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View Full Version : University Experiment Proves Monkeys Cannot Write Shakespeare



Tycho
10-28-2007, 08:58 PM
I think the credit for this article goes to someone else on this site, but I can't remember who. It's so like a link JP would come up with though ;)

Anyway here's the link to the scientific study results ;) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/3013959.stm)

While monkeys given typewriters and laptops etc. could not create plays in the likes of Shakespeare, it's rumored that the studios have contracted with them to handle Star Wars Episode 7 and Transformers 2.

El Chuxter
10-28-2007, 09:35 PM
This is bad science.

The claim is that an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of keyboards would eventually produce the works of Shakespeare. Admittedly, you cannot test anything involving infinity. However, since the monkeys did not type for any extended period of time, spending most of their time smashing the machine, the experiment isn't valid.

I know it's a nitpick, but the monkeys have to actually be typing first before this can be called an accurate test.

JediTricks
10-28-2007, 09:51 PM
The question is, would monkeys type for an infinite amount of time? Apparently not.

Rocketboy
10-28-2007, 11:04 PM
Of course they can't write Shakespeare!
But here is a list of things monkeys/chimps can do (with video evidence):

Play Pac-Man (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7ttRaXlnfs)

Karate (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MZeiBq3Irw)

Ride a bike (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzm6Hn3RfhE)

ROCK! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh6sSExynS4)

Become secret agents and solve crimes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm3CtlvMA90)

Use the Force (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlwQQsDYrpQ)

El Chuxter
10-28-2007, 11:18 PM
The question is, would monkeys type for an infinite amount of time? Apparently not.

And that's why it's a hypothetical and can never be absolutely proven or disproven with any certainty.

I think we can agree that, no matter what the dude says, it was indeed a waste of money.

JimJamBonds
10-29-2007, 12:11 AM
It was the best of times it was the blurst of times.

I already knew that from watching The Simpsons.

Tycho
10-29-2007, 12:48 AM
Use the Force (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlwQQsDYrpQ)


I think this is the movie Stillakid saw ;)

Mad Slanted Powers
10-29-2007, 01:42 AM
I think this is the movie Stillakid saw ;)I liked one of the comments someone left - "This is the High Def version of star wars.If you're high and def, it probably rocks".

It was funny though. Chimps rule.

JediTricks
10-29-2007, 02:17 PM
Of course they can't write Shakespeare!
But here is a list of things monkeys/chimps can do (with video evidence):

Play Pac-Man (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7ttRaXlnfs)That one is totally BS, you can see the joystick movements aren't corresponding to Pac-Man's movements.

Rocketboy
10-29-2007, 04:18 PM
Next you're gonna tell me they don't really talk in the last two clips either.

bigbarada
10-29-2007, 04:36 PM
I've never really understood what this little hypothetical scenario was supposed to prove.

Even if you did manage to find one monkey who lived forever, the last thing you would want to do is lock him in a room with a typewriter. Then there's the matter of who is exactly maintaining these typewriters. Someone has to make sure the moving parts are well functioning, someone needs to change out the infinite number of ink ribbons and paper that will surely be needed. How many rainforests are going to have to be ground into paper over the millions and billions of years that this experiment is to take place?

Not only is it completely outside the realm of reality, but even if they did manage to type up the completed works of Shakespeare, how would they know? Supposedly, this is to show how random events can lead to non-random results; but what happens with all these manuscripts? Even if they did manage to create a single intelligible sentence, you would still need an intelligence to recognize and interpret that sentence.

Tycho
10-29-2007, 06:24 PM
On a side note, I've offered to let my cats drive my SUV. I've provided them with the keys, a full tank of gas, and everything, but they didn't drive anywhere.

Still, they've gotten into less accidents than Britney Spears. This might prove that they are better drivers.

bigbarada
10-29-2007, 07:25 PM
On a side note, I've offered to let my cats drive my SUV. I've provided them with the keys, a full tank of gas, and everything, but they didn't drive anywhere.

Still, they've gotten into less accidents than Britney Spears. This might prove that they are better drivers.

:D So if you had an infinite number of cats driving an infinite number of SUVs, how many miles would they travel on an infinite amount of fuel? The answer is 0, because every square foot of the planet Earth would be filled with either cat or SUV and no one would be able to move an inch.lol

El Chuxter
10-29-2007, 07:32 PM
If you had an infinite number of Bob Sagets telling an infinite number of jokes to an infinite number of audience members, how long until someone laughs?

bigbarada
10-29-2007, 07:48 PM
If you had an infinite number of Bob Sagets telling an infinite number of jokes to an infinite number of audience members, how long until someone laughs?

Laughing at Bob Saget's jokes? Or Bob Saget himself? If it's the latter, then not long at all.:D

Mad Slanted Powers
10-29-2007, 07:57 PM
On a side note, I've offered to let my cats drive my SUV. I've provided them with the keys, a full tank of gas, and everything, but they didn't drive anywhere.Have we learned nothing from TOONCES!

Certainly, if the chimps typed long enough, they'd at least have an anagram version of Shakespeare. We could measure it by having a program count the number of each letter in the document and compare it to the actual quantities in Shakespeare.

2-1B
10-29-2007, 07:58 PM
It would work eventually if the monkey sat there long enough...humans evolved from monkeys so in due time that mokey will evolve into an author. :)

El Chuxter
10-29-2007, 08:05 PM
We should be so lucky.

BTW, if anyone laughs at Kathy Griffin, the entire space-time continuum breaks down into nothingness. Should this occur, you would be advised not to open the door in the likely event Mongol hordes riding velociraptors with jetpacks knock on your door.

LusiferSam
10-29-2007, 09:27 PM
I agree with El Chux, this is just bad science. And waste of money. But on the up side's the UK's money.

Any way, a better way to do the experiment is with a random number generator. You take out the randomness monkey behavior, which the saying is not about and what really got tested in this case, and leave the randomness that you want.

TeeEye7
10-29-2007, 09:40 PM
If you had an infinite number of Bob Sagets telling an infinite number of jokes to an infinite number of audience members, how long until someone laughs?

Cue the crickets, please. :yes:

JediTricks
10-31-2007, 04:30 AM
If you had an infinite number of Bob Sagets telling an infinite number of jokes to an infinite number of audience members, how long until someone laughs?


BTW, if anyone laughs at Kathy Griffin, the entire space-time continuum breaks down into nothingness. Should this occur, you would be advised not to open the door in the likely event Mongol hordes riding velociraptors with jetpacks knock on your door.You have bad taste in comedy, that's all I can fathom from those 2 posts. Bob Saget is one of the funniest, most under-appreciated stand-ups in history, his blue work has been hilarious since before he did Full House - that show ruined a promising career in stand up (though many stand-ups consider him one of the top guys in the industry). And Kathy Griffin's pretty funny too, sure she's a bit nichey with some of her material but she's quick-witted and can spot and draw out hilarious truths at a moment's notice.

El Chuxter
10-31-2007, 10:18 AM
Wow.

Even for a Doombot, you're more machine than man: twisted and evil.

Seriously, man, in all my life, I've known occasional people to enjoy Kathy Griffin. I've known five year olds to enjoy Bob Saget. I've never known an adult to like both.

JediTricks
11-01-2007, 08:17 PM
Go find some of Bob Saget's standup work online and then tell me he's unfunny! I'll link you in PM, none of it is clean enough to post here.