What are the chances that any two people in a group of thirty would share a birthday? Given the 365-day years we have here on planet earth, the chances must be pretty low, right? Wrong!
Using careful calculations we encounter a counter-intuitive conclusion: in a group of 30 people, the chances that two people share a birthday is above 20-, 50- and even 60-percent. On face value, not many of us would probably think the chances that high. This shows there is actually nothing remarkable or special or spooky about two people sharing a birthday, considering that cold calculation indicates the likelihood being more than a coin-toss.This sounds like a good way to win a free drink at a bar, as are so many sleights of hand and mind that, in the end, result from the way our perceptions go wrong. Statistics can be fun -- often they are not, frankly, but they are very useful:
Empowering ourselves with numbers might seem strange, until we recall how statistics can destroy the pretentions of charlatans or miraculous happenings. Indifferent in itself, statistics displays information anyone is welcome to assess.Reality is too vast and interesting for us at times, so we have tools.
[First paragraph corrected thanks to "Anonymous"]