Re: The "Package Deal" Fallacy (was Religion Bashing)

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 25 Oct 1999 09:16:14 -0700 (PDT)

> >Confirming anecdotes like your $20 bill are not proof, and shouldn't be
> >relied upon. But when you try something 1000 times and it "accidentally"
> >produces the same result all 1000, it's perfectly rational to bet that it
> >will continue to happen until something changes.
> When you try something 1000 times and it "accidentally" produces the same
> result all 1000 times then it's not an "accident". No faith involved.
> You still haven't shown me where faith enters science.

Good, because I was never trying to; in fact, I was replying to someone else who was in order to show his mistake. If you're going to follow a conversation here, please try to keep up.

But to put a finer edge on the point I /was/ trying to make, it's quite possible that our 1000-trial experiment is indeed an accident. It may very well have no reason at all, and just be extraordinarily unlikely. Nevertheless, my contention is that it is rational to bet that the outcome of trial 1001 will be the same; it may even be rational to lay better odds than a strict Bayesian would if you believe that you have found a reason to suspect a general law. But making such a bet is not "faith" in any sense, just good business.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC