The Improbability Principle

Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day, by David J. Hand

By Gabriel Popkin, 11:40 AM May 2, 2014


Incredible things happen routinely. People win the lottery — twice. Golfers hit holes-in-one several days in a row. Basketball players appear to get a “hot hand” (SN: 2/12/11, p. 26; SN Online: 10/29/13).

Do these chance events validate superstition or suggest a hidden influence in our world  a higher power, perhaps? Absolutely not, argues Imperial College London statistician David J. Hand. The laws of mathematics and physics suffice to explain a world of coincidences.

Hand weaves his principl...

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