Evolution explained with Dice.

I like this illustration, and will use this. I will probably use a hundred of dice when I tell it. That will make it seem more astounding I think. I have played dice games in the past where you hold a handful. Occasionally you will roll all ones or sixes or whatever. So I think more dice works better for illustration purposes. Am I wrong? Tell me what you think is a good number of dice.

http://tunartphoto.com/understanding-evolution-with-a-handful-of-dice/

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ricky

    I think you should do it with 666 dice. That might even start the rapture/tribultion! Great “object lesson” as we call ’em in Sunday School back in the Baptist church i grew up in.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thedisillusionist adisillusionist

    I love the 666 dice idea, but it may distract believers. Ricky you have my sense of humor.

  • archaeopteryx1

    Be prepared to have Einstein thrown in your face:

    “God does not play dice with the universe.”

    — Albert Einstein —

    Which, of course, you can counter with:

    “I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

    — Albert Einstein —

    Personally, I have my own favorite —

    Only two things are eternal, the universe and human stupidity. I am not certain about the universe.

    — Albert Einstein —

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thedisillusionist adisillusionist

    excellent!

  • http://www.thesentientpuddle.com Shane Fletcher

    100 is a reasonable number to sort of illustrate the point. But I don’t think it’s the best analogy because getting all sixes is some kind of end goal that the rolls are aimed at and nothing is achieved until all the die show a 6. Evolution is a cumulative process with advantages being shown along the way. So I offer a story about using 6 regular dice that need to show the numbers 1 thru 6. As you collect the numbers when they are thrown you get useful things shown on the dice. 3 & 6 are a mathematical progression. Odd or even numbers show a pattern. 1,2,3&5 are all prime numbers. These things can be built on until you have the sequence 1 thru 6. And if your audience has a gaming background, using 8,10,12 or 20 sided die can offer more useful intermediaries on the way to having a sequence up to 20 numbers long.

    Cheers

    Shane

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thedisillusionist adisillusionist

    I like the way you think and your method may be more accurate but my concern would be that method is more complicated to follow. Most people aren’t good at math. I see several problems with the dice illustration but I like the simple principle behind it. I also think that is why the originator probably used a handful of dice instead of 100. I do think it can be as simple but represent much bigger numbers with more dice. 100 seemed a nice round number. I think any 3 digit number set of dice seem the same for illustration purposes.

    In the end, it probably doesn’t mean much either way, especially considering the crowd it would be aimed at is set to reject it in any form.

    You reference math and multi sided dice. I bet you were one of those “Evil” Dungeons & Dragon players back in the day. My pastor, mom, youth pastor, and church camp director warned me about you.

  • http://www.thesentientpuddle.com Shane Fletcher

    You certainly have my number. :-)

  • http://decensatheus.wordpress.com tomdidymus

    An analogy that may be a bit closer to demonstrating natural selection (the process which “selecting the sixes” emulates) would be to draw regions on a large sheet of paper, labeled with a number, and leave dice in a region that corresponds to their number. The analogy to fitness and selective pressure might be a bit more clear.

    It’s also more labour-intensive, but if this is a thought experiment, what’s a bit of extra imaginary labour?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thedisillusionist adisillusionist

    I like it.