Routine coincidences

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A common charge of anti-evolutionists is to say "but what are the chances of this all happening by mechanistic and unguided processes?" Well, in this article (which I saw on Arts & Letters Daily), Freeman Dyson explains "Littlewood's Law of Miracles," which "states that in the course of any normal person's life, miracles happen at a rate of roughly one per month." Reminds me of how Richard Feynman used to put it. "Today on the freeway, I drove behind a car whose license plate was 3SVD543. Can you imagine how small the chances are of that happening?"

For more on the unremarkability of extremely rare coincidences, see chapter 7 of Richard Dawkins' magnificent Unweaving The Rainbow.

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@Timothy Sandefur recalls Richard Feynman: "Today on the freeway, I drove behind a car whose license plate was 3SVD543. Can you imagine how small the chances are of that happening?" A perfect illustration of Littlewood's Law of Miracles, and the... Read More

@Timothy Sandefur recalls Richard Feynman: "Today on the freeway, I drove behind a car whose license plate was 3SVD543. Can you imagine how small the chances are of that happening?" A perfect illustration of Littlewood's Law of Miracles, and the... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Timothy Sandefur published on March 31, 2004 8:48 AM.

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Mooney on “sound science” is the next entry in this blog.

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