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Anybody not believe in coincidence

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Given the huge amount of historical information available about so many topics in our modern age, I think the REAL curiosity would be if these sorts of alignments of data DIDN'T happen.

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17 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

 

17 hours ago, studiot said:

 

No what?

 

As I understand the rules of this forum I shouldn't have to go offsite to find out what you are saying, particularly to a page which has no less than 23 'see also' pages as well as an extensive reference base.

 

16 hours ago, Strange said:

You only need to go off site if you really don't know what "confirmation bias" is.

And I would be very disappointed if you don't. But it would explain why you posted this nonsense in the first place.

 

16 hours ago, studiot said:

 

 

Feel free to demonstrate your claim by proving that every one of the dozen to a dozen and a half statements in the article are false.

 

 

7 hours ago, Strange said:

As I didn't make any such claim (or any claim) that is a bizarre request. 

I don't think anyone has said they are all false, have they?

Yes you did. You claimed something (you usually not so vauge) that  Studiot posted is nonsense. What is nonsense? The infographic in the OP? In what way is it nonsense? Would not usefull be a better term? With the exception of entertainment purposes I probably wouldn't argue too much. Maybe usefull in studying how we react to low probability events.

John implied that Studiot is a victim of confirmation bias and you seemed to agree. I disagree and wish you and/or him would explain why it applies here. Also I don't think Studiot has made any claims yet except for saying leylines are bunk.

Studiot 

I still don't think you have made  your point. I wish you would get to it.

4 hours ago, StringJunky said:

Is there a point, or set of odds, in the absence of an apparent cause, that we have to say that something might be paranormal?

Isn't that what the strong anthropic principle is all about?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle

BTW one of the things I like about the Lincoln/Kennedy thing is almost no one draws a paranormal connection.

In contrast tell someone about Violet Constance Jessop and they may draw all sorts of amusing connections. 

Also these things hardly ever work perfectly for example Abe and John weren't really inaugurated 100 years apart it was more like 99 and 10 months.

But close enough for a fun little story.

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1 hour ago, Outrider said:

Yes you did. You claimed something (you usually not so vauge) that  Studiot posted is nonsense. What is nonsense? The infographic in the OP? In what way is it nonsense? Would not usefull be a better term? With the exception of entertainment purposes I probably wouldn't argue too much. Maybe usefull in studying how we react to low probability events.

John implied that Studiot is a victim of confirmation bias and you seemed to agree. I disagree and wish you and/or him would explain why it applies here.

I think most of those questions are answered in post #2. (Sorry if that means having to "go off site".)

Maybe cherry picking is a better description than confirmation bias, but the two are very closely related. After all, if you are looking for information to confirm an idea, then you may well cherry pick the evidence to do that (and, as in this case, just make some up as well). 

But I was really just reacting to the rather odd suggestion that someone providing a reference to the definition of (what I would expect to be) a well-known term would be characterised as "having to go off site". 

 

BTW. I don't believe that thinking that something is nonsense is a "claim" that needs to justified. It is just an opinion. Other people may find it curious or amusing or confirmation that world is run by our Lizard Overlords. Presumably Studiot found it entertaining enough to be worth posting. Shrug.

And if I find something nonsensical, what does that have to do with its truth or otherwise? I'm not sure why it implies I think any of the statements are untrue, never mind all of them. (I get the impression there may be a long-running feud between John and Studiot; maybe I just got caught in the crossfire.)

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20 hours ago, studiot said:

 

No what?

 

As I understand the rules of this forum I shouldn't have to go offsite to find out what you are saying, particularly to a page which has no less than 23 'see also' pages as well as an extensive reference base.

Am I expected to define every word and phrase that I use?

What are dictionaries for?
Do you understand the paradox that, if I make a statement here, I'm expected to be able to back it up with evidence.
But you seem to think I can't cite an article elsewhere on the web to do so.
Incidentally, I suspect there's also a bit of the Texas sharpshooter fallacy at work in the OP.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_sharpshooter_fallacy

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Some have replied to something I didn't say yet we managed a civil conversation.

Others actually replied to my words, again resulting in a civil conversation.

Two posters chose to attack the person rather than hold any sort of conversation about the words.

 

I asked a question in the title of this thread.

I apologise it appears to be missing the question mark.
Clearly my fault.

I asked my question because it seems to me that the preponderance of non-scientific posts in this forum is growing rapidly.

And too many of the originators of non-scientific threads offer the 'reasoning' along the lines of;

"It is too much of a coincidence, so that must mean intelligent design"

And all to often then revert to preaching mode.

For the record, I agree with swansont's terse point.

"Coincidences happen."

 

 

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29 minutes ago, studiot said:

I asked my question because it seems to me that the preponderance of non-scientific posts in this forum is growing rapidly.

And too many of the originators of non-scientific threads offer the 'reasoning' along the lines of;

"It is too much of a coincidence, so that must mean intelligent design"

It might have been helpful to explain the point of the thread when you created it, rather than letting people jump to (possibly wrong) conclusions.

Quote

Two posters chose to attack the person rather than hold any sort of conversation about the words.

BTW I see no evidence of anyone attacking you. Unless you think that ascribing the existence of the image you posted (and, to some extent, the behaviour you say you wanted to highlight) to the well-known psychological trait of confirmation bias is an attack on you personally. but that would be weird, so I assume that is not what you mean.

And the fact I consider the image you posted to be nonsense is not an attack on you either.

Edited by Strange

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My psychic's spirit guide told me not to believe in that sort of hokum.

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On 8/17/2017 at 6:46 AM, StringJunky said:

Is there a point, or set of odds, in the absence of an apparent cause, that we have to say that something might be paranormal?

Perhaps if it was part of an experiment. I don't think it works with just any random event that we might come across because then it just requires finding an event that has a chance of one out of the total number of all events that happen around the world of happening.

Like having everyone in the world flip a coin thirty times in a row. If you do, chances are pretty good that you will have at least one person who gets the same thing every single time.

If you ran an experiment where you had a single person flip a coin thirty times and they all came up heads, that is unlikely enough that I would have trouble believing it was random chance.

If you had every person on Earth flip a coin thirty times on reaching their tenth birthday, it would be weird if you didn't get someone who got the same thing every time at least once or twice in a given decade.

When, instead of the coin flip, you have every event in the life of every person on the plan to mine for events that coincidentally line up in any way with any event in the life of any other person on the planet, you are going to wind up finding a ton of people who randomly have a lot more weird connections than the ones that have been listed for Lincoln and Kennedy.

 

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10 minutes ago, Delta1212 said:

Perhaps if it was part of an experiment. I don't think it works with just any random event that we might come across because then it just requires finding an event that has a chance of one out of the total number of all events that happen around the world of happening.

Exactly. This is all that needs to be said, period. 

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On 8/18/2017 at 4:46 AM, studiot said:

For the record, I agree with swansont's terse point.

"Coincidences happen."

The Universe, and us are the best examples of coincidences...if things had not been exactly as they are, (universal constants) we would not be here...And even more importantly (:P) if the Sun was not approximately 400 times further away then the Moon, and if it was not approximately 400 times diametrically bigger, those lucky people in the US would not have had the awesome experience of viewing a total eclipse the other day. eg:  in the far distant future, solar eclipses will be impossible, as the Moon drifts further away from Earth and only Annular eclipses possible. 

Edited by beecee

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8 hours ago, Delta1212 said:

Perhaps if it was part of an experiment. I don't think it works with just any random event that we might come across because then it just requires finding an event that has a chance of one out of the total number of all events that happen around the world of happening.

Like having everyone in the world flip a coin thirty times in a row. If you do, chances are pretty good that you will have at least one person who gets the same thing every single time.

If you ran an experiment where you had a single person flip a coin thirty times and they all came up heads, that is unlikely enough that I would have trouble believing it was random chance.

If you had every person on Earth flip a coin thirty times on reaching their tenth birthday, it would be weird if you didn't get someone who got the same thing every time at least once or twice in a given decade.

When, instead of the coin flip, you have every event in the life of every person on the plan to mine for events that coincidentally line up in any way with any event in the life of any other person on the planet, you are going to wind up finding a ton of people who randomly have a lot more weird connections than the ones that have been listed for Lincoln and Kennedy.

 

The thought came up when I was reminded of an article, probably 30 years ago or more, The article was about roulette tables and, apparently, every result in every casino is routinely recorded. At the time, I think, the most a number had come up was 7 times in sequence. Long story short, the author calculated and argued that beyond a certain number of times - I forget how many - such a result would become a meaningful event rather than just a random result. Given that statistics is so important in science to isolate and confirm/refute things it did seem sensible to me. I should have used the word 'meaningful' rather than 'paranormal' in my last post.

Edited by StringJunky

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57 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

The thought came up when I was reminded of an article, probably 30 years ago or more, The article was about roulette tables and, apparently, every result in every casino is routinely recorded. At the time, I think, the most a number had come up was 7 times in sequence. Long story short, the author calculated and argued that beyond a certain number of times - I forget how many - such a result would become a meaningful event rather than just a random result. Given that statistics is so important in science to isolate and confirm/refute things it did seem sensible to me. I should have used the word 'meaningful' rather than 'paranormal' in my last post.

But ''meaningful'' is just an arbitrary number evaluated by humans. Of course, you would never expect to flip tails a 100 times in a row. There are occasions like that where the deviation is much higher than expected (or, in other words, where a seuqence comes up much sooner than the expected number of takes/flips where you would expect it to come up). There's nothing strange there.

The good point made by Delta is that it's different if you view an isolated, elaborate experiment or if you go out of our way to search for massive coincidences. There are countless events and sequences and it's only natural that some would seem highly unlikely. For example, there is nothing strange to me about the earth being formed exactly the way it is and yielding perfect conditions for life under the 1 to ridiculous number odds. But if you were to be an elaborate observer of the creation of another solar system, it would be practically impossible for that to happen and it would be more than meaningful if such a coincidence were to happen.

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2 hours ago, Lord Antares said:

...But ''meaningful'' is just an arbitrary number evaluated by humans....

Isn't anything? Scientists assign a confidence interval of 95% or better to give something the thumbs up. There is a probability boundary at which they decide something is likely more than chance . That author was just doing the same thing but whether he was correct or not,I don't know.

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50 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

 There is a probability boundary at which they decide something is likely more than chance . That author was just doing the same thing but whether he was correct or not,I don't know.

There's no straight answer to that, just because it is an arbitrary evaluation. Of course, there are limits to what would be considered a coincidence. Someone winning a lottery 10 times in a row will be evaluated to be a scheme or a broken system, rather than luck, which is reasonable. But which is the exact point below which it could be considered a coincidence and above which it wouldn't? Because that point is completely arbitrary and subjective, so there isn't a technical answer to your question. But in general, of course there are instances which are so unlikely that it's improbable they are just coincidences.

Also, see the second part of the post, it's very relevant to the discussion.

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35 minutes ago, Lord Antares said:

Someone winning a lottery 10 times in a row will be evaluated to be a scheme or a broken system, rather than luck, which is reasonable.

Recently, a local politician here in Tenerife has been under investigation for fraud and tax evasion. (What? How incredible. A Local Politician?) During the investigation it was revealed that he had managed to win a lottery 10 (?) years in a row. How lucky is that?

The court ruled that because this was theoretically possible, they could not charge him with anything related to it because they had no proof that he did not win, despite the odds being astronomically high against this run of luck.

(What was happening was money laundering - these lottery wins are tax-free, so if you know somebody with a winning ticket, you buy it from him with cash you want to get rid of, paying him more than the value of his win. Then you cash in your traceable and legal lottery winnings. The sheer audacity to claim that it happened 10 years in a row is the key here.)

 

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1 minute ago, DrKrettin said:

Recently, a local politician here in Tenerife has been under investigation for fraud and tax evasion. (What? How incredible. A Local Politician?) During the investigation it was revealed that he had managed to win a lottery 10 (?) years in a row. How lucky is that?

The court ruled that because this was theoretically possible, they could not charge him with anything related to it because they had no proof that he did not win, despite the odds being astronomically high against this run of luck.

(What was happening was money laundering - these lottery wins are tax-free, so if you know somebody with a winning ticket, you buy it from him with cash you want to get rid of, paying him more than the value of his win. Then you cash in your traceable and legal lottery winnings. The sheer audacity to claim that it happened 10 years in a row is the key here.)

 

This is where the idea of meaningful events comes in i.e. beyond what most people would consider outside normal stochastic variation.. His 'luck' became meaningful to mean that his actions were more apparently fraudulent with each consecutive win..

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18 minutes ago, DrKrettin said:

/cut

 

11 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

This is where the idea of meaningful events comes in i.e. beyond what most people would consider outside normal stochastic variation.. His 'luck' became meaningful to mean that his actions were more apparently fraudulent with each consecutive win..

I know. There are instances where fraud and unlikliness are too obvious, but I'm talking about the exact limit of what you would consider more than a coincidence. You put the limit at 1 in X and one number below that is considered coincidence, while one number above is considered fishy and unlikely. I'm just pointing out that these limits can't be this set in stone and arbitrary, there definitely needs to be a lot of fluidity around the limits. 

Winning the lottery 10 years in a row is WAY beyond the line of fishiness, and thus there is no problem with concluding that it's fraud.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Antares said:

Winning the lottery 10 years in a row is WAY beyond the line of fishiness, and thus there is no problem with concluding that it's fraud.

Less so if you invest all your winnings in buying more tickets.

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Quote

Anybody not believe in coincidence?

Well, nót believing in coincidence goes a bit far, but, i 'd rather look at the patterns, for example;

both killers chose to assasinate their target on a friday; heck, i can imagine that someone who goes out to kill the biggest target he can find has a strong work ethic and would choose to finish their work(preparations) on the end of the workweek, so fridays seem to have a  high(er)-probability of being unsave for a president(or senator?)

The age and career of the persons involved are obviously higher probability as well, becoming president is something you need plenty of experience for,

and becoming an (one time-)assasin is mostly self-taught, so needs less preparation time.

 

 

 

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