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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Are These Incredible Historical Coincidences Actually Due to Synchronicity or Mathematical Probability? | Unexplained Phenomena - Ancient Origins

Coincidences are a concurrence of circumstances which are so unpredictable that they often become associated with the supernatural and paranormal, insist Ashley Cowie, Scottish historian, author and documentary filmmaker.

Tomb of Galileo Galilei in Santa Croce , Florence, Italy. Stephen Hawking was born on the same day Galileo died, 300 years later – a strange historical coincidence? 
Photo: stanthejeep/ CC BY SA 2.5 
History is composed with brilliant acts of skill and is also full of bizarre ‘coincidences’ that often seem so incredible that many people have been convinced higher powers were at play.

Mathematicians describe coincidences as probabilities and deem them as inevitable, meaning they can be given odds of occurring. It is when the odds of an occurrence are highest that events are thought of as being coincidental, and if the odds are through the roof then some events can appear almost miraculous.

So far as mathematicians and near miracles are concerned, Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest scientific minds in all of history, would have struggled to work out the chances of his own birthday, January 8, 1942, falling on the 300th anniversary of the death of another great scientist, Galileo Galilei. What is more, his death occurred on Einstein’s 139th birthday, March 14, Pi day, when the calendar reads 3.14.

Before we look at what exactly a coincidence is, scientifically, and why they occur so frequently, let’s first look at some of history’s most perplexing and apparently extraordinary coincidences, that seem to stretch mathematical probability to its very extremes. 

Source: Ancient Origins