love and heretics

It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness

Possibility vs Probability

This morning my son noticed a teddy bear that is hung behind the bed, keeps …coming half out.

He wanted to know why. He wondered (jokingly) if the teddy bear was coming to life when we weren’t

looking,and edging out of his spot. I said that is a possibility, to which he dropped open his mouth…:D

Then I asked him to think of as many other possibilities as he could to explain the phenomena.

We got….

*the bear is indeed coming to life (which raises lots of other questions like…why is he just moving a

couple of inches when performing such a masterful feat! :D)

*while wrestling on the bed, the bed bumps up away from the wall, and the teddy bear might slip a bit

*someone could be moving the bear without him seeing it.

*someone could be moving the bear on purpose to play a joke on him to make him THINK the teddy bear was

coming to life 😀

*aliens could be coming during the night and “borrowing” the teddy bear because they didn’t have one of their own…

*the teddy bear didn’t move at all, the memory of where the bear was thought to be could be incorrect.

After having our fun, I asked which possibility was the most plausible possibility? Though he enjoyed

number one, (and the others..) he readily admitted number two.

I realized this was a perfect example of possibility vs probability.

We as humans can indeed realize possibilities that are not probabilities, and we can use reason and

critical thinking skills to base our conclusions off of the probabilities.

Because the other possibilities cannot be disproved does not make them “acceptable” to base a belief

system off of, or accepts as TRUTH.

And there are most certainly differing levels of possibility which lead further on the scale to

probability.

just some pondering thoughts…

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7 Comments

  1. Does your son believe in Santa Claus?

    • ouch. short answer -yes. There is a much larger answer if interested. 😉

  2. This is a great object lesson to work through with your child!

    I often find myself wishing it was easier to calculate probabilities in life (many lately have made some bold claims about how probable/improbable an event would be).

    • Thanks! I am learning with my children. 🙂 I too wish it was easier to calculate probabilities in life!

  3. It’s ok to have Santa as a youth, IMO. It’s when you finally tell them, Santa and the Tooth Fairy are fake but Jesus is real. Then the trust is gone.

  4. This is a good example of possibility vs. probability

  5. Great post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I am inspired! Extremely useful information specifically the final section 🙂 I care for such info much. I used to be seeking this certain info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

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