Here is a brief explanation, and some comments.
First, I know I offend some people with the apparent stupidity of this thread, but I think it is significant and belongs in this forum. You can't
contemplate the odds of a long shot -- then have that happen -- without thinking about fate, destiny, predetermination, free will. It surrounds us all
the time, but we take it for granted.
All these are topics worth dwelling on, and this is the proper forum to do that. (Hope that answers your grievance ALLisONE. BTW, I liked your thread
about "real pictures of aliens". You shouldn't be offended that it was moved -- it was still a good thread.)
Secondly, I made my original estimate on the number of stars, flags, and replies scientifically. I based these figures on my previous posts, assuming
a normal distribution. For example, I calculated that I average about ten replies for my posts, with a standard deviation of only three.
Therefore, there is a 95.41% chance that the number of replies would be within two standard deviations of my average, or between 4 and 16 replies.
(Okay -- I was off there.) If you factor the responses from this single post, it changes everything. I guess I don’t have enough statistical sample.
Given enough time and enough samples, these statistics absolutely do work. It is natural law. Please don't be dissuaded by these bad results into
thinking statistics is garbage.
Thirdly, one of the things I wanted to show was the improbability of ANYTHING occurring in the universe. If you look at my original statistics, you
can see that I estimate the chances of you being born to be one in a million. Who knows what the chances of you being born actually were? It might be
higher, or lower. I would say your existence is VERY unlikely.
Consider, what would have happened if your great grandmother, twenty generations back, had taken that wrong turn, and accidentally bumped into that
person who was carrying the plague? Would you still be here now, to read this?
And, I wonder what the chances are that physical law would permit a universe from existing in the first place? What are the chances that the universe
is OTHER than a perfect vacuum and endless void? What are the chances that anything at all exists?
Anyway, thanks for all the responses, even though it ruined my probability curve. I hope this post brightened your day, because I DO think we are all
lucky to be alive and sharing this moment in time, regardless of how dismal this world may sometimes appear.