Main Million To One Chance Discussion

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11:50:31 AM Nov 30th 2017
edited by modrapetka
I think this example from the RL section should be removed:

"Mathematicians have determined that any event with odds of 10 to the 50th power or greater is impossible. This figure takes into account the age of the universe. What are the odds of a simple protein molecule, something that even the simplest cell contains millions of, coming into existence by chance? 10 to the 65th power! Sir Fredrick Hoyle calculated that the odds of a simple cell forming by chance is 10 to the 40,000th power! An adult man weighing 70 kilograms would have around 70 trillion cells in his body."


1) "Mathematicians claimed" is not exactly specific, here it probably refers to Borel's law, which it manages to misunderstand (the law doesn't state that it's impossible, that makes no sense). It's also completely irrelevant here. Maybe it could be a separate example.

2) It makes no sense that it takes into account the age of the universe.

3) Most importantly, it doesn't help illustrate the trope and feels more like shoehorned creationism.

But I'm aware that I'm a bit biased here, so if somebody could rewrite the example to make it workable, it would be great.
11:11:47 PM Sep 24th 2011
edited by Armadillo
"In creating plots with improbable odds, we imitate the same antropic principle that made possible the extremely unlikely possibility where both reader, writer and plot actually exist and interact. The other possibilities simply don't matter."
This Troper

The quote, in addition to being overwritten in a confusing way, is quoting himself without context. If the troper has something to add he should add it, and quotes should just be actual quotes.

Removed (Re: Run, Lola, Run)
  • Intriguingly this is almost Truth in Television. The mistake most people make when dealing with roulette versus probability is that the dealer can give the wheel a 'memory' in a way they can't to a D6. Because the way the wheel is spun and the ball is introduced is not a controlled randomness (like a number generator) the outcome of the spin is not mathematically pure. It is not uncommon for dealers to get stuck in a section and if this occurs the chances of them hitting the same number twice, or even more times, can appear greater than the strict probability suggests. Not worth betting the house on, and won't help with the outside chances which remain close to even (pesky zero), but no gambler worth his salt will ever leave uncovered a number that just came in.
    • This is a textbook example of Gambler's fallacy. If this were possible - in other words, if in the long run the chance of the same number coming up twice were higher than random chance - anybody could have gained an edge over the house by simply betting the number that had come up in the last spin. (Any bias could be exploited. In fact, some gamblers have been able to win big money by observing the bias of an individual wheel - nowadays, by analyzing it with a computer, too - and betting accordingly.) In fact, such apparent patterns are something that can be expected in the long run. Just try writing down a random sequence of a hundred zeroes and ones ("heads/tails"), and compare it with an actual one generated by a computer - chance is that yours will be biased towards the next number being different from the previous one in order to make it visually seem more "random".
  • Also she utilised her scream-superpower
    • I am sorry I had to remove this, but it's natter and irrelevant to this trope.
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