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mikebell
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### Modern Science Unable to Explain Mysterious Coincidences

LongTheta
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### Modern Science Unable to Explain Mysterious Coincidences

Some time in the early seventies, a British theoretical physicist watched Uri Geller bend spoons, and wrote a paper (I think it was published in Nature) saying that there was no way that science could explain spoonbending. That was very naive, and was immediately invalidated by many people, including a well known magician. What happened next was that the British physicist made a 180 degrees turn and became a staunch supportor of the claim that everything can somehow be explained by known physical theory.Many years later, I met him at a conference and asked him about these things. He told me about a Radio program that he was hosting (he was into all sort of media things). People would call him up and tell him the strangest stories, and he would explain to them why they are not strange at all. As an example he told me the following story (I'll not get this very accurately, it was many years ago): A woman calls him to say that one night she dreamt she was on a London train. It collides with another train inside a tunnel. Fire breaks out, spreads through the carriages, people are trapped inside the tunnel, and lots of people die of smoke inhalation. She woke up horrified and told her husband. Two days later, there was a collision between two London trains, inside a tunnel. All details matched (I forgot what else she told him).Next he told me how he explained away her dream: He took the number of adults in the UK, estimated that each of them has an average of 4 different dreams per night, and calculated the percentage of these dreams that involve accidents, and the percentage of these accidents that involved trains, blah, blah, blah. He finally found that probability that one person in the UK would actually dream of an accident that happens within the next two days is something like 0.2, or something like that, meaning "probable".I thought that was the silliest explanation of anything that I've ever heard.
Last edited by LongTheta on November 1st, 2003, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chittychittybang
Posts: 30
Joined: November 2nd, 2003, 1:47 pm

### Modern Science Unable to Explain Mysterious Coincidences

QuoteOriginally posted by: mikebellInteresting stuff!---'Probably, physicists do not know everything about the organization of the world'Mathematician who can predict them.
Last edited by chittychittybang on December 10th, 2003, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 37
Joined: October 4th, 2003, 1:16 am

### Modern Science Unable to Explain Mysterious Coincidences

Mathematics does its best to provide a framework for how the world works. Obviously, most of it is theory. Probability theory is just that: theory. There are some people who claim to have premonitions quite often not just saying that two trains will collide in a tunnel but even being more descriptive with train numbers and precise locations, number of people dead or injured, names of victiims, exact time and day of the accident and etc. Now what would be the probability that such descriptive and verifiably accurate premonitions would be experienced by the same person on many many occassions? Suppose the probability was computed to be 1 in 2 million! But if there are only 1 million people living in the city in question, the probability 'takes us out of our universe,' so to speak.It is a fact that police detectives throughout the United States and the United Kingdom often rely on Psychics to help crack difficult cases. Also, there is evidence to suggest that the United States actually employed psychics known as 'remote viewers' who were able to describe in uncanny detail the exact locations of US military POWs and etc... The United States and other governments banks on what works in real life, not merely on theory! So you can take that for what it is worth!QuoteOriginally posted by: LongThetaSome time in the early seventies, a British theoretical physicist watched Uri Geller bend spoons, and wrote a paper (I think it was published in Nature) saying that there was no way that science could explain spoonbending. That was very naive, and was immediately invalidated by many people, including a well known magician. What happened next was that the British physicist made a 180 degrees turn and became a staunch supportor of the claim that everything can somehow be explained by known physical theory.Many years later, I met him at a conference and asked him about these things. He told me about a Radio program that he was hosting (he was into all sort of media things). People would call him up and tell him the strangest stories, and he would explain to them why they are not strange at all. As an example he told me the following story (I'll not get this very accurately, it was many years ago): A woman calls him to say that one night she dreamt she was on a London train. It collides with another train inside a tunnel. Fire breaks out, spreads through the carriages, people are trapped inside the tunnel, and lots of people die of smoke inhalation. She woke up horrified and told her husband. Two days later, there was a collision between two London trains, inside a tunnel. All details matched (I forgot what else she told him).Next he told me how he explained away her dream: He took the number of adults in the UK, estimated that each of them has an average of 4 different dreams per night, and calculated the percentage of these dreams that involve accidents, and the percentage of these accidents that involved trains, blah, blah, blah. He finally found that probability that one person in the UK would actually dream of an accident that happens within the next two days is something like 0.2, or something like that, meaning "probable".I thought that was the silliest explanation of anything that I've ever heard.

Posts: 37
Joined: October 4th, 2003, 1:16 am

### Modern Science Unable to Explain Mysterious Coincidences

Well, would you honestly say that mathematics has provided a better explanation of 'coincidences' than Jung? It is clear that there is no adequate explanation of 'coincidence' and so Jung's theory and mathematical theory tend to lie on equal ground in attempts at explaining away 'coincidence'what do you think?QuoteOriginally posted by: chittychittybangQuoteOriginally posted by: mikebellInteresting stuff!---'Probably, physicists do not know everything about the organization of the world'Mathematician who can predict them.You may want to look at Carl's Jung book on synchronicity.Jung's notion of synchronicity is that there is a acausal principle that links events having a similar meaning by their coincidence in time rather than sequentially. He claimed that there is a synchronicity between the mind, the phenomenal world of perception and the physical world in which we live.He also went onto claim Quote "the premise of probability simultaneously postulates the existence of the improbable" (ibid. : 2:540). Most of his arguments have been shown to be preposterous at best.There is another case against synchronocity made hereAnyway all this has helped a plethora of new-age gurus make some money tapping into this including the likes of Deepak Chopra telling youHow coincidences are signals from the universe! . Robert Prisig of zen and art of Mcylce maint is another person that comes to mind.Baloooooooomey.

abumazen
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### Modern Science Unable to Explain Mysterious Coincidences

QuoteThere is a so-called cluster effect - when independent objects are drawn to piling. Every woman knows that cherries always pile up in a cherry pie.The redundant information in those three cherries was "originally" recorded in only one spot in the universe, but smeared as space expanded.Interestingly enough, your observation of some properties of those cherries, which increases the order in your mind, requires that space contract. Thus, we have what you call "gravity" between you and the cherries.True or false, you have 5 minutes to answer...MP

mikebell
Topic Author
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Joined: July 1st, 2003, 5:23 am

### Modern Science Unable to Explain Mysterious Coincidences

Another article that explains coincidences from mathematical point of view:--Oct. 6— Everything's connected: the attacks on America last year, the New York State lottery, the collapse of WorldCom, the Bush Administration's proposed war against Iraq, the death of quarterback Johnny Unitas, and many other private events. To top this off, Arthur C. Clarke anticipated some of these incidents decades ago.Let me back up a bit. On Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2002 —9/11/02 — the New York State lottery numbers were 911, an eerie coincidence that set many people to thinking or, perhaps more accurately, to not thinking.A natural question comes to mind: How likely is this? After all, the lottery took place in New York state on the anniversary of the mass murder exactly one year before.These factors are not relevant, however. On any given day, each of the 1,000 possiblities — 000, 001, ... 233, ..., 714, ..., 998, 999 — is as likely to come up as any other. This is true of Sept. 11 as well, so the probability that 911 would come up on that date is simply 1 in a 1,000. This probability is small, but not minuscule.A Better Question The broader question that should come to mind, however, is: What is the probability that some event of this general sort — something that is resonant with the date or likely to stimulate us to think of it — would occur on Sept. 11? The answer is impossible to say with any precision, but it is, I argue, quite high.First off, there are two daily drawings in the New York State lottery so there were two chances for 911 to come up that day, increasing the probability to (a bit under) 1 in 500. More importantly, there were innumerable other ways for an uncanny coincidence to occur.How many addresses or license plates, for example, have 911 in them? At each of these addresses and for each of these vehicles, something could have occurred that caused people to think of Sept. 11. Possibilities include an accident, murder, or arrest of someone suspected of terrorism, related to a victim of the attack, or otherwise associated with it.Or consider sports scores and statistics. There are countless ways for 911 to occur here. One coincidencethat I personally noted involved the death of Johnny Unitas, the former Baltimore Colts star, on Sept. 11th. Arguably the best quarterback in history, he might be ranked No. 1 among NFL quarterbacks. Combine this ranking with his jersey number 19 and you have yet another instance of 911, albeit in a different order, on Sept. 11.You might say that there is no message associated with Unitas' death, but even those people believing in the significance of the 911 drawing can't say what its message was.Stocks, War, and Arthur C. Clarke The stock market is also a major producer of numbers, many of them, it seems, totally fictional.This brings to mind WorldCom, whose collapse dwarfed Enron's and whose stock was selling a bit under $64 per share a couple of years ago. The 3 billion or so outstanding shares are now worthless, so$191 billion in investors' wealth has disappeared. Those same three digits again! Oddly, \$191 billion is very close to the Pentagon's estimated cost for the proposed war in Iraq, which, some claim, is sheltering al Qaeda members, bringing us back once again to Sept. 11. Talk about circular reasoning!Another "close" example is the Sept. 10 closing value of the September S&P 500 futures contracts. You guessed right; it was 911. And yet another lottery coincidenceoccurred on Nov. 12 of last year, when 587 was drawn on the same day that Flight 587 crashed into Queens.The bottom line is that this is too easy to do. There are an indeterminate number of ways for such events to come about even though the probability of any particular one of them is tiny. Furthermore, after such an event occurs, people glom onto its tiny probability and neglect to ask the more pertinent question: How likely is something vaguely like this to occur?Keep this in mind when you read the following excerpt from the great science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke. In his 1973 novel, Rendezvous with Rama, Clarke wrote: "At 0940 GMT on the morning of September 11 in the exceptionally beautiful summer of the year 2077, most of the inhabitants of Europe saw a dazzling fireball.... Somewhere above Austria it began to disintegrate.... The cities of Padua and Verona were wiped from the face of the earth, and the last glories of Venice sank forever..."Who would have thought that Arthur C. Clarke was the brains behind Osama bin Laden?

tagoma
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### Re: Modern Science Unable to Explain Mysterious Coincidences

Lung Cancer and Month of Birth

thank you big tobacco for this piece.

bearish
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### Re: Modern Science Unable to Explain Mysterious Coincidences

They say it’s not significant, but I did note that they observed the fewest cases among those born in May. Between that and never having smoked any kind of tobacco (or worked with asbestos) I feel pretty good about my chances against lung cancer. Especially given that it appears in a competing hazards setting...

katastrofa
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Location: Alpha Centauri

### Re: Modern Science Unable to Explain Mysterious Coincidences

Djikstra's findings sound unreasonable, but he speculated that the increased risk was due to vit A deficiency which is supposed to have an annual trend (don't ask me). I'm always sceptical about such inferences, but I don't think two studies separated by 40 years can be compared.