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Hi. I've made a few posts here and there, but have mostly been lurking lately.

I know that the student would be studying a related field; that was not the point. I as a hypothetical viewer would not care what the grad student was studying, exactly, I would care that he was only a 20-year old graduate student still studying at a university (that I would assume to be populated with liberal professors).

"Winners don't win by playing dumb."

And that is why I don't get this proposal. It is assumed that this college student would absolutely destroy the creationist debater and persuade the open-minded and objective audience through sheer, well, persuasiveness. But the audience, unless already completely in favor of evolution, is at least sympathetic to the creationist and interested in their views. This proposal would signal that this experienced debater and high-status leader of a movement is no more than a wet-behind-the-ears, unexperienced student. Doubting listeners would dismiss this fact out of hand and a priori; they will think it condescending to send someone like that to debate someone like this, which it is, to the creationist but especially to the audience. They will then attach less weight to any arguments, however persuasive, the student would make.

Biasing your audience against you before the debate has even started is not a viable tactic.

Okay, but he's clearly young. I don't see how sending a low-status person to debate a high-status person could ever convince the adherents of the high-status person.

So I've turned on the tv to watch a debate on evolution and creationism on CNN (or Fox News). The creationists have sent an older, respectable-looking gentleman in a suit, bible in hand. The evolutionists have sent a scrappy-looking college kid in jeans, barely out of his diapers and studying something fancy-shmancy at the University of Liberal Professors, Berkeley.

A priori, whose side will I be on?

How many people will think: "Is this the best guy the evolutionists have to offer?"

As previous comments have said, it would be possible to sell the 15% chance for anything up to $150k. Once people realise that the 15% chance is a liquid asset, I'm sure many will change their mind and take that instead of the $500.

What does this mean? If the 15% chance is made liquid, that removes nearly all of the risk of taking that chance. This leads me to believe that people pick the $500 because they are, quite simply, (extremely) risk-averse. Other explanations (diminishing marginal utility of money, the $1 million actually having negative utility, etc.) are either wrong, or they are not a large factor in the decision-making process.

yeah, what he said, except that i couldn't find the words to explain it in English.

They emphasize the legs and the thighs, and create a more "female" body posture.

What a fascinating case of parallel evolution: As the cicada has a life cycle of 17 years (a prime number) to avoid predators with shorter life cycles, so too does the common or garden nerd choose clothes that are fashionable only once every 17 years, to minimize overlap with other, dangerous fashions.

"someone who's never heard of X (in this case the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and the anthropic principle) isn't going to have a clue what the hell you're talking about."

Yeah, that must be why I didn't understand anything. But I got the tolkien reference!

Indeed. As a consequence, once you can narrow the answer down to two or three choices, you're always better off guessing.

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