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*To*: dinosaur@usc.edu*Subject*: Re: A long post about DUMB METATHERIANS vs EVIL, SMART PLACENTALS*From*: Dinogeorge@aol.com*Date*: Tue, 22 May 2001 14:33:46 EDT*Reply-to*: Dinogeorge@aol.com*Sender*: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu

In a message dated 5/22/01 7:25:59 AM EST, jbois@umd5.umd.edu writes: << So what differential survival percentages would tell you that it was _not_ random? I agree that "99% to 99.1%" could be random. >> "Random" doesn't simply mean "equally likely to happen." That's only one kind of randomness. There are infinitely many kinds of randomness. For example, you can compose an infinitely long string of random digits 0,...,9 with a randomness function such as "40% chance of 0, 20% chance of 1, 10% chance of 2, 5% chance of 3, 5% chance of 4, 5% chance of 5, 5% chance of 6, 4% chance of 7, 3% chance of 8, and 3% chance of 9." This would yield strings with lots of 0's and 1's with a few of the other digits sprinkled in, but there's no way to predict what digit will be at any place in the string. (Just make sure the probabilities add up to 100% in the randomness function, is all.) Indeed, in a general sense, the infinite number of ways to be random infinitely overwhelms the lesser infinite number of ways to be patterned.

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