Beyond Coincidence: The Testimony of Prophecy

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I really liked Hand's book, because he is teaching statistics without teaching statistics. Instead, he is teaching numbers, how to interact with them, what to do when we see them, and how to rework our native thinking about the world we live in.

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Apr 29, Privy Trifles rated it really liked it Shelves: owned , review. One confession before I start the review — I used to hate statistics as a subject in school and college with a madness that only I was aware of. Simply put it was beyond me.


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When I saw this book in the list by Random house I Google-d the book as always and was amazed at what was there in the book. The beauty of such books is that though One confession before I start the review — I used to hate statistics as a subject in school and college with a madness that only I was aware of. The beauty of such books is that though the author is a renowned in that field the book is written for a novice.

Someone who has interest in that topic and wants to know more about the topic in detail would love reading this book. The author has done an amazing work in bringing together some of the most profound theories in the simplest manner in this book making it a thoroughly enjoyable read. Strongly recommended for people who enjoy reading topic based books coming from such renowned maestros! Jun 11, RJ rated it liked it.


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The Improbability Principle leans on principle, anecdote, and mathematics to underscore what Benjamin Disraeli put best: "there are lies, damn lies, and plenty of reasons to question everything. Still, repeated examples and an overabundance of detail are to the detriment of a central idea "i The Improbability Principle leans on principle, anecdote, and mathematics to underscore what Benjamin Disraeli put best: "there are lies, damn lies, and plenty of reasons to question everything.

Still, repeated examples and an overabundance of detail are to the detriment of a central idea "if something impossible happens, check your assumptions" that could be well-explored in a much smaller volume. The Improbability Principle is worth understanding, but it won't take a full read to get it. Jun 01, Jeannette rated it liked it. Enjoyed it and if you are of similar mind there is a high probability that you will too. I didnt catch a lot of the finer statistical points, but what I really liked was being given names and a handle on the various sub-principles, like the law of inevitability, laws of large and truly large numbers,law of selection, the probability lever, and law of near enough.

Ah, if only the airy fairy, ju-ju, woo woo superstitious, reincarnated crystal and navel gazers would read books like this They jus Enjoyed it and if you are of similar mind there is a high probability that you will too. They just might appreciate the probably improbable more easily and have more joy in reality and life.

May 26, Paul Kilmer rated it liked it. Overall, I enjoyed this book. There are a lot of laws presented law of inevitability, law of truly large numbers, etc. But this offered, to me, a good treatment of the topic of improbability with good examples and without an overabundance of numbers. Aug 07, Chris rated it really liked it. Exciting and interesting!! If you know anyone who attaches a ton of meaning to coincidences, this book will tie multiple tons of counterweights to their balloons.

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May 27, Trever rated it it was amazing. One of the easier to read and complete unabridged selection on statistics. I couldn't have been any more impressed with the book, well written and covers all the math. Apr 08, Stewart rated it really liked it. But it is not. Events that would be improbable for one or two people over a short time will become probable, indeed almost certain, when involving a large number of people and a huge amount of time. The probability that one person would win a state lottery twice in four months is exceedingly low.

But such an event becomes likely when tens of millions of people play various lotteries week after week over decades. An example I would use to demonstrate the law of truly large numbers is the likelihood of there being other planets with intelligent life. Looking just at Earth, we see that many factors had to coincide to allow the emergence of life, and later, intelligent life on this planet.

Needing all these factors to come together at the same place made many scientists believe that intelligent life in the universe might be rare and, at the extreme, that we were the only intelligent life in the universe. But recent discoveries by earth-bound and orbiting telescopes and extrapolation show us that there may be billion stars in our galaxy alone.

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Scientists estimate that there are billion galaxies in the observable universe, meaning there may be sextillion stars in our observable universe. Many if not most of them will have planets. The likelihood that there are a billion planets in our own galaxy and sextillions more in other galaxies makes it probable, to my mind, that there is abundant life spread through the cosmos.

This book is a good introduction to probability. But I will say that Hand gives a detailed look at different aspects of probability and says interesting things about mathematics, religion, and science. This means that in pure mathematics you define your own universe, so that you can certainly state the absolute truth within it. And religion as an expression of faith is a statement of belief in an absolute truth. We propose theories, conjectures, hypotheses, and explanations.


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We collect evidence and data, and we test the theories against this new evidence. If the data contradict our theory, then we change the theory. In this way science advances, and we gain greater and greater understanding. What do you do, sir? Human life is beset by surprises, occasionally deadly. Our only consolation in the 21st century is that we have the capabilities, through our science, for understanding the forces of nature, discerning patterns in life, and being able to gauge probabilities and thus make predictions.

We can battle deadly microbes, repair our bodies, prepare for floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other disasters. We can know if our picnic in two days will likely have a sunny day. I love mathematics. I love statistics. Above all I love logical reasoning being applied to answer questions. But even I struggled to get through this book. Whilst the content definitely has an element of appeal, I did find it dry more often than not. If you are considering it, do yourself a favour and go for the Audible audio book version. Oct 30, Coco rated it it was amazing.

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Good for critical thinking training. On April 23, , Fernando Tatis of the St. That's not an overly rare event. However, Tatis didn't hit just one grand slam off of Park. He hit TWO.

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And they were in the same inning. No Major League player had ever done this before and no one has done it since. The chances of being a witness to such a thing must be so high to make it unlikely that anyone would ever see it. And yet it happened. David Hand's book "The Improbability Principle" tries to explain how such seemingly unlikely events not only do happen, they almost have to happen.