Statistical "anomaly"

or how we see pattterns where there are none

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Statistical "anomaly"

#1  Postby aban57 » Aug 25, 2019 8:12 am

https://www.sciencealert.com/only-girls-have-been-born-in-this-polish-village-for-the-10-years-what-s-going-on?fbclid=IwAR2yronBY4-2zkRiTEht5JZg9t9zLooZFgFYIMlm0hVPBqo_WOFY_VWk8Qs

The tiny Polish village of Miejsce Odrzanskie has become the unlikely source of international media attention over the past fortnight as a result of what the New York Times called "a strange population anomaly".

It has now been almost a decade since the last boy was born in this place, with the most recent 12 babies all having been girls.

The mayor of the region is quoted in the article as saying there has been "scientific interest" – presumably from geneticists – in exploring what has led to this unusual sequence.

He also discusses some glaringly unscientific advice the town has been given on how to conceive boys, ranging from changing mothers' diets to "keeping an ax(e) under your marital bed".


Human beings are notoriously terrible at identifying and understanding randomness, mainly because our brains work on the notion of pattern recognition. This concept of seeing patterns in random data has a number of names is often known as the clustering illusion, or the hot hand fallacy.

If we go back to the Polish babies, the exact sequence GGBBGBGBBGBB (G for girl and B for boy) also has a 1/4096 chance of happening. That's because it is achieved by 12 consecutive random events, each with a probability of ½, just the same as the sequence GGGGGGGGGGGG.

But if this had happened over the past decade in Miejsce Odrzanskie, then nobody would have paid the slightest bit of attention because it seems more "normal".
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Re: Statistical "anomaly"

#2  Postby Blackadder » Aug 25, 2019 8:41 am

... to "keeping an ax(e) under your marital bed".


:rofl: Presumably that’s to frighten the uterus?
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Re: Statistical "anomaly"

#3  Postby aban57 » Aug 25, 2019 8:44 am

Blackadder wrote:
... to "keeping an ax(e) under your marital bed".


:rofl: Presumably that’s to frighten the uterus?


Or to give him inspiration to "man up" :)
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Re: Statistical "anomaly"

#4  Postby Hermit » Aug 25, 2019 9:29 am

Miejsce Odrzańskie
Population: 328
Births per year: <1
God is the mysterious veil under which we hide our ignorance of the cause. - Léo Errera


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God just exists
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Re: Statistical "anomaly"

#5  Postby Arcanyn » Aug 27, 2019 4:51 am

Blackadder wrote:
... to "keeping an ax(e) under your marital bed".


:rofl: Presumably that’s to frighten the uterus?


I hope they don't end up giving birth to 12 consecutive axe murderers.
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