A Shuffled Deck of Cards is Random?

This is a false statement.

As per studies, you need to shuffle a deck of cards around 7 times to get a distribution that is truly random.

That is what he means @Ashwin_s.


I don’t think the analogy holds or has anything to do with what Shapiro is saying.
But again, that’s my complaint with pretty much every analogy people bring up.

This is pretty much what Shapiro is arguing.
He doesn’t say stochastic processes are not involved.
His point of view seems to be that the organism has built in systems that promote the emergence of adaptive mutations.
That’s a marked contrast to how I have heard many evolutionary biologists talk about the process of change.

And yet I’m aligned with the vast majority of biologists against Shapiro. Go figure.

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Why should I. I have been observing this for quite some time. Different biologists in different specialisations think differently about evolution and important terms associated with it.

My conclusion is that there is no one theory of evolution. Evolution with a capital E is more a socio-cultural phenomenon than a scientific “fact”.

If you purposefully shuffle a deck of cards 7 times would you say that the cards are not in a random order because you purposefully shuffled the deck?

He seems to ignore the point that these same mechanisms produce neutral and detrimental mutations. Outside of some very specific cases (e.g. CRISPR/Cas9), there are no known mechanisms that specifically create a beneficial mutation in direct response to an environmental cue. Instead, mutations happen throughout the genome and the beneficial changes are selected for through natural selection. What Shapiro describes is entirely within the current theory of evolution.


Maybe 12 shuffles is better.

# How Many Times Do I Have to Shuffle This Deck?


It depends on the purpose… Its also possible to purposely shuffle a deck of cards to get a non-random order… All the person has to do is shuffle only a selected part of the deck…
Such a shuffle wouldn’t be called random.

Plodding through the mathematics of that shuffle, I was reminded of the reasons why I got into computational linguistics and theology instead.

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You might learn something.

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Or I might come across the fact that experts have different opinions and some of them are wrong.

A lot of biologists disagreeing with someone like Shapiro doesn’t necessarily make him wrong.