“God is imaginary”? Really? Part 41: Flip a coin

Uh! Sometimes I wish people would just say everything that they have to say in one place, because it often seems like they just end up repeating themselves, such as Marshall Brain does at his website “God is imaginary” in proof 41, which is titled, “Flip a coin.”

Now, let’s look at a big quotation from this “proof”:

If you are a Christian who believes in the power of prayer, here is a very simple experiment that will show you something very interesting about your faith.

Take a coin out of your pocket. Now pray sincerely to Ra:

    Dear Ra, almighty sun god, I am going to flip this ordinary coin 50 times, and I am asking you to cause it to land heads-side-up all 50 times. In Ra’s name I pray, Amen.

Now flip the coin. Chances are that you won’t get past the fifth or sixth flip and the coin will land tails.What does this mean? Most people would look at this data and conclude that Ra is imaginary. We prayed to Ra, and Ra did nothing. We can prove that Ra is imaginary by using statistical analysis. If we flip the coin thousands of times, praying to Ra each time, we will find that the coin lands heads or tails in exact correlation with the normal laws of probability. Ra has absolutely no effect on the coin no matter how much we pray.

Even if we find a thousand of Ra’s most faithful believers and ask them to do the praying/flipping, the results will be the same.

From there, he attempts to direct this onto those who believe in the God of the Bible, but as I have said, here and here and here, there are certain issues where Mr. Brain just creates a straw man and sets it fully ablaze, and this is just another one.

“Tests” like these are ridiculous, and pointless, because they prove nothing. Mr. Brain obviously has never spent a lot of time flipping coins. Boredom has driven me to do certain tests as these, and I’ve found out something unique: one can defeat this test by doing what I call “front-loading”. If you flip a coin on a particular face, heads or tails, that face rarely ever fails to come up in the flip. It’s a remarkable feat of the coin. If you flip the coin with heads up, by my count it will come up heads, and the same with tails: it’s a rather amazing trick, therefore pointless, so this “proof” fails to prove its point.

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