points, Yajvan, but there's something I want to add. People often take this time to bring up the age-old creationism vs. evolution argument...and what I hope to be able to say is that it is my belief that God creating the universe and the theory of evolution are not mutually exclusive. There are too many people who think it is, and that is what has led to some of the strife between science and religion today. I think that evolution happens, definitely - look at the antibiotic resistant bacteria that sometimes rear their ugly heads in hospitals - but who's to say God doesn't control said evolution? It's definitely plausible.

    There are also some people who try to use the infinite random probability of the universe to justify their put-downs of their fellow humans. They use it to somehow make humanity as a whole appear evil and worthless - that since all we've done to the planet is ruin it, that there is no point to our existence. To that, I say: the universe doesn't work like that...if all we're supposed to be is evil, then why do we exist at all? Everything is supposed to have a role and place in the universe, evolution has proved that through species finding a niche and surviving in it. If humanity has no good role, by those same rules we shouldn't exist. There has to be a purpose for us other than to destroy the planet. Whether or not we'll realize that purpose is another story...
    Last edited by Webimpulse; 22 December 2012 at 06:04 PM. Reason: added a smiley

  3. #3
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    Re: A million Monkeys

    Yajvan, it might be important for us to note that given an infinite amount of time, something can only happen if it's possible in the first place. For example, even if you had an infinite amount of time, you wouldn't end up with a spherical triangle. Neither would you have matter spontaneously disappearing, or whatever else. So there's a limit to how far people can take these arguments.

    Strangely, I usually hear them used on atheist websites as evidence that God can't exist. As it usually goes: if God has existed forever, then he could destroy himself, and ultimately would do so. But since these atheist arguments are usually made against Christianity, I don't bother to object.

    Quote Originally Posted by Webimpulse View Post
    I certainly agree with you on your points, Yajvan, but there's something I want to add. People often take this time to bring up the age-old creationism vs. evolution argument...and what I hope to be able to say is that it is my belief that God creating the universe and the theory of evolution are not mutually exclusive. There are too many people who think it is, and that is what has led to some of the strife between science and religion today. I think that evolution happens, definitely - look at the antibiotic resistant bacteria that sometimes rear their ugly heads in hospitals - but who's to say God doesn't control said evolution? It's definitely plausible.
    Along the lines of my last comment, it's also important to note that these age old debates are always in reference to Christian creationism. I wonder why we never see any Hindu takes on science vs. religion. Maybe it has something to do with the lack of conflict between Hinduism and science, and the fact that we don't take our Scriptures and stories literally...

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    Re: A million Monkeys

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    Quote Originally Posted by sanjaya View Post
    Yajvan, it might be important for us to note that given an infinite amount of time, something can only happen if it's possible in the first place. ...
    Yes, I see your point. Is it also a difference between what is possible, but not probable ?

    Because our time frame as a human society is limited, what we think may be possible is limited by the amount of time ~civilization~ has been intact ? Say 1,000 years ago Mr. X says to Mr. Y, I think some day it will be possible to talk to some one on the other side of the earth in real time.
    Mr. Y says, how can this be, that is completely impossible. Yet today it is done every minute of the day.
    From our vantage point it is not far to think this was possible because we use the devices, but in that time period, it was neither possible or probable.

    Now enter the monkey's. What realm are we thinking in ? It may be possible in a billion-zillion years, but the probability is so small that is crosses into impossible.

    What is your assessment on this view point ? I am offering just a way of thinking about the situation without trying to advance an idea one way or the other. I'd be interested in your views.

    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  5. #5

    Re: A million Monkeys

    हरिः ओम्


    Namaste,


    What a wonderful thought, thank you for posting. If I might add a little from my perspective to your thread.

    I love to think on this in terms of the internal elements or Tatvas; breaking them down in my thought to
    prakṛti pushing against puruṣa.
    Our perception and subjective experience being on the infinite boundary between the two. Thus here lies also the field of possibilities of
    which we currently speak.

    Scientific thought tends towards the
    negation of the existence of puruṣa, how strange given that our current understanding of the
    universe is so incomplete.
    In the Cartesian world or mind, randomness expands with no constraints it is in all effect random. Yet it is
    more logical for us to suppose that the countering weight, or will, of
    puruṣa pushes back upon prakṛti adding the order and definition
    to the infinite chaos; now, this seems to me like a logical assumption, when we consider that 80% of the Universe is not visible, and is
    today accounted for solely by the name, "black matter".

    So randomness can only exist if no opposing force or will is exerted, we never see this in nature. It is also of interest to note that:
    computers are incapable of generating random numbers or forms, this is, as so far as we have been able; not possible.

    leading me to conclude, that we are surrounded by a force, a will; by conciousness ...



    praṇāma

    mana


    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Last edited by Mana; 06 January 2013 at 05:26 AM.

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