Thursday, October 14, 2010

What are the odds?

Check out this USA Today article:

Unlike many moms, Barbara Soper never gets her kids' birthdays confused. That's because her first was born on Aug, 8, 2008, her second on Sept. 9, 2009 and her most recent on Oct. 10, 2010.

Yes, that's 8-8-08, 9-9-09 and 10-10-10.

1 in a billion, right? Not so fast:

While the dates might seem "incredibly rare," they're really not. Such a lineup can only happen in the first 12 years of the century and at least 10 months apart, says Shannon McWeeney, a professor of biostatistics at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.
"Given that the first birth occurred in that window, the probability is not as astronomical as you might be compelled to think," she says.In fact, it's not that high a number at all, says Philip Stark, a professor of statistics at the
University of California, Berkeley. "The 'chance' you get depends on the assumptions you make," he says. One set of assumptions gives a chance of about 1 in 50 million. More realistic assumptions — including allowing at least 11 months between births — increases it to about 1 in 2,500. Since thousands of women in the United States had kids in 2008, 2009 and 2010, this suddenly seems a little less extraordinary. But humans "like to look for patterns, to make sense of things" he says.For the Sopers, three is simply their lucky number — "we don't have any more planned," says Barbara.

What does this have to do with the SDFLA? I couldn't really figure that out either. But it's a neat story. So there.


Anonymous said...

O.K., here's the significance of Jeremiah 31:31-34. God's new covenant with the Jews is the Messiah--Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior. This new covenant is God's effort to repair the previously broken covenant ("breached contract" for lawyers). In verse 33, God says "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts." When a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside the person, thus writing God's law in his or her heart. The Holy Spirit downloads the knowledge of good and evil in a person's heart, eliminating the need to "check the law books" every time a person wants to discern what is right or wrong. Once the Jewish people (and the Gentiles) accept Jesus Christ as savior, "he will remember their sin no more."

Rumpole said...

Where is that guy "zzzzzzzz" who always posts on my blog?

Anonymous said...

Great little piece. DOM rocks!