A scientist has calculated that there’s a 67-percent chance that God exists. With the help of a 200-year-old formula normally used to calculate the occurrence of catastrophic events, physicist Stephen Unwin has come up with his remarkable conclusion.
Dr Unwin, who now works as a risk assessor in Ohio, says his theory starts from the assumption that God has a 50/50 chance of existing, and then he factors in the evidence both for and against the notion of a higher being.
In the theory, the existence of good is weighed against natural evil – earthquakes, disease and the like. The result is the statistical balance between the two.
…Dr Unwin explained that Bayes’ theorem is a general and powerful tool for assessing how probable evidence makes some hypothesis.
“It’s widely used for everything from the filtering from spam from e-mail to dating archaeological relics or doing risk assessing of systems, which is my profession. […] It doesn’t so much give you a way of creating a probability, but of modifying a probability in the light of evidence. So, you’re always left with the question: what probability do I begin with in order to modify it by the evidence. In Bayesian speak, that’s the so-called prior probability.”
“In my book “The Probability of God” in which I’ve documented this, I looked at what might be an appropriate prior, and I felt after some argument that the best way of reflecting complete a-priori ignorance on the matter is to give it 50-50 probability that God exists or doesn’t. So then, Bayes’ theorem is then used to process the various areas of evidence that are used, which I kind of lined up and then systematically went through this application process.”
I use an email filter based on the Bayes’ theorem and it is extremely effective. It does not work based on the words in an email but on the results of a formula applied to it. At work where I receive the most spam it correctly identifies every piece of spam and I have not seen a piece a spam in my regular inbox for months, it all goes to the spam folder. Now what does this have to do with the existence of God? I have no idea, but the end of the article had this extremely stupid quote.
In an e-mail to Amsterdam Forum, J.G. Bavno from Florida wrote:
“Dr Unwin says God’s existence is more a matter of statistics than theology, but is it really so simple? I disagree, he/she is or is not. I think “it” is not. We are a quirk of nature…just like anything else. I quote: ‘I dreamt I was a butterfly. I woke up and pondered, “am I a butterfly dreaming I am a person, or am I a person dreaming I am a butterfly?”‘ I think all religions are a crutch which we hold on to because of a deep-down fear.”
Or perhaps an idiot dreaming they can write intelligent emails and replies to the existence of God.
And if you are interested in using a Baysean spam filter; which I highly recommend, go here.