Reply to post: Re: probability...

NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: probability...

" In contradiction to what quite a few people believe in statistics a sample size of one will reveal quite a lot about what you have sampled."

No, no it does not. Our solar system has 1 sun. We can conclude from this:

Solar systems only ever have 1 sun. Or all orbital systems have 1 sun.

Both are incorrect, as we have binary star systems, and orbits around planets (or dwarf/failed stars if we wish to keep the stellar definitions in our example).

So... long story short, with 1 data point, we can only ever (mathematically, logically and scientifically) state "There is at least one star in at least 1 solar system in the universe", the same applies to life.

We got more data on stars, we need more data on life. :)

PS, citation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_joke#Stereotypes_of_mathematicians

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