Isn't this law a complete bullshit?

How does one go about proving something is a miracle? Clearly, low odds are not enough, as events with even lower odds than one in a million happen all the time. Also, you cannot prove that there is no natural explanation for the event, as that would be proving a negative. Thus, you are restricted to ruling out possible known natural explanations, and at the same time hold open the possibility for other natural explanations (as yet unknown effects, or an explanation that one just didn’t imagine then and there). Even then the strongest conclusion you can draw is that it cannot be explained by any of the natural effects we thought of…yet.

I did that and so did Littlewood. READ THE FRIGGING LINK. Littlewoods definition of Miracle is based on HARD FACTS AND EVIDENCE.

Lets, try this another way: You can’t seem to understand what Littlewoods is saying and you now claim it has nothing to do with the definition of miracle.

List the Assumption you think Littlewood is making: All you have done is assert he is making an assumption. What assumption? He defines miracle, and gives it a completely acceptable social definition. He then demonstrates that miracles are happening all over the place all the time based on facts and evidence. Where is the assumption?

Jesus fucking christ, copy paste where I’ve written these words, “it has nothing to do with the definition of miracle”.

Paste it!

Okay, that’s the joke of the day for me.

Either you’re pretending to be blind or well, you’re as you say, too “pigheaded”.

Regardless, I won’t be replying here anymore. I’ve proven my point, and if you can’t see where I’ve done, perhaps you need to read all my replies again.

I did not expect you to be this slow-witted. Law based on HARD facts, evidence, I’m only making assertions?

It’s also amazing how you’re so great at ignoring everyone else’s replies here who are also astonished by the dumb logic of Littlewood.

No, you did not do that. All you did is copy paste from the blog, Brain in Labor. And, all Littlewood did is make an imaginary formula based on assumptions, both of which I’ve already demonstrated in my previous replies.

The truth is that you’re so fucking hellbent on trying to disprove me that you’re ignoring everything that anyone is saying here. You’re the only guy who’s in support of this dead mathematician’s fake law of miracles.

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So Typical!!! You can lead a theist to knowledge… but you can’t make them think!

And now I’m a theist. Lmao.

Dude, you’re too drunk. Get your brain out of your fucking arse, mate.

By the way, I must praise your ability to cherry-pick from my replies and ignore everything else that I write, including how Littlewood is completely wrong.

You’re biased as fuck. Or perhaps too old to understand a shit.

Uh :unamused: monkey man :monkey:… you’ve better check the banana :banana: bunch. They’ve fermented and your mind is off.

EDITED TO ADD: but you did link a video about intelligence without brains :brain: (I’m going to have to watch!). pats on head

It does not matter if he is wrong or not. He has identified clearly what he is talking about. As I said before, all you are arguing about is his definition of miracle. He has used a commonly accepted definition to make his point. It clearly fits within the dictionary definition. Why are you so stuck?

"Littlewood’s Law states that based on the theory of large number, when occurrence of events is large enough, unrelated events will intersect. In terms of miracles, this means that miracles happen at a rate of roughly once per month. It is based on the (Very Reasonable Assumption) that a human will experience one event per second, and eight hours of alertness per day, in thirty-five days a person will experience 1,008,000 events. Littlewood defines that for an event to be exceptional as miracle, it has to be one in a million.

Human beings seek to understanding things in the universe around us. We don’t realize that miraculous happenings occur every second of every day. (which, according to Littlewood’s Law, have a one in a million chance of happening) or that they are actually quite common events. (Pick your Miracle, in any evangelic churhc on any Sunday someone is talking about a miracle that happened to them.) Yet, according to Littlewood’s law, one million events occur in one month and it is a really a tiny figure in comparison to the human lifetime. People are experiencing miracles all the time, all over the planet. They are common events that occur in our lives all the time. They are factual, measurable, and even often explainable.

Where are you having a problem?

Littlewood’s and Shermer’s comments on that topic are just hand-waving; a zeroth order approximation. I don’t understand the controversy.

Since Littlewood define it as such, then we can call any event that conforms to these criteria a Littlewood-miracle (LM). Since a LM is defined as something that happens on the average at most once a month, per person. Multiply that up by 7E9 (7 billion for USians, 7 milliard for long scale users), this means that we have up to 12*7e9=8.4e10 (84 billion/84 milliard) “miracles” every year, or rougly 230 million experienced “miracles” per day or 2663 per second. Note that this is an upper estimate, as several people might experience the same LM, and not all of them might percieve them as such. In any case, the definition makes no sense to me, as miracles are supposed to be rare and exceptional, not common everyday occurrences.

In conclusion, the definition of a Littlewood-miracle is way too liberal, and allows in practice for “miracles” to be everyday occurences when viewed over the population as a whole.

Still, all that is being argued is a definition of Miracle. As defined, it is clear what littlewood is talking about. (Natural Events Occur). People call them miracles. If you are using some other definition, you are not discussing what Littlewood has described.

EXACTLY! So if everyday occurances are not how you are defining miracles, you are not talking about the same thing. It is an argument over “definitions.”

I happen to agree with Littlewood. Miracles are common occurances that people happen to notice and simply call. “miracles.” Most are eventually explained and those that are not explained, well… we just don’t know.

Mother Therisa had a magical glow about her because of some new Kodak film. Her magical healing occured even though medical treatment was occuring at the same time. The Catholic Church had an agenda and WaLa - a miracle.

Miracles are only rare and exceptional because the religious see them that way or insist that they are rare and exceptional. I’ve not seen anything rare or exceptional that has ever been demonstrated to be rare of exceptional. “Unexplained” does not qualify as rare or exceptional. It only qualifies as “I don’t know.” I have never seen evidence for an actual miracle.

This is standard issue quack practice. A patient is receiving medical treatment for some condition, but consults at the same time a quack of some sort (homeopath, acupuncturist, aura massager, tibetan singing bowl healing, etc). When the patient recovers, who gets credited? The quack. If the patient dies, who gets the blame? The doctors.


@Get_off_my_lawn Theists use a similar argument with respect to their God: when something good happens, they give all praise and glory to their God; but when something bad happens, they rationalize it by saying “God works in mysterious ways”.

Sounds awfully similar to me.

OK thanks.

Another forum? I don’t belong to another forum right now. Recently I was on a very good public Mac Forum. IE they don’t tell you your computer is shit and that you need to spend a lot of money, or better still, buy a new iMac.

—I had done a clean install and kind-of fucked it up. There was this nice bloke who tried to help me. He ran out of patience and decided I’m too ignorant to understand. I then looked around on Youtube and found a great tutorial which showed me all I needed to know ,in 5 minutes. I’m beginning to suspect that perhaps I’m not quite so ignorant after all.

Over about 20 years, I’ve belonged to over a dozen forums, usually atheist. Was even a moderator for about 5 minutes. (will never do that again) The longest I’ve lasted on a forum has been 18 months. I learned long ago not to leave in huff, but to just leave.

I am starting to wonder if the whole notion of miracles should just be done away with altogether, since it seem so controversial and problematic?

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EXACTLY: "Nearly all miracles are common events that occur one in a million (Unless it is getting a Royal Flush in poker, then the rate is 1 in 649,740 but if the casino has a jackpot, it’s still a miracle.) This is the exact point being made by Littlewood’s Law.

LOL… Another thread. "I stand corrected … sigh … again.

And lets not forget the miracle cures of the Evangelic side show preachers who cure every ailment known to man in addition to causing arms and legs to grow. Miracles are occurring all around us, every second of every day, and all we need do is notice them and call them out. This is Littlewood’s point. (Nothing special about so called miracles, they are almost always naturally explained, natural events.) When they are not explained, all you have is “I don’t know.”

Oh dear. I’m so glad it’s not just me.

This is what happens when you get old, Cranky. It is an unfortunate side effect of growing old. Sooner or later, I will be where you are - old and cranky. :joy:

English words like “miracle” and “faith” and “belief” have long been sequestered for use by Christian religion to assist theists in expressing their understanding of the god they believe exists. There are equivalent words in French (miracle), German (Wunder), Italian (miracolo), Greek (thavma), Spanish (milagro), etc, that the churches have also adopted and pressed into use in similar fashion as the English to help describe the ‘ineffable’ actions of their supernatural god in the temporal world.
When atheists loosely use such words that have specialised meaning for theists all sorts of confused misunderstandings arise which have people arguing in meaningless circles.
I avoid using the word “faith” as it drips with spirtual connotations. I have surrendered its use to bible bashers. I prefer “trust” over “belief” and the clumsy “highly improbable event” over the irksome “miracle”.
For me, “miracle” is a word of fiction and belongs in the same category as “magic”, “spells”, “unicorn”, “goblins”, “elves”, “fairies” and “demons”.