Quotations about   probability

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We may not be able to get certainty, but we can get probability, and half a loaf is better than no bread.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
“Historicism,” The Month (Oct 1950)
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Regarding historical inquiry based on incomplete evidence. First reprinted in Christian Reflections (1967).
Added on 11-Jan-21 | Last updated 11-Jan-21
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Things never turn out either so well or so badly as they logically ought to do.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“The Future of the English Race,” Galton Lecture (1919), Outspoken Essays: First Series (1920)
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Added on 30-Mar-20 | Last updated 30-Mar-20
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People are entirely too disbelieving of coincidence. They are far too ready to dismiss it and to build arcane structures of extremely rickety substance in order to avoid it. I, on the other hand, see coincidence everywhere as an inevitable consequence of the laws of probability, according to which having no unusual coincidence is far more unusual than any coincidence could possibly be.

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) Russian-American author, polymath, biochemist
“The Planet that Wasn’t,” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (May 1975)
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Added on 10-May-16 | Last updated 10-May-16
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Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Mort (1987)
Added on 19-Aug-15 | Last updated 19-Aug-15
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The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Sylva Sylvarum, Century 10 (1627)

Alt trans.: "It is true that that may hold in these things, which is the general root of superstition; namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-May-16
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