Routine coincidences

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.</i>