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Mass Extinction Statistics
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Bois" <email@example.com>
To: "philidor11" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 6:11 PM
Subject: Re: A long post about DUMB METATHERIANS vs EVIL, SMART PLACENTALS
> I put up 500,000 black dots and 500,000 red dots on my board. I have a
> cannon that fires 500,000 bullets at once.
I'd rather say you have a big bomb rather than exactly 500,000 individual
bullets. You let the bomb detonate, and then you look if you find a pattern
among the unhit dots.
> Each bullet must hit either a
> red or a black dot--but it must hit a dot. Surely I'll have 250,000 of
> _each_ left over.
Possibly, but far from sure.
> Given our assumption of equal population number, equal
> susceptibility, etc., is this not a fair analogy? And isn't it true that
> the more dots I have, the greater my chance of reaching 50/50?
The more times you fire the cannon, not the more dots you have.