All of matteri's Comments + Replies

Very well, I could have phrased it in a better way. Let me try again; and let's hope I am not mistaken.

Considering that even if there is such a thing as an objective probability, it can be shown that such information is impossible to acquire (impossible to falsify); how could it be anything but religion to believe in such a thing?

See here.

I am not arguing against betting on the side that showed up in the first toss. What is interesting though is that even under those strict conditions, if you don't know the bias beforehand, you never will. Considering this; how could anyone ever argue that there are known probabilities in the world where no such strict conditions apply?

Your definition of "know" is wrong.

Conrad wrote:

ps - Ofc, knowing, or even just suspecting, the coin is rigged, on the second throw you'd best bet on a repeat of the outcome of the first.

I think it would be worthwhile to examine this conclusion - as it might seem to be an obvious one to a lot of people. Let us assume that there is a very good mechanical arm that makes a completely fair toss of the coin in the opinion of all humans so that we can talk entirely about the bias of the coin.

Let's say that the mechanism makes one toss; all you know is that the coin is biased - not how. Assume... (read more)

This seems like it is asking too much of the results of the coin tosses. Given some prior for the probability distribution of biased coins, each toss result updates the probability distribution. Given a prior probability distribution which isn't too extreme (e.g. no zeros in the distribution), after enough toss results, the posterior distribution will narrow towards the observed frequencies of heads and tails. Yes, at no point is the exact bias known. The distribution doesn't narrow to a delta function with a finite number of observations. So?
It is not necessary to know the exact bias to enact the following reasoning: "Coins can be rigged to display one face more than the other. If this coin is rigged in this way, then the face I have seen is more likely than the other to be the favored side. If the coin is not rigged in this way, it is probably fair, in which case the side I saw last time is equally likely to come up next by chance. It is therefore a better bet to expect a repeat." Key phrase: judgment under uncertainty.

And in hope of clarifying for those still confused over why the answer to the other question - "is your eldest/youngest child a boy" - is different: if you get a 'yes' to this question you eliminate the fact that having a boy and a girl could mean both that the boy was born first (B+G) and that the girl was born first (G+B). Only one of those will remain, together with B+B.

First of all; I don't see any apes or monkeys competing with us presently. Also, we are an evolved species. There have certainly been competitors along the way - perhaps said monkeys or apes and most certainly neanderthals as moshez mentioned. We've won though; that is hardly arguable.

Other simians compete with us for territory, but kind of like a team of quadriplegic children would compete in the World Cup, so it's not immediately clear that it counts as competing.

"Anger exists in Homo sapiens because angry ancestors had more kids. There's no other way it could have gotten there."

This is not entirely true - as Boris seems to have noticed. More generally; anything that purely helps survival is certainly more probable to propagate through a species. However, there are other traits that might propagate, such as any of those that are either: a) Not useful nor a burden b) A negative biproduct of something useful, without outweighing the useful

Is it relevant that humanity doesn't have competent competition? I wonder how we'd be doing if we were up against coyotes with thumbs.