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Can the 'Coincidence' principle ever be ruled out? Watch

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    Scientifically speaking, wherever an explanation is needed, does the coincidence principle ever get ruled out? Or is it still intact to the explanation, if we have one, even if it's superfluous?

    I don't think we can ever rule out the coincidence idea even if it's a gratuitous grafting on to an explanation or if it's the foundation of solving a puzzle.

    I think people who don't believe in coincidence or don't recognise it I should rather say, tend to be the type of people who love the paranormal and so on. As an aspiring scientist, I think we have to deal with the fact that we have to live with uncertainty, and that there is more to the universe that we can possibly know. So reconciling with coincidence is a major part of understanding that I think.

    Thoughts?


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    (Original post by JohnPaul_)
    Scientifically speaking, wherever an explanation is needed, does the coincidence principle ever get ruled out? Or is it still intact to the explanation, if we have one, even if it's superfluous?

    I don't think we can ever rule out the coincidence idea even if it's a gratuitous grafting on to an explanation or if it's the foundation of solving a puzzle.

    I think people who don't believe in coincidence or don't recognise it I should rather say, tend to be the type of people who love the paranormal and so on. As an aspiring scientist, I think we have to deal with the fact that we have to live with uncertainty, and that there is more to the universe that we can possibly know. So reconciling with coincidence is a major part of understanding that I think.

    Thoughts?


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    Yes, there is definitely such thing as coincidence, mathematically there has to be...but then im also spiritual AND heavily involved in science, so why do the two always have to contradict...they wont for much longer though. They are my subjective thoughts
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    (Original post by JohnPaul_)
    Scientifically speaking, wherever an explanation is needed, does the coincidence principle ever get ruled out? Or is it still intact to the explanation, if we have one, even if it's superfluous?

    I don't think we can ever rule out the coincidence idea even if it's a gratuitous grafting on to an explanation or if it's the foundation of solving a puzzle.

    I think people who don't believe in coincidence or don't recognise it I should rather say, tend to be the type of people who love the paranormal and so on. As an aspiring scientist, I think we have to deal with the fact that we have to live with uncertainty, and that there is more to the universe that we can possibly know. So reconciling with coincidence is a major part of understanding that I think.

    Thoughts?
    There's always going to be a chance that it's a coincidence, but that's where significance levels come in. Different disciplines have it at different levels - so physics has it very stringent. Psychology has it a lot lower at p=0.05, which means that a psychology finding must have a lower than 5% chance of being a coincidence.

    It's one of the reasons why replications and meta-analyses are important. Some findings will be a coincidence, just by statistical chance.

    Coincidence in everyday life is major - lots of crazy things are believed in based on coincidences. Confirmation bias and all that. That's why scientific controls need to be utilised before making factual statements.
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    There's always going to be a chance that it's a coincidence, but that's where significance levels come in. Different disciplines have it at different levels - so physics has it very stringent. Psychology has it a lot lower at p=0.05, which means that a psychology finding must have a lower than 5% chance of being a coincidence.

    It's one of the reasons why replications and meta-analyses are important. Some findings will be a coincidence, just by statistical chance.

    Coincidence in everyday life is major - lots of crazy things are believed in based on coincidences. Confirmation bias and all that. That's why scientific controls need to be utilised before making factual statements.
    Couldn't agree more. It just bugs me when in a certain situation, when I call something a 'coincidence', they immediately respond to me as if I was the worlds biggest cynic. When really I'm applying skepticism, and skepticism isn't cynicism. There's always that fragility in our minds (some of us) that there somehow has to be more than coincidence. I think this comes from people wanting to feel as if though they were significant. Where as I think that humans are far more insignificant than we can ever have imagined. 400B galaxies each containing at least 100B stars and possible habitats for life, why do people think that out of the entire universe, something happened purely for them and it wasn't coincidence.

    Maybe that does sound a bit cynical but I don't care because all I care about is what's true, and I am committed to the view that my logic should be determined by nature, not the other way around.


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    (Original post by JohnPaul_)
    Thoughts?
    My thought would be that this is a rather nebulous post.

    However, from the perspective of criminal justice and law, intelligence work, and the like (and biology, in fact!), many things that seem to be amazing coincidences at the time turn out in hindsight to be perfectly and reasonably explicable as related phenomenon in some way or another.

    In other words, if something seems like an amazing coincidence, just accepting it as that is often quite lazy and failing to dig a little deeper, you often miss out on a more comprehensive and accurate explanation.
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    You can determine that a given phenomenon has a low chance of being a coincidence, but you can never rule it out completely (except perhaps in the case that one thing logically follows from another). Science must make an assumption here, which is that the universe operates according to unchanging laws. Science's job is to figure out what those laws are, but it cannot be known in an epistmelogically robust sense that these laws won't change. If I drop an apple, there is no absolute guarantee that it will fall, it is merely shown to be exceptionally probable that a law exists that will cause it to fall.
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    (Original post by miser)
    You can determine that a given phenomenon has a low chance of being a coincidence, but you can never rule it out completely (except perhaps in the case that one thing logically follows from another). Science must make an assumption here, which is that the universe operates according to unchanging laws. Science's job is to figure out what those laws are, but it cannot be known in an epistmelogically robust sense that these laws won't change. If I drop an apple, there is no absolute guarantee that it will fall, it is merely shown to be exceptionally probable that a law exists that will cause it to fall.
    Well no it can't say that for absolute certain but it can suggest what is probable or highly unlikely. And it only makes an that assumption because there's no evidence that contradicts that idea. Like I said, if the laws of the universe acted differently in parts then that would explain what we would identify as supernatural phenomena, but so far we have no evidence that such events have ever happened.

    Your point sounds exactly the same ad what Dinesh D'Souza has said.


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    (Original post by JohnPaul_)
    Well no it can't say that for absolute certain but it can suggest what is probable or highly unlikely. And it only makes an that assumption because there's no evidence that contradicts that idea. Like I said, if the laws of the universe acted differently in parts then that would explain what we would identify as supernatural phenomena, but so far we have no evidence that such events have ever happened.
    No disagreements with this at all - science quite openly makes the assumptions that it makes and from all perspectives they seem to be quite accurate.

    (Original post by JohnPaul_)
    Your point sounds exactly the same ad what Dinesh D'Souza has said.


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    Ahaha please, no, please don't tell me I sound like Dinesh D'Souza. :ashamed2:
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    (Original post by miser)

    Ahaha please, no, please don't tell me I sound like Dinesh D'Souza. :ashamed2:
    Apologies haha. But he made exactly the same point about dropping a pen to the ground in an Intelligence Squared debate US with Lawrence Krauss & Michael Shermer.


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    (Original post by JohnPaul_)
    Apologies haha. But he made exactly the same point about dropping a pen to the ground in an Intelligence Squared debate US with Lawrence Krauss & Michael Shermer.


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    Interesting, I'll have to watch it. Well he doesn't have to be wrong about everything, but his marked characteristic is to take that science that he does know and make incredibly weird and and improbable conclusions from them. (:facepalm2:) I try my best not to.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Interesting, I'll have to watch it. Well he doesn't have to be wrong about everything, but his marked characteristic is to take that science that he does know and make incredibly weird and and improbable conclusions from them. (:facepalm2:) I try my best not to.
    He's actually well read and quite literate. His political views are almost as absurd as his religious ones but I think he'd do himself some favours if he trained his understanding of science and philosophy.


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