NOAA Determines Ribbon Seals Should Not be Listed as Endangered – say ice will continue to form

http://www.wildlifeextra.com/images/ribbon-seal.jpg

(Note: image above and my emphasis added below. What is unlcear is what climate models the reviewed and whether they accepted or rejected it’s results.  – Anthony)

Contact:          Sheela McLean                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

907-586-7032                                      Dec. 23, 2008

NOAA Determines Ribbon Seals Should Not be Listed as Endangered

NOAA today announced that ribbon seals are not in current danger of extinction or likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future, and should not be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

On Dec. 20, 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned NOAA’s Fisheries Service to list the ribbon seal under the Endangered Species Act. The petition said the seal faced extinction by the end of the century due to rapid melting of sea ice resulting from global warming.  Sea-ice in the Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, Sea of Japan, Chukchi Sea, and Beaufort Sea is the seal’s primary habitat. Today’s announcement is the result of NOAA’s review of this petition and the condition of the ribbon seal.

“Our scientists have reviewed climate models that project that annual ice, which is critical for ribbon seal reproduction, molting and resting, will continue to form each winter in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk where the majority of ribbon seals are located,” said Jim Balsiger, NOAA’s acting assistant administrator for fisheries.

From March to June, ribbon seals use sea ice. As the ice melts during May and June, the seals haul out along the receding ice edge or in remnant patches of ice. Once the annual ice melts, most ribbon seals either migrate through the Bering Strait into the Chukchi Sea or remain in the open water of the Bering Sea during the rest of the year.

Although the number of ribbon seals is difficult to estimate accurately, scientists believe that at least 200,000 ribbon seals inhabit the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk.

Commercial hunting for ribbon seals is prohibited in the United States. Alaska Natives take a small number – fewer than 200 – each year for subsistence. Russia allows a harvest of ribbon seals, but there is currently no organized harvest industry and the number of seals taken is likely to be very low.

            NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit http://www.noaa.gov.

On the Web:

NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center: http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/nmml/species/species_ribbon.php

NOAA’s Fisheries Service Alaska Region: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov

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129 thoughts on “NOAA Determines Ribbon Seals Should Not be Listed as Endangered – say ice will continue to form

  1. But the seals are so cute! Surely we can’t forget about the poor little seals! I mean, our funding could depend on this!

  2. OT i know, but daily sat. data is again available. It was missing for three days, and withdrawl was setting in. Theoretical discussion is OK, but i am more of a data junkie. SST, ENSO, PDO, etc. That kind of thing. Anthony’s call of La Nina is looking more and more likely all the time.

  3. Let’s see.
    1. Seals use the ice when it’s there.
    2. When the ice is gone, seals go do something else.

    Sounds like a crisis to me. I’m all for huddling around a dung fire in my mud hut so that the seals can sun themselves.

  4. Seals rescued by quick reaction to climate change more CO2 sequestering should insure their future. Currently warming has been masked by seasonal changes.

  5. Center for biological diversity –

    “dude, NOAA, your seriously blowing this for us. You were supposed to say that the seal was in danger and people are to blame. Thats what the deal was!…now we have to make a commercial of the earth exploding because CO2 went up 1 ppm.”

  6. Anna had a previous post detailing geothermal inputs. Well done! Geothermal may well contribute more to Earth’s “heat budget” than is acknowledged. Also, virtually impossible to model. Oceanic “hot spots”, in arctic or sub-arctic waters can not be solar forcing, and are clearly not a result of AGW. I still say that the climate is very complex, and does not lend itself to “modeling”, in any useful way.

  7. Seems like three possible scenarios.

    A) – NOAA accepts the claim by the Center for Biological Diversity that the seals face extinction if the ice continues to melt but does not think the ice will melt (or is melting as rapidly as previously believed) and therefore recommends removing the seals from the endangered species list.

    or

    B) NOAA does not accept that melting ice endangers the seals.

    or

    C) NOAA does not care for ribbon seals

  8. WHAT Polar Bears? They’re going to be extinct due to all the ice melting. . . . . . Oh, wait . . . . . .

    puzzled, scratches head

  9. Next thing you know, they’ll proclaim something silly like Polar bears aren’t threatened just because their population keeps growing. Don’t they realize computer models prove the Arctic is in danger?

  10. Maybe they were too quick with this decision.

    NSIDC says the arctic ice started melting again about 2 weeks ago: -25C temperatures but apparently there is no freezing at these temps.

  11. Hi all,
    OT: how come canada is at risk of having the first total “white Christmas” since 1971 and the AMSR-E is showing that huge regression. Can someone explain. thanks.

  12. Surprising that ice can form at -30F. They must have hired some genius recently who figured that out. Another Nobel prize perhaps?

  13. Anthony, have you been able to find any current graphical data from NASA Goddard’s Earthshine measurements? I am curious to see what the recent trends have been, and wonder if anyone has tried to correlate sunspot activity with earthshine data.

  14. Currently warming has been masked by seasonal changes.

    ————-

    I wasn’t aware that seasonal changes could last 10 years.

  15. “Our scientists have reviewed climate models that project that annual ice, which is critical for ribbon seal reproduction, molting and resting, will continue to form each winter in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk where the majority of ribbon seals are located,”

    Notice how they qualify that statement to include only two specific areas. That bails them out of the polar bear paradox (seals are ok because there will be plenty of ice but polar bears are endangered because there won’t be any ice).

    What tangled webs we weave …

  16. That seal is so BEAUTIFUL… that black-and-white Arctic energy, those incredibly circular curves and sharp delineations… Anyone here know about the seal legends?

    OT dear friends.

    Sometimes I just can’t get to WUWT before it’s gone those two or three critical days out of date – when there are so many interesting topics emerging that people want to discuss. I’m using our forum as a place to deepen discussion – much the same topics we find here. Please feel free to pick up items started here and continue them there if you need a longer time frame to develop ideas. Some already exist. Same courtesy rules and same concern for good science! It’s still only a little forum but it seems to be growing almost by itself now.

  17. More on geothermals and the arctic

    http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2003/01/16/Hydrothermal_vents_found_in_Arctic_Ocean/UPI-40431042733245/

    this is from 2003:

    Marine scientists on a maiden voyage to the remote area near the North Pole discovered at least nine submarine vents spewing sizzling fountains — and portending the possible existence of exotic life — along the Gakkel ridge, a barely budging mid-ocean mountain chain 3 miles below the Arctic icecap.

    The researchers were caught off guard by the series of undersea vents belching steamy sprays from Earth’s belly in the deepest, most remote portion of the global system of ocean ridges.

    Gakkel ridge, which snakes for 1,100 miles from far north of Greenland to the Laptev Sea off the coast of Siberia, creeps along at less than 1 centimeter a year. As a comparison, the bulging ridges in the Pacific Ocean widen 20 times faster.

    No one had previously looked for hydrothermal vents on the Gakkel ridge because of the time and expense involved in breaking surface ice to analyze the water below. Edmonds searched the ridge for vents as an extra on an expedition with the primary purpose of dredging rocks from the ocean floor to study how the Earth’s crust forms.
    ….

    In this fashion, Edmonds obtained 145 water “profiles,” located nine hydrothermal vents to within a few miles and pegged three other areas as likely hot springs sites.

    The findings point to how much humans still have to learn about their home planet, scientists said.

  18. At least they didn’t paint bulleyes on their sides.

    I have concluded that by the time this winter is over, the hoax will be toast. How can it get so cold with the CO2 rising.

  19. I don’t get it. Polar bears are on the endangered list because ice WILL MELT IN THE FUTURE, but seals are not going on the same list because ice WILL NOT MELT IN THE FUTURE. !?!

  20. Cognative dissonance update.
    ————————————————————-
    More On Cognitive Dissonance
    “The End Of The World Is/Is Not Nigh!”

    http://web.mac.com/sinfonia1/Global_Warming_Politics/A_Hot_Topic_Blog/Entries/2008/8/20_More_On_Cognitive_Dissonance.html

    “…this is precisely what is happening to our media with respect to the increasingly unequivocal ‘knowledge’ that we have now entered a cooling period in climate. They are starting to experience a powerful dissonance because of their strong promulgation over the last 20 years of the doomsday, catastrophic view of ‘global warming’.

    “Media reaction to the new ‘cognition’ is thus classic. It involves, above all, ignoring the cooling, but also mis-reporting the cooling, denying the cooling, or trying to create a new consonant cognition, one in which the cooling actually becomes a part of the catastrophic ‘global warming’ belief.”

    “If the cooling phase in climate continues, media and political dissonance will increase to stress point.”

    “…some media may become even more rabid in their presentation of ‘global warming’ disasters, showing yet more drowning polar bears, plunging ice sheets, dangerous mosquitoes, flooded cities, and barren lands. For this to happen, Festinger states that two conditions must be met:”

    “(1)The belief must be held with very deep conviction, and it must have relevance to promoted actions, that is, to what the believer does, or how they want people to behave. For the ‘global warming’ cult, and for those in the media who have uncritically adopted editorial positions as champions of the ‘Green’ agenda, this is precisely the case, ranging from changing light bulbs to recycling, from abandoning SUVs to wearing hemp undies, from wind farms to solar panels; and,”

    “(2) The person holding the belief must have committed to it. Such is worryingly true of some media that have abandoned their normal critical stance as journalists in favour of preaching.”

    “Historians, long hence, will surely have a fascinating time analysing the rise and fall of the cult of catastrophic ‘global warming’. Even now it is possible to detect close parallels with the pattern of many traditional doomsday cults. And, it is particularly interesting to note that scientists are just as susceptible to such cults as non-scientists.”

  21. Frank Mosher: I still say that the climate is very complex, and does not lend itself to “modeling”, in any useful way.

    I’ll tell you a story about that. I have a friend who has been building a very complex model for the last 20 years or more. Apparently, every week there are two “draws”, where 6 balls are chosen from a random pool of 49. The benefit of correctly predicting which 6 are chosen is a substantial financial reward.

    Twice a week he inputs the latest observations, and draws upon 20+ years of data in order to create a prediction. Every week he purchases a few of these “lottery” tickets with his predictions. He has attempted to use several methods, including statistical, weight of ink on the balls, when they replace the ball sets, predicting static electric charge on the ball selection mechanism (ie. tracking humidity at the draw location!), and a bunch of other things I can never remember. To date he has never yet achieved better than 2 in 6 accuracy.

    Oddly enough, he constantly adjusts his models. Saturday’s draw, for example, is correctly predicted by his tweaked model… unfortunately, it is only predicted AFTER knowing Saturday’s results.

    My own method is to wait until the “jackpot” is over $10 million, then allow the “lottery” computers to randomly choose for me 2 or 3 tickets. I have achieved a best result of 4 of 6, and have several times achieved 3 of 6.

    His model is currently over 4Mb compiled of C++ code, with several Gb of data. Even on a 3GHz QuadCore, it takes almost a full minute to spit out a prediction. I have no idea exactly what his voodoo model is doing, but it’s complex and in depth. Unfortunately, it also does not work, and cannot work.

    YOU CAN’T MODEL RANDOM.

    ==================

    Anyway… those seals look mighty tasty! Usually seal meat is quite fatty, you have to cook them fairly long and drain the fat several times. Kind of like Canada Goose. But they’re good nourishment if you’re out snowmobiling on the tundra or something like that.

  22. I just double-dog-dare anyone who doesn’t remember the joke to google “monkey bar penguin seal” and not laugh at the video.

    Go on. Double-dog-dare ya ;)

    JimB

  23. Turning down of the petition is only temporary.

    Obama’s appointment of that marine biologist to NOAA will ‘fix’ this problem and we’ll probably see the petition resubmitted next year with the seal being listed. I expect we’ll see a push via the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to raise the stakes on AGW. This will probably help to further the AGW agenda in Congress.

  24. Little Ice Age Hastens Fall of Incas and Aztecs

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28353083

    I know this is off topic but the silliness continues. Just like the silliness about Ribbon Seals going extinct this article describes how when the Europeans came to Central America they spread disease which killed the indigenous people which reforested the lands the indians denuded and this reforestation sucked enough CO2 out of the atmosphere to cause the Little Ice Age!!!! Huh? I can’t believe stuff like this gets published. I would love to get the original work described here by Richard Nevle of Bellarmine College Preparatory School (yes College Prep School), in San Jose, Calif. and co-author Dennis Bird of Stanford University. This is compliments of the Discovery Channel.

  25. Wow, ribbon seals endangered, wow. They sure are pretty. If I had known about them before, I would have turned the heat down and quit driving to work a long time ago. I sure don’t want them little guys to become overheated because I’m emitting carbon. Endangering ice-loving animals is sure to be a great disaster to all of us. I’m not sure how, but hey, that’s what the media tells me. I believe everthing they say.

  26. Maybe NOAA hasn’t heard — the seas are going to boil! That’s what Hansen says, and he’s a scientist. Boiling seas can’t be good for Ribbon Seals.

  27. When did NOAA start making determinations about whether animals should be protected under the Endangered Species Act?

  28. The mini-La Nina is progressing. SOI is still positive, hovering around 13. SSTs in NINO 4 have been persistently cool, and now NINO 3, and to a lesser extent 1and 2 are showing signs of a La Nina developing. Upper ocean heat anomalies are cool and trending lower. Good weekly analysis is available at NCDC, under ENSO monitoring, at the weekly discussion. Updated on Mondays.

  29. I applaud the commom sense displayed by NOAA. Do you suppose it might be contagious??? NAAAAAAAHHHHH…..

  30. Anthony,

    OT but I thought this might be of interest. Tamino is running a thread on snowfall based on Rutgers University Snow Labs report of snowfall since the 1970’s. I asked how they got their results and how accurate they were. He responded with a section from their website. What struck me was the following

    “Another advantage of the NOAA snow maps is their portrayal of regionally-representative snow extent, whereas maps based on ground station reports may be biased, due to the preferred position of weather stations in valleys and in places affected by urban heat islands, such as airports.”

  31. Mr. Baisiger is an “acting assistant administrator” does he have the authority to make a proclamation of this magnitude? Has he been briefed and is he up to date on policy? Has Doctor Hansen weighed in? This is all very confusing and way to complicated. I’m not sure of what to believe anymore.

  32. Bill Marsh (12:10:35) :

    When did NOAA start making determinations about whether animals should be protected under the Endangered Species Act?

    I was under the impression NOAA chose animals… two by two… :)

  33. Quote by TerryBixler

    “……Currently warming has been masked by seasonal changes.”
    ————————————————–

    And,,,so my friend “TerryBixler”,,,, the flip side of that coin is,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    A cooling period is eventually temporarily masked by seasonal changes as well;
    we call that two sided coin “weather”

    It warms up, it cools down, it warms up, it cools down,,,,,,,over & over & over.

    These “seasonal changes” have varried in length, varry in length now, and
    will continue to varry in length long after you donate your last nickle to Gore and friends.

    SO GET USE TO IT!

  34. I’m always impressed with the focus on rather “large” increases in average temperature in regions with thermal amplitudes around 100 K. Has anyone tried to make a map of the amount of warming divided by the difference in yearly max-min values for the temperature?

  35. Hi Anna V.,

    Are you still thinking that the volcanic activity is responsible for the charts we are seeing saying that ice formation stopped the past couple of weeks?

    I think I heard something that the 2007 ice melt actually had to do with volcanism (as well as winds inimicable to keeping the Arctic ice in the artic). got any thing on this?

    Best,
    Grant Hodges

  36. Moderator – the following is edgy and I’ll accept your decision. There may be more truth than humor in it – but it is a bit edgy! MJB

    (((For those grieving a loss, the following is intended as humor, it is not intended to belittle the grief process, the feelings in it or those going through it. Some in the process will see the humor, others won’t. Proceed with caution – my intent here is to make you laugh, not hurt you. )))

    I’ve got it! I know what’s going on with the AGW crowd and its antics to date!
    The MSM and the AGW leaders are grieving the loss of their pet project. Depending on who you ask, there are 4, 5, 7, or 11 stages to this process. I’ll choose the four step for simplicity.

    Denial – the stage where the loss is discounted. Here the role of man in global warming is defended despite evidence to the contrary. Additional examples are sought to prove the existance of the lost.

    Anger – The second stage involves the grieving person (group) attacking those who try to talk about the reality they experience or gleen from evidence. This anger may also be directed at the loss belittling it (as with the AGW’s statement that global cooling is just weather, not climate).

    Bargaining – Trying to bring back the lost. Some bargain with God others bargain with the environment an others, looking for some slim hope that their pet idea could be reinvigorated.

    Acceptance – The step that involves the grieving person (or group) accepting the reality of the situation, and moving on toward life after AGW.

    This process is individual and can take a short or long period to complete, there is no time table for grief. Sometimes steps are repeated. This can be normal or a symptom of a deeper problem. The best course for someone assisting a grieving person is to listen. You do not have to agree. If something worries you, suggest professional assistance.

    (((The last paragraph is true to help those assisting a friend in the grief experience. I just couldn’t end with humor here.)))

    Mike

  37. This is not good for Hansen and the rest of the NASA bunch. What NOAA is doing is cutting the knees from under Hansen. Here we have another U.S. government agency very well connected to the weather and arguably more so which is in dispute with the AGW theory.

    I predict this whole AGW thing is going to blow up in Hansen’s face and many others along with Gore.

    This kind of information will mediate the influence of AGW policy in the U.S. and will provide for a clearer path to advancing real alternative energy policy that benefits everyone.

  38. NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

    That has got to be the most hubris-filled statement I’ve ever seen in my life. And one of the most easily disproved.

  39. “NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, …”

    Maybe NOAA really does understand…

    Mike, has AGW passed on to the other side? Is it pushing up daisies? Has it shuffled off this mortal coil? Perhaps someone ought to line up a holy man to perform the services? I hope they bury her deep.

    Mike Bryant

  40. JimB (11:09:53) :

    I just double-dog-dare anyone who doesn’t remember the joke to google “monkey bar penguin seal” and not laugh at the video.

    Go on. Double-dog-dare ya ;)

    Snort Coffee, Tears in eyes. What a crack up!

  41. Lucy Skywalker (10:08:57) :
    That seal is so BEAUTIFUL…

    Yes, isn’t it? Stunning. First time I’ve ever seen it.

    I’m using our forum as a place to deepen discussion

    Thank you, Lucy, you’ve been added to my blog bookmarks. Love the graphic at the top of your pages. Very tasteful!

    Don’t have time right now, Christmas and all, but I’ll visit for longer a bit later…

  42. The decision on an ESA listing petition must be based upon the “best available science”. Computer models do not satisfy this requirement. However made, the decision not to list is correct.

    Next, the polar bear should be delisted now that the models indicate they are not in jeopardy. Sadly, as Alexander Pope once said: “Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” This is axiomatic in the field of public policy.

  43. Leon Brozyna (11:13:59) :

    Turning down of the petition is only temporary.

    Obama’s appointment of that marine biologist to NOAA will ‘fix’ this problem and we’ll probably see the petition resubmitted next year with the seal being listed. I expect we’ll see a push via the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to raise the stakes on AGW. This will probably help to further the AGW agenda in Congress.

    Interesting Prediction: If it comes true – it will go to the ongoing politicisation of government agencies and the relegation of science from an independent source of verifiable facts to inform Policy, to a dependent handmaiden that is driven by Policy Requirement to produce “appropriate” results.

  44. Ed Scott (10:45:03) :
    “…this is precisely what is happening to our media with respect to the increasingly unequivocal ‘knowledge’ that we have now entered a cooling period in climate. They are starting to experience a powerful dissonance because of their strong promulgation over the last 20 years of the doomsday, catastrophic view of ‘global warming’.

    This is exactly why I like the financial news. If must be right or folks lose money. In trading, one of the cardinal rules is to admit when you are wrong as rapidly as possible. (“The first loss is the best loss”.)

    On “Mad Money” Cramer just recommended Suburban Propane (SPH). Part of his reason? The current cold trend in the weather this year helps make the 10% dividend safe. No AGW fantasies here…

  45. Looks like the lakes are freezing over some

    MODERATE TO RAPID ICE GROWTH CAN BE EXPECTED TONIGHT OVER THE ENTIRE
    GREAT LAKES…MAINLY IN THE PROTECTED BAYS…HARBORS…AND SOME
    SHORE ICE IN THE ST MARYS RIVER AND THE STRAITS OF MACKINAC.
    MODERATE ICE GROWTH IS EXPECTED TUESDAY NIGHT IN THE NORTH WITH SLOW
    ICE GROWTH ELSEWHERE. MODERATE TO SLOW ICE GROWTH CAN ALSO BE
    EXPECTED WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY NIGHT.

  46. JimB (11:09:53) :
    I just double-dog-dare anyone who doesn’t remember the joke to google “monkey bar penguin seal” and not laugh at the video.

    OK, I lost. What do I owe you? ;-) Never heard the joke before…

  47. Dave Andrews (13:31:17) :

    “Another advantage of the NOAA snow maps is their portrayal of regionally-representative snow extent, whereas maps based on ground station reports may be biased, due to the preferred position of weather stations in valleys and in places affected by urban heat islands, such as airports.”

    Even the most commited warming alarmists will stumble over a protruding inconvenient fact or two.

  48. “Next, the polar bear should be delisted now that the models indicate they are not in jeopardy. Sadly, as Alexander Pope once said: “Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” This is axiomatic in the field of public policy.”

    Everyone I know still believes the polar bear is on the verge of extinction, because of President Bush (for some unknown reason).
    I agree that the seal position will likely change, along with the polar bear, sometime post Jan 09.

    Graeme …glad you enjoyed ;)

    JimB

  49. E.M.Smith (15:30:33) :
    Ed Scott (10:45:03) :
    “…this is precisely what is happening to our media with respect to the increasingly unequivocal ‘knowledge’ that we have now entered a cooling period in climate. They are starting to experience a powerful dissonance because of their strong promulgation over the last 20 years of the doomsday, catastrophic view of ‘global warming’.

    On the link: http://web.mac.com/sinfonia1/Global_Warming_Politics/A_Hot_Topic_Blog/Entries/2008/8/20_More_On_Cognitive_Dissonance.html

    One of the possible outcomes is for the Media to “backlash” against the AGW Camp. This would be attractive to the Media as the Media will be able to shift “Blame”, and also claim a new “Moral Rectitude” at the same time. Also “Scandal” sells as well as “Scare”.

    In this case, I would expect Al Gore to drop James Hansen like a hot potato.

    James Hansen will make the perfect fall guy in the drama and is perfectly positioned to be outcast and scapegoated as the deceptive villian. In a Media Backlash scenario I would expect him to be publically crucified and to spend the remainder of his life a broken man.

    On one hand I pity him, because the people that have used his advocacy of CO2 catastrophy to further their own fortunes will most likely get away scot free and with millions still intact.

    On the other hand – you reap what you sow…

  50. JimB (11:09:53) :

    I just double-dog-dare anyone who doesn’t remember the joke to google “monkey bar penguin seal” and not laugh at the video.

    Go on. Double-dog-dare ya ;)

    Lol, when I google that phrase, this post is the first on the list.

  51. I notice that the bullseye mother naturre put on those ribbon seals is reasonably well suited for the Native Arcticians to Aim at with a reasonable kill expectancy.

    Now Polar bears eat ribboon seals; so which would you rather have; more polar bears, or more ribbon seals.

    Sounds like the Great lakes would be a good place to transplant those ribbon seals, so they can get rid of those non-native salmon, that infest the great lakes.

    So how does NOAA weigh the relative extinction coefficient, to determine that while polar bears are in immediate danger of extinction due to lack of ice, the ribbob seals however are NOT in danger of extinction from lack of ice.

    And is NOAA’s analysis based on RAW data, or Hansen’s machinated “processed” data?

    Just asking.

  52. “Boiling seas can’t be good for Ribbon Seals.”

    But, on the bright side, if you like seal soup…..

  53. On Modelling “Random”; or “How to Lie with Statistics”.

    I’m going to presume, that most of the posters here are too young to remember the Viet Nam War era; or more specifically, the Viet Nam War Draft Lottery.

    In the interest of “fairness” it was decided to hold a lottery to decide who should be chosen first to send (as conscripts) to war in Viet Nam; a Government Responsibility of no small implication.

    So the days of the year were numered from 1 on Jan 1, to 366 of Dec 31, including Feb 29.

    Then those numbers were drawn at random out of a typical number drawing contrivance of 1960s vintage; good enough for the senior’s Bingo parlor.

    Those whoes numbers were drawn first, and who were also classified as One-A on their draft card, were the first to be called up. Waht could be fairer than such a system, presuming that it was necessary to send anybody (not the subject of this post).

    And so it was that the very first draft lottery took place to send draftees to Viet Nam.

    It took less than a week for mathematicians to come out of the woodwork, and declare the result of that first lottery to be NON-RANDOM; and a raucus uproar followed in the news on Dead Tree press.

    The mathematicians claimed that the lottery targetted people who were born in the early months of the year, as the first drawn numbers were crowded into the early part of the year. The Furor lasted a few years, and finally led to the demise of the draft lottery system; never to be since revived.

    Now none of these Rocket Scientists Mathematicians, and Statisticians ever bothered to point out the obvious truth to the public.

    Now I don’t remember the actual sequaence of num,bers that was drawn, in that first draft lottery; but one thing I do know, is that it was a sequence that was highly unlikely to occur; in fact it was only likely to occur once in factorial 366 tries; a number so close to infinity; that it doesn’t really matter much.

    Now everybody would have been shocked out of their wits if another equally rare result had occurred in that first Draft lottery. How a bout Jan1, jan2, jan3, jan4, …..Dec 27, dec,28, dec29, dec30, dec31. Waht if that had been the result; it is no more unlikely than the result that actually happened; yet so-called expert statisticians were eager to vclaim the lottery was biassed
    Now if they had had one draft lottery every picosecond for the whole year, they may have obtained enough data out of the set of factorial 366 possibilities to say it was biassed; but on the basis of a single data point, they happily committed professional suicide.

    Statistics, can tell you absolutely nothing at all about the next datum in a sequence; it can only tell you the expectation on average of a large number of future unknown data points based on the past.

    Looking at the plotted data for each of those examples of Anthony’s errant official weather reporting sites, I believe it is inherently impossible to predict the next value to be observed, or even to answer the question; will it be higher or lower than the last recorded value.

    On top of that Statistical cautioon, is the simple fact that statistical correlation is no grounds for inferring a cause and effect relationship; and particularly if the cause post dates the effect.

    Now in Relativity theory (even special relativity), insituations where special relativity applies; one cannot decide on the order of events, depending on the observation conditions. Two “simultaneous” events, can be observed in either order, depending on the observer’s conditions.

    But other than that weird realm; we generally like our causes to happen before the events they cause.

    So we all have a brabd new species for Christmas; the Ribbon Seal. It seems that we are finding new species faster than the old ones can go extinct; something must be wrong with the system.

  54. CodeTech (10:56:02) : … I have no idea exactly what his voodoo model is doing, but it’s complex and in depth. Unfortunately, it also does not work, and cannot work. …YOU CAN’T MODEL RANDOM

    Obviously, if your friend is looking at possible biases, he doesn’t concur with your assessment of “random”. Personally, I’m with E. T. Jaynes, “Random” is a measure of incomplete knowledge.

  55. I have not seen any reference to this graph for a week or so, a graph, which in the past has so often been used here.
    Could it be because the sea ice is showing an unusual regression at a time when it should be growing steadily?

  56. Bill Illis (09:27:26) :
    said
    “Maybe they were too quick with this decision.

    NSIDC says the arctic ice started melting again about 2 weeks ago: -25C temperatures but apparently there is no freezing at these temps.

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

    The graph you in your link does not indicate the Arctic Sea Ice is melting.
    It is a graph of Arctic Sea Ice extent, and it showed the rate of increase of sea ice extent slowed down. The ice extent is still increasing. By definition extent is the area in which the 15% of more of the sea is covered by ice. Even if the extent did not increase, the area in question could be filled in with a larger percentage of ice coverage.

  57. “Could it be because the sea ice is showing an unusual regression at a time when it should be growing steadily?”

    That comment is somewhat misleading. The area of 100% ice coverage HAS been increasing. What has decreased is the amount of unconsolidated ice of 60% or less. Imagine an area with chunks of ice floating around so that 15% of the are was ice covered (that graph covers area of 15% or greater). That entire area counts as “ice extent”. Now a storm comes up and blows all that ice up so that it bunches up against solid ice pack. Suddently “ice extent” is greatly reduced but there isn’t really any less ice. In fact, there might be a lot more ice because areas that were only 60% covered could now be 100% covered but that doesn’t change “ice extent”.

    Notice that the “loss” of ice (use graphics at Cryosphere Today) happened pretty much all North of Norway. Also notice that the area of 80-100% coverage didn’t change. What changed was the amount of ice of 60% or less concentration. Temperatures there are well below freezing and set to get a particularly cold blast over the next several days. Look for that ice extent graph to change and go the other direction over the next several days. We still have until March to go before we get to maximum.

    Ice extent and area will change greatly with varying wind direction and speed. A storm can blow ice for miles and pack it together someplace else.

    If you compare today’s ice to 1980’s ice you see that the ice in the Arctic Ocean is more concentrated now than it was then, less ice in the Bering Strait but the ice that is there is more concentrated than in 1980. There is now more ice off Western Greenland. Give it a few days. The weather will change and so will the 15% coverage of ice.

  58. Ah but DAV, my other point is that he cannot have access to the equipment, therefore is forced to hypothesize his biases. As far as I know, the companies that make lottery equipment do their best to eliminate biases, so the ink weighting should be balanced, the static charge and/or humidity should be controlled, and all balls should be as equal as humanly possible.

    I’m actually surprised nobody hollered at me for suggesting that climate is random… which I don’t believe. Climate is a chaotic system with boundaries.

  59. Re: Arctic ice extent

    Here’s a comment I left on the 1/4 mil week thread.

    Pamela Gray (07:52:39)

    Good job on trying to explain the puzzle. When I saw the plots at NANSEN, with ice extent decreasing while area remained mostly flat, I figured it had to be strong storms/wind/current holding back the expansion of ice extent with ice being compacted.

    Looks like everyone’s been puzzled by this little oddity, even the folks at NSIDC. Here’s a posting at Roger Pielke Sr.’s website with feedback by NSIDC’s Mark Serreze. Seems they’ve been checking around to confirm the data they’ve been getting.

    http://climatesci.org/2008/12/23/update-by-mark-serreze-on-current-sea-ice-coverage/

    The stop in expansion that began Dec 10 seems to have finally ended. Data at IARC-JAXA is finally showing increase in the AMSR-E Sea Ice Extent, beginning Dec 21 and increasing even more Dec 22.

    And for everybody out there, have a very Merry Christmas!

  60. George E. Smith (17:01:32) : On Modelling “Random”; or “How to Lie with Statistics”.

    I’m going to presume, that most of the posters here are too young to remember the Viet Nam War era; or more specifically, the Viet Nam War Draft Lottery. … The “mathematicians” claimed that the lottery targetted people who were born in the early months of the year, as the first drawn numbers were crowded into the early part of the year. The Furor lasted a few years, and finally led to the demise of the draft lottery system; never to be since revived.

    Now none of these Rocket Scientists Mathematicians, and Statisticians ever bothered to point out the obvious truth to the public.

    Now I don’t remember the actual sequaence of numbers that was drawn, in that first draft lottery;

    FYI: there’s a difference between “mathematician” and “statistician”.

    The results of the first lottery are here: http://www.sss.gov/lotter1.htm. I haven’t run any tests but the numbers look pretty well spread out. Despite the fact that colloquially the numbers were drawn, in practice slips containing the dates were drawn — not the numbers. The numbers were assigned to birthdays by the drawing and the SSS sent out draft notices in 1..N order.

    What I do remember was the impression that EVERY number was called making the whole exercise sardonic. According to Selective Service though 195/366 numbers were called. My number was 076. Lucky me — the only drawing I have ever “won”.

    but one thing I do know, is that it was a sequence that was highly unlikely to occur; in fact it was only likely to occur once in factorial 366 tries; a number so close to infinity; that it doesn’t really matter much.

    Technically true for any given sequence but not true for any given distribution. Drawing Jan1-Dec 31 in order would (and should) raise some eyebrows as the distribution is VERY far from what would be called “random”. Did you know that any the probability of any real variable having EXACTLY a specific value is zero yet some values are more probable than others? Fun stuff, stats.

    On top of that Statistical cautioon, is the simple fact that statistical correlation is no grounds for inferring a cause and effect relationship; and particularly if the cause post dates the effect.

    That’s an idea started with Karl Pearson and championed by Ronald Fisher. Fisher’s claim was that only intervention (i.e., experiment) can arbitrate cause/effect however it’s really only true that a single correlation is insufficient to determine causation. If there is a set of interrelated variables at least SOME specific causation among them can be inferred. I refer you to the works of Judea Pearl: “Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference”; Peter Sprites, Clark Glymour, Richard Scheines: “Causation, Prediction, and Search”; and Richard Neapolitan “Learning Bayesian Networks” — all available from Amazon . The last is the easiest read IMHO.

  61. Don’t know about ice growth in the Arctic, but I can categorically confirm that the Nanaimo River was completely iced over to within a Kilometre of the sea at 1pm PST. Warming? What warming?

  62. CodeTech (17:27:32) : Ah but DAV, my other point is that he cannot have access to the equipment, therefore is forced to hypothesize his biases

    Ah, but MY point is that randomness is a fictitious attribute and your friend has the right idea of modelling possible biases and testing those hypotheses. What’s wrong with that? I don’t care how careful the manufacturer is. The ink on the balls HAS to supply a bias. The only question is whether that bias causes a discernible pattern. The same can be said for all other biases, introduced or inherent. FWIW: I don’t think quantifying the bias introduced by the ink will lend a sufficient advantage to be worthwhile. Still, your friend’s approach is the only one that has a chance of any success.

  63. When it accepted the petition for investigation in March of 2008, NOAA recognized that there could be some merit to the concern. The report of the experts, which denying the status of threatened did endorse the concerns of the Center, but said that at this time, they did not appear to represent a threat to the survival of the species:

    “In consideration of all of the threats and potential threats identified above, the assessment of the risks posed by those threats, the possible cumulative impacts, and the uncertainty associated with all of these, the BRT drew the following conclusions:

    1. Ribbon seals are not in current danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range. (78 out of 80 likelihood points)

    2. The ribbon seal population is likely to decline gradually for the foreseeable future, primarily from slight but chronic impacts on reproduction and survival caused by reduced frequency of years with sea ice of suitable extent, quality, and duration of persistence. (51 out of 80 likelihood points)

    3. Despite the expectation of a gradual decline, ribbon seals are not likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of their range. (57 out of 80 likelihood points)

    Finally, to reinforce the notion that reliable and effective assessments of species’ conservation status cannot be conducted without adequate estimates of abundance, the BRT concluded that despite the expectation of a declining ribbon seal population, it will likely not be possible to detect and document a significant overall decline unless monitoring is made a very high priority for both the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk.”

    ‘The Center for Biological Diversity claims that NOAA is mistaken.
    Its argument is as follows:

    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2008/ribbon-seal-12-23-2008.html

    “…The ribbon seal is a decoratively patterned resident of the Bering, Chukchi, and Okhotsk seas off Alaska and Russia whose survival depends on the sea ice. During the late winter through early summer, ribbon seals rely on the edge of the sea ice away from predators as safe nursery for giving birth and rearing their pups. However, this sea-ice habitat is melting at a rapid pace that is vastly exceeding the predictions of climate models. Sea-ice loss and early sea-ice breakup threaten the ribbon seal’s ability to successfully rear its young by forcing pups to enter the icy Arctic waters before they are big enough and strong enough to survive.

    The impacts of global warming on the ribbon seal will worsen in coming years. Scientists expect that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer as early as 2012 while the ribbon seal’s winter sea-ice habitat in the Bering and Okhotsk seas is projected to decline 40 percent by mid century if current greenhouse gas emissions continue. Any remaining sea ice will be much thinner and unlikely to last through the pup-rearing period, leading to widespread pup mortality….”

  64. JimB (15:51:36) :
    Everyone I know still believes the polar bear is on the verge of extinction, because of President Bush (for some unknown reason).
    I agree that the seal position will likely change, along with the polar bear, sometime post Jan 09.

    The completely false ads by WWF on the subject don’t help the matter. Without the actual facts at hand, the masses will soak this crap up and believe every bit of it.

  65. Ken
    Seriously, you were supposed to laugh. Maybe you have not caught some of my other posts they sometimes have a s n i p but I thought for sure you would have picked up on the carbon sequestering. Maybe things have gotten politically much worse than I could have imagined. But I think that the sun has something to say yet about the ice and temperatures, we will see. We have seemingly discarded science in favor of the belief that somehow humans are in charge.

  66. Eric (18:27:37) :

    However, this sea-ice habitat is melting at a rapid pace that is vastly exceeding the predictions of climate models. Sea-ice loss and early sea-ice breakup threaten the ribbon seal’s ability to successfully rear its young by forcing pups to enter the icy Arctic waters before they are big enough and strong enough to survive.

    The impacts of global warming on the ribbon seal will worsen in coming years. Scientists expect that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer as early as 2012 while the ribbon seal’s winter sea-ice habitat in the Bering and Okhotsk seas is projected to decline 40 percent by mid century if current greenhouse gas emissions continue. Any remaining sea ice will be much thinner and unlikely to last through the pup-rearing period, leading to widespread pup mortality….”

    Add drowning seal pups (poor little tykes) to drowning polar bears… Damn CO2 Emissions.

    On a lighter note…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmPSUMBrJoI

    Timely.

  67. “Where was the NOAA when Neanderthals were facing extinction?”

    I had a notion to produce a phony suggestion to build a mega power plant in Alaska and send the power down to the lower 48 where we would use it for electric cars. But what I would do is make the proposed CO2 and sulphur emissions exactly the same as current emissions from Alaska volcanoes. Then I would sit back and wait for the howling about how those emissions would “absolutely destroy” the “fragile arctic environment” , und so weiter. Then to see the shock when I would tell then that such “absolute destruction” goes on day in and day out, year after year from the natural volcanoes in the area … it would be priceless.

  68. Grant Hodges (14:32:56) :

    Hi Anna V.,

    Are you still thinking that the volcanic activity is responsible for the charts we are seeing saying that ice formation stopped the past couple of weeks?

    I am just offering a hypothesis, due to the localized “hot spot” in the anomaly map and the fact that there is on going geothermal activity in the region. I gave a link above and there is a link in the ” excess cold deaths” thread here.

    Another hypothesis offered here is “strong storms”.
    Were there strong storms in the region the last two weeks? It seems so from Yahoo Weather in Reykjavik Weather Iceland

    * Today: Rain and wind. High 44F. Winds SSW at 25 to 40 mph. Rainfall near a half an inch.
    * Tonight: Rain showers along with windy conditions. Low 34F. Winds SSW at 25 to 35 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
    * Tomorrow: Windy with rain showers. Temps nearly steady in the mid to upper 30s. Winds SW at 25 to 35 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
    * Tomorrow night: Showers in the evening with some clearing overnight. Low around 35F. Winds SW at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

    So the temperatures are above freezing and the wind is south /southwest.

    A volcanism and geothermal hypothesis needs more data to have a chance of adding to the soup, for example a CO2 or sulfur excess, and for that one has to wait for the new satellite.

  69. anna v (21:09:59) :
    Grant Hodges (14:32:56) :

    “Hi Anna V.,

    Are you still thinking that the volcanic activity is responsible for the charts we are seeing saying that ice formation stopped the past couple of weeks?”

    I am just offering a hypothesis, due to the localized “hot spot” in the anomaly map and the fact that there is on going geothermal activity in the region.

    Or the more likely possibility that rather than a ‘hot spot’ it’s the absence of the usual ‘cold spot’, i.e. water not ice.

  70. Graeme Rodaughan (19:09:17) :

    Whoops – need more white space…

    Enjoy.
    23 12 2008
    Graeme Rodaughan (19:21:10) :

    Might as well have a look at this one too.

    Set those Minnesotan Flamingo’s FREE!

    Genius. We need to get these linked from Drudge. They may do more to put the kibosh on this Global Idiocy than anything I have seen to date.

  71. Phil. (22:07:29) :
    “Or the more likely possibility that rather than a ‘hot spot’ it’s the absence of the usual ‘cold spot’, i.e. water not ice.”

    Were you watching the cryosphere you would have known that it had not frozen over where that “hot spot” is now. Of course it is the difference in the water temperatures for the anomaly maps and it shows that the water is two degrees warmer than some average for the spot. That is why Siberia can appear maroon when it is much below -30C anyway.

    It is the localization that is intriguing. That storms will bring warmth is inevitable, but that should be gradual and moving. I would suspect all localized “hot spots” of volcanic/geothermal activity, as a hypothesis to be tested further.

  72. anna v (22:39:53) :
    Phil. (22:07:29) :
    “Or the more likely possibility that rather than a ‘hot spot’ it’s the absence of the usual ‘cold spot’, i.e. water not ice.”

    Were you watching the cryosphere you would have known that it had not frozen over where that “hot spot” is now.

    Exactly, that’s the point.

    Of course it is the difference in the water temperatures for the anomaly maps and it shows that the water is two degrees warmer than some average for the spot.

    And lots of time where we see those red patches in the Arctic they’re open patches of water where most of the basetime period it was ice.

  73. DAV (18:25:07) :
    The ink on the balls HAS to supply a bias.

    Not that I’m a skeptic ;-) … but why?

    Couldn’t I paint the numbers on, then coat the surface with a clear lacquer of the same density? In that case I’d have a uniform surface friction and a uniform spherical density. (the volume of the number ink displacing and equal volume of equal density lacquer during the final coating).

    That’s the way I’d make a ‘fair’ ball. And I don’t think the photons bouncing off the ink would make much difference, but you could always make the background of a different color but the same ‘grey scale’ to be sure… as long as you used a balanced white light… (Compulsive detail? WHO’s compulsive about detail??!!)

  74. Jeff A:
    “The completely false ads by WWF on the subject don’t help the matter. Without the actual facts at hand, the masses will soak this crap up and believe every bit of it.”

    It never fails to amaze me what people will do to supposedly help an animal that they know nothing about, other than what some marketing organization has told them, but the same people won’t lift a finger for folks in their own family or community.
    Such a cheap and easy way out. Send $5, put the sticker on the car.
    Pretty much the same crowd that support AGW, or ACC, or Awhateveritscalledtoday.

    Funny that the monkey bar penguin seal post got so many hits… LOL

    JimB

  75. “Seriously, you were supposed to laugh. Maybe you have not caught some of my other posts they sometimes have a s n i p but I thought for sure you would have picked up on the carbon sequestering. Maybe things have gotten politically much worse than I could have imagined. But I think that the sun has something to say yet about the ice and temperatures, we will see. We have seemingly discarded science in favor of the belief that somehow humans are in charge.”

    Terry, actually the way you said “Currently warming has been masked by seasonal changes.”; this is about the best example of the way the AGW people have been using nothing but double talk and faulty logic to try and explain away the current cooling trend.

    To everyone, may you all have a Merry Christmas!

  76. Leon Brozyna (17:59:34) :
    Re: Arctic ice extent

    Here’s a comment I left on the 1/4 mil week thread.

    Pamela Gray (07:52:39)

    Good job on trying to explain the puzzle. When I saw the plots at NANSEN, with ice extent decreasing while area remained mostly flat, I figured it had to be strong storms/wind/current holding back the expansion of ice extent with ice being compacted.

    This is what I always look at to see the effect of winds etc., the ratio of the area/extent is a good indication of whether the ice cover is being compacted or spread out. The last week the area continued to grow (at a lower than usual rate) while the extent was flat. You expect this to be more obvious at this time of year since there’s only one place for the ice to grow, the ice edge with the Atlantic. In the summer you can use the same idea to see whether the ice is being spread out or really melting.

  77. JimB (02:30:46) :
    It never fails to amaze me what people will do to supposedly help an animal that they know nothing about, other than what some marketing organization has told them, but the same people won’t lift a finger for folks in their own family or community.
    Such a cheap and easy way out. Send $5, put the sticker on the car.
    Pretty much the same crowd that support AGW, or ACC, or Awhateveritscalledtoday.

    Yep. Most of the “green” crap we have to deal with constantly in the media is nothing but feelgood BS.

  78. E.M.Smith (00:59:59) : “The ink on the balls HAS to supply a bias.” Not that I’m a skeptic ;-) … but why? Couldn’t I …?

    I think the fact that you see the need to take possible additional steps means you’ve answered your own question. :-)

  79. JimB (02:30:46) : It never fails to amaze me what people will do to supposedly help an animal that they know nothing about, other than what some marketing organization has told them, but the same people won’t lift a finger for folks in their own family or community.Such a cheap and easy way out. Send $5, put the sticker on the car.

    Jeff Alberts (08:58:46) : Yep. Most of the “green” crap we have to deal with constantly in the media is nothing but feelgood BS.

    Yesterday at Starbucks I got a cup that said Starbucks was going to donate $0.05 in African aid — but only because I got the RED cup. Made me feel real good that I was able to help out if only by happenstance! ‘Course I could have sent the whole $1.75 I paid for the cup and without depending upon a dice roll! :-( Oh, well!

  80. “” DAV (18:04:24) :

    George E. Smith (17:01:32) : On Modelling “Random”; or “How to Lie with Statistics”.

    but one thing I do know, is that it was a sequence that was highly unlikely to occur; in fact it was only likely to occur once in factorial 366 tries; a number so close to infinity; that it doesn’t really matter much.

    Technically true for any given sequence but not true for any given distribution. Drawing Jan1-Dec 31 in order would (and should) raise some eyebrows as the distribution is VERY far from what would be called “random”. Did you know that any the probability of any real variable having EXACTLY a specific value is zero yet some values are more probable than others? Fun stuff, stats.. “”

    So I set up a number drawing machine, and then starting from Jan 1 and progressing in order through the calendar, I draw a new number and assign that to that particular calendar date. (the numbers can only be used once)

    Then I recode the set of numbers that were drawn in the lottery to reflect their new labels.

    So now I have two sets of randomly looking numbers, that nobody could distinguish as being other than two out of factorial 366 possibilities.

    So now explain to me again, why everybody would cry foul at one of those number sets, and not the other ?

    There’s nothing that statistics can tell you about any single set drawn out of a huge number of equally likely sets.
    And that is true whether the experiment is conducted by a “mathematician” or by a “statistician”, or by anybody else for that matter.

  81. Phil. (00:06:41) :

    And lots of time where we see those red patches in the Arctic they’re open patches of water where most of the basetime period it was ice.

    Sure, that is a possible explanation, except in this case I am talking of the area between Greenland and Iceland, which has not been frozen over for a long time, if I am not mistaken. Certainly not at this time of the year.

    Volcanism and geothermals are one of the sources of heat that are swept under the rug in the rush to attribute everything to AGW. A lot more data is needed on how they affect the ocean currents, which will not be a priority as long as the climate community chases windmills.

  82. George E. Smith (16:50:10) : So now explain to me again, why everybody would cry foul at one of those number sets, and not the other ? There’s nothing that statistics can tell you about any single set drawn out of a huge number of equally likely sets.

    Since this all started with your comment regarding the first draft lottery here are some hints posed as questions:

    1) Was the first draft lottery really 365 drawings or was it a single event such as tossing all of the dates the dates in the air then recording the order in which they fell?

    2) Suppose I have 180 jars containing numbered balls with each jar containing one less ball than its predecessor; jar #1 contains 366 balls. What is the probability that I would draw two balls from each jar that were in numerical sequence for that jar? What if i did this experiment twice?

    3) What would be the probability that I would draw a single ball from each of those same jars and that each drawn ball value would be numerically from the lower half of its jar’s numerical contents?

    4) If you were to toss a coin 36 times and you got 36 heads would you begin to believe the coin was biased or would you say it was indeterminate because you only have a single sequence of 36 results? If you were to repeat this 10 times, with almost identical results would you then lean toward concluding a bias or would you again say “indeterminate” because now you have a single sequence with 360 members? If the latter, when would you ever lean toward the biased coin hypothesis?

    Yes, it is true that some hypotheses (such as Jan1 tending to be drawn after Feb2) can’t be tested properly because the sample size would be too small but it’s certainly NOT true that no hypothesis can be tested. For example, it’s possible to test if the lottery process had a bias toward picking earlier dates by using say #3 above as an analogy.

    Are you still saying that if the lottery had resulted in all of the dates being drawn in calendar order you wouldn’t be the least bit suspicious? If so, why?

  83. Smokey (04:22:01) :

    Cuddly polar bears are good. Seals are good. But penguins are evil: click

    Hahahhaha…

    G

  84. “” DAV (03:26:12) : “”

    Well DAV, ther aim of the first draft lottery, was to aasign numbers to groups of persons that would be used to psecify in numerical order how they would be selected to go to Viet Nm.

    I described a process where the calendar days were numbered in order, and the numbers were drawn presumably in a fair and unbiassed fahion. Nobody has offered a theory of how that process might have been biassed and if so in what manner it could be biassed.

    You described a different process, where it was the dates that were (presumably) fairly and unbiassedly drawn, and then numbers were assigned in sequence to the dates drawn. OK I wrote from memory; you evidently have access to the specific data; I will defer to your description of the methodology.

    I matters not; the upshot was that the calendar dates were rearranged in a different order; one of factorial 366 such orders that they can be placed in. The method of drawing removed each date from the pool as it was darwn, so that no date could come up twice.

    That was the original aim of the exercise, and whether or not they pulled all 366 numbers to complete the sequence I don’t know; but it would not be relevent unless they pulled so few dates, that they ran out of people to send.

    In any case, the date sequence numbered as drawn; was if rearranged in calendar order, a quite unrecognizable number. I named an equally likely result that would have been a recognizable number if the calendar dates had come up in order. another equally unlikely but recognizable result, would be if the number was the first 366 digits of Pi in correct order, or the digits of (e) in correct order.

    The only distinction between any of those results is that there are many possibilities giving numbers that are recognizable, but other wise no more likely or unlikely, than the unrecognizable result that actually happened.

    And as I pointed out, any recognizable number result can be removed by simply recoding all the numbers with a very simple substitution code, itself randomly chosen. No such substitution encoding would alter the sequence in which persons were sent to Viet Nam..

    The selection of the full set of 366 dates (or a shorter subset of them) was a single experiment yielding one result out of a maximum of factorial 366 equally likey different results.

    If you want to characterize it as 366 different experiments (maximum), then of course the probability of selecting calendar dates is different for each experiment, since the remaining choices constantly diminish. The result is the same; the calendar dates are assigned a unique order of selection out of an extremely large number of such orders, and only one such order was chosen; having no statistical significance at all.

    The SSS could have have grouped all of the registered draftees into 366 groups each identified by a unique word selected randomly from a dictionary, or encyclopedia; or even from the bible, and used those groupings rather than calendar date groupings. Such a random name grouping, would not be recognizable; and would have had no influence on the risk that any draftee faced of being drafted.

    I’ll stick with my original premise; that any possible result was equally unlikely whether a rcognizable sequence or not, and being a single selection from a very large set; statistics is quite inappopriate to apply to such an event.

    So was there anything statistically suspicious or unfair about the big bang; another event that so far as we know has only happened once ?

  85. George E. Smith (14:44:02) :OK I wrote from memory; you evidently have access to the specific data; I will defer to your description of the methodology.

    I actually linked it. Found it within about 10 seconds of googling. Guess you missed that part. Unless I’m mistaken the photo was of the actual drawing. The drawing was public; even televised. Here is again:

    http://www.sss.gov/lotter1.htm

    I’ll stick with my original premise; that any possible result was equally unlikely whether a recognizable sequence or not, and being a single selection from a very large set; statistics is quite inappropriate to apply to such an event.

    Very well but I had hoped to show you otherwise.

    BUT WAIT! One last ditch effort :-) Remember the comment I made about the probability of any real variable equalling any specific value you choose being EXACTLY zero yet some values are more probable than others? (It’s really true, you know! Why? Hint: think confidence intervals). Well, I also mentioned that similarly, while any given sequence of dates has an extremely low probability, some sequences are more probable than others. I had hoped the hints would have led you to see why.

    Perhaps you are being hung up by the fact that each ball has its own name (a date). If the lottery was conducted by using something similar to a blackjack dealer’s shoe with the order set by shuffling and subsequently revealed then I would agree with you. However, a drawing like the draft lottery is really a sequence of drawings from jars of diminishing content. True, the specific content of each jar depends upon the last drawing, but many distribution properties depend only upon the ranking of the values and not the specific values themselves. All of the hints in my last post were based upon ranking. (BTW: hints #3 and $4 were related as #3 is the equivalent of a coin flip).

    If you treat the hints as exercises and actually perform the calculations you will discover that some sequences (such as JAN1-DEC31 in order, its reverse, and other sequences of similar ordered content) are the least probable while others are many orders of magnitude more probable. If you label the sequences by the features they exhibit then plot them they will form a normal distribution centered around what most people would call “random.” Not an accident, either — think confidence intervals. It’s essentially a demonstration of why mathematically chaos is more probable than order. Warning: the calculations are tedious and may require resorting to logarithms.

    Ain’t stats fun?

    So was there anything statistically suspicious or unfair about the big bang; another event that so far as we know has only happened once ?

    Never really thought about it. Guess it really impacted the neighborhood way-back-when. Haven’t heard any complaints though.

    ——

    All,
    I neglected to include this in my previous post:

    Merry Christmas!

  86. DAV,

    You keep talking about sequences; as in plotting them. The event I described whatever the details of how it was carried out; was ONE SINGLE SEQUENCE, not any kind of distribution of sequences. The calendar order draw differs from any other draw only in being a recognizable sequence.

    You suggested tossing 366 pieces of paper with the dates, up in the air, and recording the order they landed. Unless you can prove such a process is somehow biassed in an unfair fashion, the result is exactly the same as pulling the papers one at a time. The complete set of 366 numbers is recorded one at a time, and the number remaining to be pulled or land diminishes as each is recorded, and the only difference in the result, is that some results may be recognizable as a known sequence.

    So if the drawing is done by an unbiassed machine in a secret ballot, so nobody knows the result; any of factorial 366 possible different draws would be equally likely to occur in one single such experiment.

    But by your logic; the moment the result is made public, the result becomes unfair to some observers; depending on the extent to which the observer recognizes the result as a sequence known to him/er, since its probabliity has mysteriously increased or decresed as the case may be.

    There isn’t any distribution to talk about; we have a single point on a graph; and we have no information about any other point on that graph; let alone any distribution.

    So how does the probability of occurrence relate to the degree of recognition by an observer, and does the degree of unfairness change with the level of recognition by an observer in the case of multiple observers..

    Since you evidently have the exact result of that lottery drawing; perhaps you could rank the calendar dates in order of the degree of unfairness pertaining to any person born on that date. Which calendar date was the most fairly chosen, and which date was the most unfair?

    Not that it matters now of course.

    Is the distribution of the digits of Pi in base 10 numbers more fair or less fair, than the distribution of the digits in (e); how about Euler’s constant; is it fairly distributed?

    Well you totally bamboozled me with that reference to logarithms. I can see why that is an important consideration; just about as easily as I can see your claim, that a calendar sequence result has a different probability from any other result.

    Heisenberg told us that trying to observe the result of an experiment; changes the result in a comletely unknown manner (but maybe with a boounded error); so now we can add to that the amazing fact that the likelihood of getting a result depends on the extent to which it is recognizable..

    But far be it it from me, to try and stop anyone from believing that.

  87. As I see it DAV, it is not too late to change the methodology of that first lottery draft.

    What I propose is that at the time of registering for the draft, each registrant is assigned a “draft pool number”. These numbers were randomly picked in another lottery, and as they were picked, each number was assigned to the next calendar date in order. so each person registered, is assigned to a pool nuber which has a one to one mapping to the calendar dates; which mapping is unknown to anyone; and only the master database computer knows the mapping and the draft pool number of any registrant; the registrants themselves do not know their pool number.

    then when the actual draft lottery is held, the selection order determines the draft pool num,bers in order of choosing; and nobody knows what calendar date that refers to.

    The draft pool numbers are presumably selected in what to an observer looks like a random sequence.; one out of factorial 366. There are at least two sequences that might be of special interest.; besides the actual sequence that would have occurred in the actual draweing held.

    One of those apparently random sequence of numbers happens to select the calendfar dates in correct order; or reverse order, or other manipulation. No reason whay any of those sequences would be any different from the actual sequence. Also possible is that the darft pool numbers themselves came up in numerical order.

    I say all of those possibilities are equally likely. You evidently believe they are not, presumably even one that doesn’t list anyone’s birthday in calendar order; but lists an unknown sequence of draft pool numbers that came up in order, but which remain unknown to anybody. in the end, some persons were told that their draft number came up, but not the reason why.

    If you push the red button, that sets off a nuclear bomb; one would certainly regard that as an event of some significance; but if you only push it once; it has no “Statistical Significance”; however destructive the event might be.

  88. Well, I don’t know, George. I look at the problem two ways and come up with the same answer.

    Sequence delivered whole: if you had all of those sequences in a jar and pulled one out at random what’s the probability that sequence would have at least one numerical reversal? It’s almost certainty. Another way of putting it: what’s the probability that, on the very first try, you would select the one and only one (or one of two depending upon your definition of “reversal”) that was perfect — the proverbial needle from a haystack? Wouldn’t the improbability of it certainly be grounds for suspicion and evidence for need of investigation? You wouldn’t entertain the thought that maybe, just maybe, the process isn’t quite as random as claimed — even for a moment?

    What are the probabilities for 2,3, etc. reversals? If you compute those, you will find that you should expect N reversals on the average. Another way of putting it: a sequence of N reversals has a higher probability of being drawn. Getting one more than 2 sigma from that should at least cause raised eyebrows. Sure, it COULD happen but how improbable is it?

    Sequence of events: On top of that, the lottery drawing result wasn’t just pulled whole from the jar but was instead the confluence of 365 independent events.(1)(2) Independent, that is, for the purposes of considering reversals. Almost every sequence of events is unique in that its likelihood of repetition decreases as its length increases. I asked you before: how many coin flips would it take to convince you — or at least make you suspicious — the coin is biased (or not)? If the answer is N, why? Isn’t that just a sequence of N flips? Why would that one sequence cause suspicion and another not? Can’t you see it’s no different than examining reversals in the first lottery result? A reversal is almost the equivalent of a coin flip, no?

    Yes, it’s true, obtaining the sequence was a one-time event. Obtaining a sequence of coin flip result is also a one-time event. The specific order has nothing special about it but the number of heads vs. tails says a lot about the coin’s fairness and, yes indeed, some of those sequences are VERY far from expectation if the coin is fair.

    A reversal is just one feature, other features can also be used.

    Another example: You commission an automatic shuffler for a blackjack shoe. In Vegas, they used to use a 7 deck shoe (and many places still do) containing 364 cards — about the same level of complexity as the draft lottery. A shuffler result is also a confluence of events. If on its very first use, it delivers all seven decks in original order, you wouldn’t think maybe, just, maybe, it isn’t shuffling very well? And the fact that it did this even once wouldn’t cause you to forever hold it in suspicion?

    (1) 366 really, the last is unnecessary but was performed anyway
    (2) For the purpose of reversal consideration you have to use 1/2 of the jars and draw twice from each jar — a minor detail.

  89. George, just FYI.

    I refer you to many of the excellent discourses on testing a sequence for random distribution.

    Knuth, D.E., 1981, Seminumerical Algorithms, 2nd ed., vol 2 of The Art of Computer Programming, (Addison-Wesley), CH. 3, particularly section 3.5. Discusses generation of random numbers and testing their sequences for randomness.

    Dahlquist, G. and Bjorck, A., 1974, Numerical Methods, (Prentice-Hall), ch 11.

    From the web:

    http://www.fi.muni.cz/~xkrhovj/lectures/2005_PA168_Statistical_Testing_slides.pdf

    Particularly, the sections entitled “Frequency (Monobit) Test”, “Runs Test” and “NIST Testing Strategy”

    http://www.math.umbc.edu/~rukhin/papers/talk.pdf

    The NIST document.

    Again, note that I have continuously referred to tests on the ranking of the values instead of the actual values. I also referred to pairs with reversals (hi-lo). This is important as it makes computation of the probabilities tractable. Other features can be used in lieu of reversals. The idea is to convert the problem into a problem of runs of binary values.

    The NIST document refers to Von Mises (1964). There are many interesting discussions on the meaning of “probability”. Von Mises’ arguments are often in the foreground.

  90. George E. Smith & DAV

    I’ve been following this with interest but I’m get stuck on the concept of a single experiment never repeated.

    If you flip a coin once and never flip it again; you accept the results of that experiment and move on. What can you say about the fairness of the coin? What was the probability of the result.

    If you draw-from-a jar-throw-up-in-the-air-shuffle-and-deal-from-a-shoe-or-whatever 366 symbols and do it only once, isn’t the same as a single coin toss? What can we say about biases? What is the probability of any given result?

    I said symbols because instead of using numbers or the unique days of the calendar year, they could have used say, a flower symbol for August 13th, a star symbol for March 22nd and so on. Given a drawing of 366 symbols that the human mind does not associate with any sequence, such as numbers or letters of the alphabet or days of the year, most would be willing to accept the one-time result as no more likely than any of the other possible results.

    Think again; what is the probability of the numbers 1-2-3 being drawn right from the start of a a drawing from the numbers 1-366 vs. the probability of drawing a star-flower-ampersand right from the start from a pool of 366 symbols? The probabilities are exactly the same if the drawing occurs once and only once. We can’t say much about bias, either, eh?

    Carry on. I’m enjoying the discussion ‘twixt you two and I’ve learned a lot.

  91. H.R. (12:53:34) :If you draw-from-a jar-throw-up-in-the-air-shuffle-and-deal-from-a-shoe-or-whatever 366 symbols and do it only once, isn’t the same as a single coin toss? What can we say about biases? What is the probability of any given result?

    Technically less. It’s mostly a device for seeing if the sequence calculations are reasonable. I should get the same answer either way — AND — if I do, then they are essentially equivalent, yes?.

    Even then, it’s far more probable that a sequence has certain features than not. This makes sequences with those features more likely than others because it belongs to a special group.

    If someone were to fire a gun at a target and they miss entirely is that evidence FOR or AGAINST that person having a good aim? NB: I am NOT saying PROOF! George seems to be saying “Neither” because only one shot was fired.

    If you catch a person in a lie is that evidence FOR or AGAINST calling that person a liar?

    Likewise, if I obtain a sequence with highly unusual features, extremely inconsistent with randomness is it evidence FOR or AGAINST randomness? Note that I have arrived at how consistent those features will be via TWO separate paths.

    If you go back: George wanted to know how one sequence can be looked at askance and another not. I have shown why, more than once. At this point, I think he’s being bullheaded.

    I said symbols because instead of using numbers or the unique days of the calendar year, they could have used say, a flower symbol

    Yes, that seems George’s hang-up as well. It is quite possible to look at the distribution of hi-lo pairs. This is possible since dates are ordinal data — regardless of the number of symbols used to express them.

    —-

    Carry on. I’m enjoying the discussion ‘twixt you two and I’ve learned a lot.

    Actually, I’ve pretty much reached the end of what I have to say. If one goes back and reads the references from my last post, one will discover that ALL of them are tests on SINGLE sequences. The reason: there is NO difference between a series of short experiments and one very long one.

    These tests are the culmination of the works of many people with significant stature in the statistical world. If the arguments of Knuth, Dahlquist, Spearman, Von Mises, et alia aren’t convincing then what chance have I?

    At this point, I will only entertain argument that the various tests for randomness don’t apply but every reference I’ve seen says they do.

  92. Actually, HR, you’ve come very close to the heart of the matter.

    If the drawing were of nominal data (meaning having no particular order), such as zip codes, area codes, city names, etc., then there would be no features to examine and the only evidence for non-randomness would be if some values appeared more (or less) often than if they had been randomly selected from the general population. This would require a sequence many times longer than the number of values to ensure fairness of the test.

    Make no mistake though, EVERY data set is ONE sequence. In fact, dividing a large set into smaller sets often conveys little advantage except possibly making computation easier.

    The ordering of the dates supplies yet another source of information, which in turn permits shorter sequences to be used because (being clever) the tests treat the data as a sequence of binary digits (two nominal symbols) with lots of values. The trick is to make sure that the digits are obtained independently. The tests essentially say, THIS sequence is consistent with RANDOM or NOT RANDOM, which, in turn, is a statement about the process in which the sequence was obtained. Many tests on random number generators use FAR LESS than the number of values which can be obtained: a 32 bit value has over 4 billion unique states.

  93. DAV

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful consideration of my comments.

    Above, you wrote:

    “Actually, HR, you’ve come very close to the heart of the matter.

    If the drawing were of nominal data (meaning having no particular order), such as zip codes, area codes, city names, etc., then there would be no features to examine and the only evidence for non-randomness would be if some values appeared more (or less) often than if they had been randomly selected from the general population. This would require a sequence many times longer than the number of values to ensure fairness of the test.”

    Yes. You’ve got the sticky point nailed down exactly… with a thirty-penny nail. If you view the dates Jan 1 through Dec 31 as ordinal data, then all your (patient and thorough) arguments are valid. If the dates are viewed as nominal data and that some poor schlub got stuck with the symbol of March 22 due to an accident of birth, and won an all-expenses-paid trip to Viet Nam, then we don’t know if the one-off draw was biased. I didn’t see any particular person’s birth date as being any different from any other birth date other than the arbitrary symbol (Dec 28 e.g.), which marked it. That’s how I saw the dates and why I brought up using arbitrary symbols for dates. I saw it as man putting an external meaning on arbitrary dates by putting a ranking (1-366) on them after the drawing. After all, we could stick with the flower, star, ampersand and put them in a line on the table and never map them to the ordinal numbers.

    But then (honest question) does it matter if you assign ordinal numbers before or after drawing nominal dates? Are the statistical tests then meaningful or meaningless? Attempting to answer my own question, I suppose it’s just like doing quantitative analysis on qualitative data.

    BTW, I thought about the coin toss and if we flip a coin once and only once, we can’t say anything about any possible bias in the coin. You need at least 2 of something to make a sequence to even begin an analysis and it won’t be a good analysis at that. I don’t think the one-off coin toss has anything to do with this discussion. Sorry.

  94. H.R. (18:54:02) :does it matter if you assign ordinal numbers before or after drawing nominal dates?

    There are four categories of values used in statistics (in ascending order): nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio. The category is an inherent attribute of any variable. Each category (or level) allows certain mathematical operations. Reasonable explanation here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominal_data

    The dates aren’t being assigned ordinal values — it’s an inherent property. As it turn out, dates are actually interval data because the difference between them is meaningful but an examination of the draft lottery problem reveals that differencing is likely an extraneous feature in solving it.

    The draft lottery goal can be stated as: produce a randomly ordered list of from an ordered list. This is is almost the goal of any random number generator. The major difference is that a random number generator selects with replacement from the input list while the lottery selected without replacement. IOW: they didn’t want duplicate dates. The only real difference between the selection methods is the resulting distribution because the probabilities change for each successive draw in the latter.

    Since we are dealing with an ordered list, the ordinal nature of dates is of value. Of course, we could have thrown that away but that would mean determining the randomness of the output would be nearly impossible. When dealing with nominal data, I would like to have every data value seen at the very least 10 times. The lottery was only run for 4 years so there is insufficient information for any meaningful test. In addition, we have been discussing the very first lottery where each date has been listed only once. Considering the dates as nominal for this purpose dooms the outcome from the start.

    Since the goal was to produce a randomly ordered list, it should have been picking the dates at random. Because it’s selecting from an ordered list, we can use the ordinality of dates to see where the selections occur.

    I thought about the coin toss and if we flip a coin once and only once, we can’t say anything about any possible bias in the coin. You need at least 2 of something to make a sequence to even begin an analysis and it won’t be a good analysis at that. I don’t think the one-off coin toss has anything to do with this discussion.

    That’s correct. Determining the bias of a coin though is applicable to the lottery problem. One of the tricks in statistics to convert the problem at hand into a Well Known Problem with a Well Known Solution. The biased coin test happens to be one of those. We convert to it by asking how many times the second date in a pair is selected above (heads) or below (tails) the first date in the pair and compare the distribution to that of an unbiased coin. To use one the Well Known coin bias solutions (there are many of these), it’s necessary to ensure that the “coin flips” are truly independent because real coin flips are and their independence is an assumption of the coin bias problem solution.

    Note that independence between events and variables is not a hard requirement but without it life gets complicated as do the computations. It also means you can’t readily convert to a Well Known Problem/Solution because, invariably, each took the easy way out.

    Sorry

    You should never apologize for thinking unless sarcasm is intended. Apology not accepted :-)

  95. DAV

    Surprisingly, I had looked at that exact wikipedia entry you linked to before writing my last post. I’ll go have a look at interval data and ratio data in a bit.

    “Since we are dealing with an ordered list, the ordinal nature of dates is of value. Of course, we could have thrown that away but that would mean determining the randomness of the output would be nearly impossible. When dealing with nominal data, I would like to have every data value seen at the very least 10 times. The lottery was only run for 4 years so there is insufficient information for any meaningful test. In addition, we have been discussing the very first lottery where each date has been listed only once. Considering the dates as nominal for this purpose dooms the outcome from the start.”

    That put a nice cap on this thread. Thank you again for your patient and thorough explanations. I got a lot more than “ribbon seals taste like chicken” out of this thread by following the thread this far.

    “Sorry

    You should never apologize for thinking unless sarcasm is intended. Apology not accepted :-)”

    Oh, the apology was for going off the topic of sequences. I brought up the “one-off single coin toss” twice before it hit me that it wasn’t a sequence. That was more of a forehead-slapping-Doh! moment of mine.

    I think you and I are the last ones still on this thread, particularly since it’s been bumped to the second page, so let’s turn out the lights here and go see what’s new on Page One, eh?

  96. Well my last comment on this subject is that I agree with HR’s concept; that if you designate the 366 different data items as simply symbols that have no relationship to each other, other than each is unique, then no one of the factorial 366 possible draws is any more recognizable than any other; and all are equally likely or equally unlikely; and whether you pick one symbol at a time, or toss them all up and register them in the order in which they land, the result is no different.

    And we are talking about a single event.

    Is a 100 meter dash a single event; or do you want to claim that each step must be considered as a separate event.

    So unlike HR, I DO claim that a single coin toss is the same as a single draft lottery; and it has no statistical significance at all.

    And moreover, it could land on its edge; the laws of physics do not preclude a coin from landing and remaining on its edge..

    The only thing about the calendar sequential draw is that it happens to be a sequence of unique symbols which somebody just might recognise.

    Besides, any ocntention that a given draw is biassed, and therefore unfair, can only be proven by conducting a huge multiplicity of such draws; and that destroys the premise that there was only one such event. (before someone chose to declare it biassed).

    I’m mildly amused by DAV’s contention that I am being “bullheaded”.

    We have that problem in the California Legislature.; The Democrats keep tying to illegally raise taxes to keep funding their gravy train projects that keep the non-taxpaying californians voting them into office. The Republican point out that we have a recession, and raising taxes will simply move more jobs and industries out of califonia, so that will never balance the budget, and the only solution is to stop government spending; which is what the taxpaying Californians have to do when their budget doesn’t balance.

    So the Democrats blame the republicans for lack of “bipartisanship”, yet when Republican “cross the aisle”, as that old fool John McClain does all the time, and tried to sell it as a Presidential strategy, the Democrats simply take the gratuity, and then respond with; “now all we want is the land next to our land.”.

    Bullheadedness, is nothing more than two views of a problem that are not commensurate with each other.

    Back at the turn of the 1960s; when I was a junior faculty lecturer in the Physics Dept of my Alma Mater, our once a month faculty meeting to discuss recent literature, always began with the latest shot in the “Dingle versu Mc Cray” battle on the “clock paradox”. These two chaps argued back and forth in the physics literature as to who got older, or whether anybody got older than the other.
    I believe that the feud died out when it became apparent, that each of the two combatants was actually describing a different problem from what the other chap was talking about. The dispute never got resolved; because there really was no dispute; just tow persons talking over each other about two entirely different discussions. The distinction was as I recall quite esoteric; and no I have no recollection of what the two discussions really were about.

    George; who fortunately is only a single event in world history.

  97. Bullheadedness, is nothing more than two views of a problem that are not commensurate with each other.

    Quite true.

    By bullheadedness I refer to your insistence that the dates have no inherent relation to each other and that somehow sampling without replacement from an ordered list is single event. It’s a well understood problem and amenable to analyses such as the poker hand test for randomness of shuffle (see Knuth) and similar tests.

    As for the rest: there’s little point in treading old ground. I suggest at least looking at the references I’ve posted previously .

    I also suggest tabling this discussion as it seems to have stagnated.

  98. Perhaps foundered is more appropriate. I will look diligently for a rigorous proof that the probability of any such drawn sequence of 366 numbers or arbitrary symbols is not 1/366! for any single drawn sequence.

    I found the discussion useful; since it prompted me to design a type of spherical ball for use in such drawings where each of 366 such balls would have exactly the same number of atoms, and be mechanically almost identical to such an extent, that no mechanical measurement coud distinguish between them, since every atom on the surface of each of the 366 balls, would occupy identical locations in a three dimensional lattice; yet the balls are uniquely identifiable; and differ in total mass by less than about one part in 10^25. I won’t be able to calculate the mass spread between the balls till I go to work tomorrow, and get to my reference books.

    Evidently my Mathematics degree led me down the garden path when it comes to elementary statistics theory.

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