ARCHIVE - The Heap Paradox

Archive: Sat Sep 15 00:11:04 2007
Title: The Heap Paradox
Mood: pondering
A good article on the Heap Paradox.

The Heap Paradox goes like this:
One grain of sand is not a heap.
Two grains of sand do not make a heap.
Three grains of sand do not make a heap.
...
X grains of sand do not make a heap.
Adding 1 grain of sand to X grains of sand does not make a heap.
(Some arbitrary large number of grains of sand) do not make a heap.
Therefore, 10,000 grains of sand do not make a heap.

This is important because it relates directly to a common creationist argument against evolution... Many believe that "micro evolution" can and does happen, but draw an arbitrary distinction that "macro evolution" does not happen. Whereas someone who accepts evolution sees no problem with lots and lots of "micro" changes being a "macro" change.

The micro changes are like grains of sand. If you keep adding grains of sand, eventually you will have to agree that you have a heap of sand, even if you can not determine exactly which grain of sand converted it from X grains of sand into a heap of sand.

Words to ponder...

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