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02-19-2013, 07:13 AM
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Ola's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Sweden
Country: Sweden
Posts: 22,570
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A anomaly is normal!

It really is. If there are like what, 500 statictical posts -- it would be extremely unnormal if one of them didn't stick out.

I read a very fascinating article on this in the NY Times a couple of years ago. There was a professor in the US who had done a case study I think on the death of a two twins in Finland. If anyone remember, there were some talk about a group of people someway connected to the defense industry in the US that died from accidents right after 9/11, and there were some speculations as if they had been assassined. Anyway, in connection with this, this professor commented on his research.

Two males in a small Finnish town, around say 85 y/o, died in separate car/pedestrian accident on the same hour the same day (like withint 30 minutes of each other or something like that). Subsequently, the police went out and said something like "this must be a murder, its just too unlikely that two guys who lived for 85 years then is killed within the same hour in separate accidents. One pedestrian in this city is killed in a car accident every third year, we can almost rule out accident". But it subsequently bascailly proved to be accidents.

This professor from the US started like with a number of all identical twins in Finland. He got a number of like a couple of millions.
-Then he looked at the number of car accidents in Finland and got a extremely small percentage for two identical twins to be killed on the same day.
-Still it seemed extremely unlikely that this would happen. But he found out that this winter day in Finland was extremely icy. So accidents was alot more likely on a day like that. The percentage went up a bit.
-He also found out that both twins had the same medical conditions. They were a tad demented, had very poor hearing and didn't see that well. The percentage went up even more.
-He found out that both twins as a routine went out around the same time the same day, which cut the number back more (if they were to die in a accident like this, it were on that day of the week at that time).
-Then he looked into other forms of accidents in light of the above. And the percentage for two identical twins, with the same medical condition, to be killed on the same day went up alot.
-Then applied that percentage to all identical twins in Europe. And the percentage for it to happend went up alot (he went from say 60k identical twins in Finland to 2m in Europe).

In the end he could basically prove that how if you looked at like a 20 year period, an accident like this were to be expected in Europe. Beyond that, he also noted that this probably was one of tens of thousands of accidents that would have been as newsworthy. Ie, if you just don't look at identical twins, but like accidents could happend were grandmother, mother and daughter to be killed in three seperate accidents on the same day -- that would also be a world wide story. Two sibblings being hit by the lightning. Falling airplane or whatever. His point was basically, if you live a full life you will experience a whole bunch of extremely unlikley things.

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