Isn't this law a complete bullshit?

@Grinseed I would rather just leave all those terms of the religious followers, and only use those terms, in debates with religious believers and theists.

LOL… and we basically (for all intent and purposes) believe these things do not exist. What does exist are perfectly natural events that people ascribe to unicorns, goblins, elves (Shhhhhh whispering 'don’t say elves too loud.** DK may be listening.), fairies or demons… and of course Gods. Generally speaking, 1 time in a million, something completely natural has occurd and been ascribed to the “supernatural.” (Whatever in the hell that is.)

Okay, first of all, my apologies for being rude initially. Your untimely, all-caps laugh sounded like a taunt and the ridiculous words that you can lead a theist to knowledge, but can’t make him think is what made me explode. I believe you owe me an apology for that. According to me, you cannot lead anyone to knowledge unless the other person is willing to learn. Also, just because someone is a born atheist, doesn’t make them smarter than someone who is an ex-theist. Other than that, I think I do understand where we were going wrong. First of all, it’s not just an argument over definitions, it’s also about how the definition was deduced, and why the law is assumptive.

But whatever, you and Littlewood are considering miracle as an everyday occurrence, whereas I believe that miracles are not everyday occurrences, they are just very rare and extraordinary events.

My example of a miracle would be someone who has spent 30 years in a coma, suddenly wakes up the next day as if nothing happened. Or, imagine every doctor in a country has told a patient that death is inevitable for them within the next 3 months due to a disease or something. But that person happens to live for the next 10-20 years with no problems at all. Perhaps one day all the pain and anguish of his disease just disappears.

That’s the kind of rarity I’m referring to.

You could say that these things have 1 in a million odds of happening, but this is where my logic is separated from yours and Littlewood’s. This probability figure of “1 in a million” and another figure you gave earlier for average events per day (30,000) is what I don’t believe in. Because, as I gave you an example before, if I’m sitting in a dark room for 24 hours, without sleeping, without doing anything, just sitting and staring at the face of utter darkness, how many events would these 24 hours consist of?

I wouldn’t call a volcano eruption a miracle, because as I mentioned before, 50-70 erupt every year. It’s not rare or special. But the Pompeii city volcano erupting and devouring an entire city, ye I would call that to be a miracle, or the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, that’s a miracle. But when I say miracle, it has no supernatural meaning attached to it. Just something super extraordinary or super rare.

The reason I don’t believe in Littlewood’s law is because of the formula it uses (also demonstrated in one of my replies before).

However, if you have no problems with his formula and consider 1 in a million odds to be what a miracle is, then yes, you could be having 1 miracle per month or something like that.

So, as a conclusion:

  1. Miracles, according to me and dictionaries, are extraordinary, rare events (misinterpreted as supernatural by the religious). They do have explanations, sometimes we don’t know how they happened but that doesn’t make them divine.
  2. I don’t believe an average human is alert for 8 hours per day. That’s like saying the man goes to job at 9 am and comes back at 5, and then he’s unconscious for the rest of the day or something.
  3. I also don’t like how Littlewood selects the figure of 1% to represent miracles, and 99% as common events. I don’t know how he came to those figures and I don’t think it’s possible to find out either, unless every single event on our planet is analyzed for a certain amount of time and then perhaps a reasonable percentage can be concluded to find out how many are rare, extraordinary events and how many are common.
  4. I believe multiple events can happen at once just like at Olympics multiple games are being played. Any spectator at that time is being exposed to more than one event, where each game is an event. Or, a hospital, for example. A lot is going on there, so it’s not one event/sec, necessarily, it can be many events/sec.

So, there’s no need to argue anymore about this. Your idea and Littlewood’s idea of a miracle is different i.e. you consider them to be common, natural events whereas I consider them to be uncommon, rare but also natural events. The odds you and Littlewood think that a miracle would happen are also different from the odds I consider to be closer to the truth (but still not absolutely certain, because of too many involved factors that are involved in the calculations prior to coming to the final probability figure).

This is precisely why when you gave an example of you getting out of bed today as a miracle, and someone winning that car race whatever it was also as a miracle, I knew there’s a different problem here

I think, at the end of the day, neither of us believe in the divine nature or supernatural nature of a miracle.

However, I still don’t believe in Littlewood’s law. I’ve researched about it today as well and it all stops when it says that Littlewood assumes an average human is alert for 8 hours per day, or that 1 event happens per second or that 99% of events are uncommon. That’s precisely how he comes to the figure of average 1 miracle per month.

To me, 8 hours alertness = assumption, 1 event per second = assumption (I do understand where you explained how its not possible for there to be 0 events per second. However, according to my logic, I do believe that it’s possible for there to be more than 1 event happening per second).

And lastly, the 99% figure of common events. Why not 99.9? Or 98.9? It’s an assumption.

Perhaps I will never understand why you agree to Littlewood’s law. To me, it’s nothing but a set of assumptive figures calculated together to get an assumptive probability figure of miracles and an assumptive average figure of miracles/month.

That is exactly what it is, and has been all along.

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I read that the overall rate the spontaneous remission of disease is 1:30,000. I worked out that this far better odds than say a cure after visiting Lourdes.

The young peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous had her hallucinations of her lady at Lourdes in 1858.

In the last 160 odd years, pilgrims have numbered in many millions. Currently estimated at between 2-3 million a year.

In total the Catholic church has recognised 65 miraculous cures due to a pilgrimage to Lourdes. None involved the regrowth of missing body parts; EG arms ,legs, eyes, genitals, that kind of thing. I’d be impressed if a trans person suddenly found their preferred genitalia and fully functional reproductive organs had been installed.

Demonstrate a rare, extraordinary event. If it is an event, it is observable, measurable, and most likely explainable. Events are a bit like that. The other option is to simply say, “I don’t know.” In which case, how do you get from “I don’t know” to “It is a miracle.” Events are rare occurrences.

People spend years in a coma all the time and then wake up. Thanks to modern medicine, this is happening more and more…
Munira Abdullah (born 1959), an Emirati woman who in 2018 woke up after being in a coma for 27 years

Gary Dockery (1954–1997), an American police officer who spent over seven and a half years in a coma after being shot in the forehead.

  • Jan Grzebski, a Polish railroad worker who fell into a coma in 1988 and woke up in 2007

  • Sarah Leanne Scantlin (1966–2016), an American high-school teenager who fell into a coma in 1984 due to injuries sustained from a car accident, and woke up 20 years later in 2004.

  • Dianne Katz (born 1952/1953) South African bookkeeper who fell into a minimally conscious state after experiencing two brain aneurysms and three strokes in 2004. In November 2006, Dr. Wally Nel, a well known South African doctor who awakened many people from coma states by using a drug called [zolpidem], awakened Katz after giving her Zolpidem. The awakening was filmed and photographed with family, friends and caregivers around her. Like most coma patients awakened through zolpidem, she fell back to into a coma after 3 hours. However like most of these temporarily awakened patients with treatment they relatively quickly become permanently awakened and since or before March 2007, Katz is now able walk, talk, and eat unaided.

[Leonard Lowe (1920s-?) was an American boy who, in 1939, fell into a catatonic stupor resulting from [encephalitis lethargica] In 1969, Dr. Oliver Sacks managed to awaken him and a few other Spanish flu related catatonic patients using a medication called levodopa or L-dopa.

  • [Abdelhak Nouri](born 1997). The then 20-year-old Dutch footballer collapsed during a match. Over a year later, he emerged from a coma.

[Martin Pistorius]((born 1975). Because of a mystery illness, the South African spent three years in a [vegetative state] four in a [minimally conscious state and five unable to move anything other than his eyes ([locked-in syndrome. In 1999, he fully awakened and has since recovered to the point that he was able to become a web designer, developer, and author.

  • [Terry Wallis] (born 1964). This American man was in a coma for nearly a year after a truck accident, then a [minimally conscious state for 19 years.

  • Karolina Olsson, a Swedish woman who allegedly hibernated for 32 years

In 1991, at the age of 32, Ms. Abdulla, from the oasis city of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, suffered injuries in a road accident that left her in a state of reduced consciousness for most of the next three decades. After 27 years, she awoke last June at a clinic near Munich.

They happen, they have always happened, they will continue to happen. They are a part of life as we know it… "No miracle here. Just a rare and amazing event. … Like one in a million.)

Think about it. If a million coma patients were in a coma. How many do you imagine could be woken or will wake? Frankly, I think one in a million is … well… I just found this " Those who show no motor response have a 3% chance of making a good recovery whereas those who show flexion have a better than 15% chance ."

3%??? That is 3 coma patients out of every 100. Not even close to a miracle.

Don’t get your craw up by my tone… I am a furry little shit flinging creature that bounces from tree to tree. It’s the Internet … Take offence and express your offense, no problem there.

Apology? Well… frankly… you come off like a theist. That’s the way I see it. Magical thinking and all. “It’s a miracle!!!” My world is devoid of them. I see rare events that people call miracles. I see common explainable events people call miracles. I see un-explained events that people call miracles. I have never seen anything at all resembling an actual miracle… whatever that might be.

By the way, your example completely fits into Littlewood’s definition of a rare event. A ‘coma’ was obviously not a good example, given that the recovery rate is 3% THE PROGNOSIS OF MEDICAL COMA

Scroll down to “Depth of Coma.” 3% is the worst possible scenario.

Demonstrate? I can’t demonstrate but perhaps if you bothered to read my other examples, you would get the answer. The asteroid the size of the Chicxulub impactor (dinosaurs event) 66 million years ago. Or the volcano that devoured the Pompeii city.

And? Who said anything otherwise?

Point noted.

What the fuck is wrong with you? Apology = theist? I don’t know how you reached this point. It doesn’t matter whether this is internet or not. Behind this internet are still humans. If you’re a heartless fuck who behaves like this everywhere, I don’t care, but I do feel sorry for you.

Back this probability figure with evidence, otherwise I don’t give a fuck.

Back up that probability figure with evidence.

Yes, anyone could make up such a figure and it will fit the definition of a “rare event”. Except, I don’t give it a numerical probability because there’s no fucking way anyone can find out the numerical odds of such things happening, unless you wanna prove the objectivity behind that probability figure.

lol. You’re evaluating my example on the basis of your definition. I’m not doing that. As I said, I don’t give miracles a probability figure. I call them rare and extraordinary events (I don’t know what the odds are). If you think in terms of “one in a million odds”, everything rare will fall in that category. But you still don’t understand the problem here. HOW DO YOU COME TO THAT FIGURE OF “MILLION”?! Why not 2 million? Why not 1.5 million? What the fuck is the exact number? 1,093,032? 1,000,000?

You don’t know and you NEVER will because Littlewood himself doesn’t know shit about this. He came to that figure after assumptions.

I don’t really care about the figures in the paper. Before I waste time on reading anything that long, you need to answer the following questions:

How many countries were used to gather this 3%/15% recovery figure? Is it the worldwide recovery figure?
How many years of patient records were used?
Which hospitals were used?
How many doctors’ contributed to that journal paper?
Is it peer-reviewed?

Let’s define rare. How rare is rare? What are the odds of this rarity? Chicxulub impactor rare enough? What about death by a poisonous snake? Or, how about winning the California lotto jackpot? Or death by a shark attack?

I think this topic is bullshit. Nobody knows how rare a miracle should be. What you consider to be a rare event may not be rare for someone else.

Lol: Asteroids are zipping throgh space all over the place. Have you seen the moon? I don’t see how any planet getting hit by an asteroid is rare. Probably more rare now that the universe is spreading out but not so rare that we don’t see it happening. More common than anyone expected, hundreds a year. (Scratch that one off the list.) The miracle is that we have not been hit again… oh wait… we have…

Only the biggest in 100 years. 100 years ago there was a bigger one… I think we can scratch this one off our list.

Every example you give agrees with Littlewood.

Then you are in complete agreement with Littlewood.

Why on earth would I care about asteroids hitting other stars or planets? I’m talking about our planet. No asteroid the size of that impactor has hit us in 66 million years. The size is an important characteristic here.

So you do agree that the law is based on nothing but assumptions? Because, I remember your wording before, you said it’s based on hard facts and evidence. Huge difference!

EDIT: why did you ignore the questions I asked about the coma journal paper? And the question about how rare is rarity for you.

I don’t think you’ll get the same 3% figure when figures from all over the planet are averaged.

Those are all the same number in a zeroth order approximation.

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I don’t think 1,093,032 is a zeroth order approximation. Or is it? I thought it only counts as one if all the significant figures are zeroes.

The number I gave is very precise.

A zeroth order approximation has no significant figures (it has zero, so even the first digit isn’t significant). That is why all those numbers are the same; they have the same number of digits.

As an atheist (former theist) there is “loaded😱” language that has meaning (ie divine roots supporting its use).

We once had this conversation over the use of “spiritual”… what does that mean when an atheist uses it? Some felt the word should be taken as “awe”.

The use of “miracle” has a common understanding of divine roots. It’s usage here by theists demonstrate that. So, IMO, an atheist using this word or trying to “redefine” its common meaning is semantics.

I use unexpected, coincidence, weird (yes as in uncommon)… the way I avoid using “spiritual” to describe awe or calm/peace or even “mania”.

I still, after reading the thread and responses can see where Shermer and Littlewood muddy the water of common word usage when there are other more precise words that can be used to describe their point.

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Perhaps that is a place to look more carefully at. What has been called a miracle in … let’s say … the last year. 2020.

Top 5 Miracles of 2020…

  1. A drunk driver crashed into their building. (Who would have thought it. Out of all the buildings on the planet… a drunk driver would hit theirs. Wow! ) If events did not happen, exactly as they did happen… we would never be where we are today… Wow god moves in mysterious ways.

  2. We prayed over Lisa’s back pain and after a few months it went away! Wow! Gods love is a supernatural event. It’s a miracle…

I don’t have the patients to listen to this shit and discover the other 3 amazing miracles. Oh god! … Okay… they took a break… I will do one more…

  1. Awwww fuck… It’s a miracle that they can continue their mission of economic empowerment during the pandemic. FUCK! They went from 400 online orders to 1300 online orders. “It’s a miracle!” (So say the people in charge of defining miracles, the Theists.)

I can’t watch another 30 seconds without going apeshit. What other miracles are out there in 2020?

3 Unexplained, Present-Day Miracles

  1. A deadly form of meningitis is defeated, a mysterious diagnosis healed⁠—and many other miraculous recoveries. People today still experience miraculous recoveries and healings—the kind that just can’t be explained. Here are a few of them…

A: In July of 2013, the 12-year-old Kali Hardig visited a water park. She contracted parasitic meningitis. Even with treatment, the infection’s survival rate was less than 1%.
“It was [God’s grace] Dr. Matt Linam said in an interview with Reader’s Digest “A Miracle.”

B: Jean-Pierre Bely Jean-Pierre’s cure was deemed an official miracle by the Vatican in 2002. (oops, wrong date… fuck it… I like this miracle…) Cured of Multiple Sclorosis because he visited Lourdes, France and splashed some water on himself… fuck me… It’s a miracle.

C: Luke Burgie For six months, he wasted away. When 4-year-old Luke Burgie fell ill with a mysterious stomach virus in 1998, doctors struggled to find a diagnosis. Then, as suddenly as they had developed, Luke’s symptoms disappeared. (A Miracle!!!) Hell, I almost want to start believing in God again.

Surviving a 47-story plunge

December 7, 2007. Alcides Moreno and his younger brother Edgar were washing windows on the 47-floor luxury Solow Tower building. Their window washing platform plunged 47 stories to the ground. Alcides was rushed to a nearby hospital and induced into a coma. His brother was killed. Alcides sustained injuries to his brain, spinal column, chest, and abdomen, and had fractures to his ribs and both legs. He underwent numerous operations. And then he woke up nearly three weeks later, on Christmas Day (2007), with his wife, Rosario, at his bedside. (It’s a miracle!!! Not because I say so but because the THEISTS all agree.)

My absolute all time favorite miracle:

“I was blind and now I can see!”