I have provided accounts of five striking coincidences over my lifetime. The five events individually have odds in the range 10-9 to 10-18. What are the odds that all five coincidences could happen to one individual?
To determine the probability of five independent events, A, B, C, D and E, all occurring, we need to multiply the probabilities of the individual events:
P(A and B and C and D and E) = P(A)×P(B) x P(C)×P(D) x P(E)
The five coincidences, which were independent of each another, are as follows:
A) The Chiswick Coincidence: P=10-18 = one chance in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 = one in one quintillion (a million, million, million)
B) Coincidence or Luck?: P = 10-10 = one chance in ten billion.
C) Citizen 63 – Marion Knight: P= 4.5 x 10-10 = 4.5 chances in ten billion
D) The Flying Horseshoe: P = 1.3 x 10-12 = 1.3 chances in a million, million
E) Under the Wallpaper: P = 5.08 x 10-9 = 5 chances in a billion
The combined probability of the five events is :
P = 10-18 x 10-10 x 4.5 x 10-10 x 1.3 x 10-12 x 5.08 x 10-9
P = 3 x 10-58
This is one of the smallest probabilities imaginable.
Yet, according to the accepted scientific theory, coincidences are chance events, and so there is nothing extraordinary here.