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Chance continues to govern our lives in the 21st Century. From the genes we inherit and the environment into which we are born, to the lottery ticket we buy at the local store, much of life is a gamble. In business, education, travel, health, and marriage, we take chances in the hope of obtaining something better. Chance colors our lives with uncertainty, and so it is important to examine it and try to understand about how it operates in a number of different circumstances. Such understanding becomes simpler if we take some time to learn a little about probability, since probability is the natural language of uncertainty.
This second edition of Chance Rules again recounts the story of chance through history and the various ways it impacts on our lives. Here you can read about the earliest gamblers who thought that the fall of the dice was controlled by the gods, as well as the modern geneticist and quantum theory researcher trying to integrate aspects of probability into their chosen speciality. Example included in the first addition such as the infamous Monty Hall problem, tossing coins, coincidences, horse racing, birthdays and babies remain, often with an expanded discussion, in this edition. Additional material in the second edition includes, a probabilistic explanation of why things were better when you were younger, consideration of whether you can use probability to prove the existence of God, how long you may have to wait to win the lottery, some court room dramas, predicting the future, and how evolution scores over creationism. Chance Rules lets you learn about probability without complex mathematics.
Brian Everitt is Professor Emeritus at King's College, London. He is the author of more than 50 books on statistics.
1 A Brief History of Chance.- 2 Tossing Coins and Having Babies.- 3 Dice.- 4 Gambling for Fun: Lotteries and Football Pools.- 5 “Serious” Gambling: Roulette, Cards, and Horse Racing.- 6 Balls, Birthdays, and Coincidences.- 7 Conditional Probability and the Reverend Thomas Bayes.- 8 Puzzling Probabilities.- 9 Taking Risks.- 10 Statistics, Statisticians, and Medicine.- 11 Alternative Therapies: Panaceas or Placebos?.- 12 Chance, Chaos, and Chromosomes.- Epilog.- Sources.- Credits.