"The overall hit rate of 33.2 percent is unlikely with odds against chance beyond a million billion to one"

"The Conscious Universe" by Dean Radin

I'm trying to find out the meaning step by step:

  • "Odds against chance of 1000 to 1" describes the high reliability of some event.
  • "million billion" is just a very big number
  • "unlikely ... beyond" - likely above

Having combined all three I conclude that the quote sentence above says that the reliability of the 33.2% hit rate was even better than "with odds against change of million billion to one"

Did I guess correctly?

  • No, it's stating that the 33.2% overall hit rate is unlikely due to the odds against chance being greater than a quadrillion to 1. – Joe Dark Dec 26 '16 at 12:37
  • Does he allude to some other (higher ) hit rate? – Vladimir Zolotykh Dec 26 '16 at 14:26
  • There should be a comma after unlikely. There are really two statements here: (1) It is unlikely. (2) The odds against it are.... – Drew Dec 26 '16 at 17:00

Not quite and I find introducing the word "reliability" confusing.

It is saying that a hit rate of 33.2% was observed or happened (actually 122 hits from 354 sessions).

This hit rate is so high that he is saying that it didn't happen by chance - i.e. it is a statistically significant, meaningful effect.

By chance if there were no real effect, he would expect on average to have to run more than 1 million billion sets of 354 sessions before seeing as many as 122 hits from any one of them.

This is presumably hyperbole and all he is saying is that he believes the effect to be definitely real.

  • 1
    I don't care for the wording of the original quote either, in particular, the phrase odds against chance. I would have said something more akin to the probability of the 33.2% hit rate occurring by chance. In any event, you're right. Good answer. – Richard Kayser Dec 26 '16 at 15:10
  • I was focused on finding direct and formal meaning. I would have never guessed the possibility of hyperbole or sarcasm. Now I see that this is the only way to reconcile the two parts of the sentence. – Vladimir Zolotykh Dec 26 '16 at 21:35

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