From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

WikiProject Time assessment rating comment[edit]

Barely a Start class.

Want to help write or improve articles about Time? Join WikiProject Time or visit the Time Portal for a list of articles that need improving.
Yamara 18:00, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

term for coincidences[edit]

I'm looking for a term similar to déjà vu. It relates to coincidence or telepathy, I looked into all the articles mentioned in the "See also" of coincidence but did not find what I wanted. These phenomena happen to me often.

Here are some scenarios :

  1. Two people are talking on a subject, and at the exact time any of them speaks a word or a person's name, either of the following happens :
    1. they hear the exact word being repeated on TV, or they see the object of their talk on TV.
    2. the exact word happens to be in a song playing on the radio at that time
  2. Two groups in hearing distance of each other are talking separately on different topics, and suddenly during a lull in the talk, both groups end up saying the same word/term
  3. I'm thinking of something and idly going over a magazine or newspaper, and my eyes rest on the exact word/topic in the magazine.
  4. Two people who have not interacted with each other for a good part of the day, call up or send SMSes to each other at exactly the same time.

Jay 16:41, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Serendipity? Shimgray 16:54, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Synchronicity. RickK 19:14, May 30, 2005 (UTC)
The cynic in me prefers to stay with "coincidence". --CVaneg 21:58, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Fluke? Well, perhaps macroscopic quantum entanglement --HappyCamper 22:04, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
"Plate o' shrimp." For those insufficiently familiar with Repo Man:
A lot o' people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch o' unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice o' coincidence that lays on top o' everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.
--jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 02:16, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
To the questioner - coincidentally these things happen to me all the time too. And, I suspect, to most other people that tend to spend a great deal of time within the range of a radio or television. Just a few hours ago I clicked on a link to download a Firefox theme just as a man on the television began to talk about movie theme music. I've had at least 4 similar instances in the last two weeks. I watch and listen to too much TV and radio --bodnotbod 04:10, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
Coincidences are statistically more probable than we normally expect. See birthday paradox. However, I must admit that I was thinking about it (coincidentally?) only recently and was planning to ask here if others feel the same! One explanation I can think of is that we have thoughts relating to things that we experience in the spacio-temporal context we live in and hence the odds are in favour of finding them in your vicinity in space-time. Also, we notice the hits much more than the misses. -- Sundar (talk · contribs) 05:03, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
I'm inclined to think that we are more likely to remember a strange coincidence such as thinking about something and having it pop up on the television, than we are to remember a time when we thought about something, and absolutely nothing remarkable happened. Considering how many different random thoughts flit through our heads at any given time, it's no surprise that occasionally we'll get a match to something in the outside world, especially given the ubiquity of modern media as bodnotbod points out. --CVaneg 14:35, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
I once heard about someone showing how a 'miracle' is something that happens about once a month... the logic goes something like a miraculous event being one that has about a one in a million chance of occuring; assuming when one is awake one observes about 1 event per second, then by simple mathematics, one will observe about 1 miracle per month. --Neo 15:19, May 31, 2005 (UTC)

definition of Science[edit]

the interpretation paragraph for Coincidence has an alternative definition for science, which reads

Science is the practice of constructing theoretical explanations of how events (phenomena) happen to repeatedly coincide.

However the definition on the Science page doesn't reflect this, and in fact the word coincidence isn't in the article at all:

Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge"[1]) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.[2][3] In an older and closely related meaning, "science" also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. A practitioner of science is known as a scientist.

Maybe one, or the other needs some touching up? (talk) 19:35, 1 February 2014 (UTC)Memobug


Why are all examples related with Popes??? This is not at all what I expected of this page. Some of these examples are not even clear about what kind of coincidence they are referring to! This page needs a serious overhaul. Kreachure 28 June 2005 20:31 (UTC)

I was providing an example from an area of interest and topicality for a stub.

Please feel free to develop the area/give examples. Jackiespeel 22:14, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

The "separated twins coinicidence" does seem to have a fairly wide circulation, possibly bordering on the urban legend. Jackiespeel 21:15, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

I can't see the point of these examples. They don't elucidate anything, and we shouldn't have a list of all the coincidences - and if we did it should be its own article. mgekelly 14:45, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

There seems to be some major distaste for the Matrix movie coincidence, I wonder if there is a coincidence there? Maybe just Synchronicity or is it irony? Eyezee 11:49, 20 March 2009

Narrative Example of Coincidence needed?[edit]

Having read the Synchronicity wiki-article, I found that one example has been written into the article.. the plum pudding example.. Now I have read Arthur Koestler's Roots of Coincidence and have been thinking that there has got to be at least a short example from his numerous discussions and cited research, so as to show that 'coincidence' has been taken far more seriously by the British Society for Psychical Research for the last 120 years than people might be aware of. Koestler makes an impressive list of the society's past presidents {which Koestler states includes "three Nobel laureates, ten Fellows of the Royal Society, one Prime Minister, and a galaxy of professors, mostly physicisits and philosophers" pg, 32 - then he cites a three page list spanning 120 years! William James, Sir William Crookes, Frederic W. H. Myers - coined term 'telepathy', Henri Bergson, Gilbert Murray, C.D. Broad, Lord Rayleigh, S.G. Soal - mathematician, H.H. Price Professor of Logic at Oxford, W.A.H. Rushton Director of Medical Studies, Trinity College; Professor of Visual Physiology, Cambridge; and more) up to the date that the book was published (1971). Anyway, Koestler explains on pages 22-25 of Roots... the Zenar cards example conducted by J.B. Rhine at Duke University in 1932(?). Rhine conducted card-guessing experiments (5 types of unseen cards) and recorded the results hundreds of times. The results where analyzed using 'the law of great numbers' (a mathematical and statistical probability experimental measure) that showed statistical significant results concerning Rhine's card-guessing (ESP) research; results that showed more than 'chance-like' observations by the participants in the experiment. The density of Koestler's examples, citations and arguments remind me of trying to unpack Michel Foucault's Archeology of Knowledge. Koestlers books explores a number of scientific disciplines in order to explain the extraordinary phenomena surrounding coincidence.
Due to the fact that Koestler entitled his book using the word coincidence to show that it can have 'meaningful' non-ordinary roots (causation?), i would suggest a Koestler citation or summary of his research and a shor example to highlight Koestler's way of explaining 'coincidence'. The book, by the way, foreshadows the work of Thomas Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and indicates the politics that seem to never end between pure scientific mindsets and those that are willing to explore the statistical significance of parapsychological research. What do you think?Drakonicon 17:58, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Right. Had another thought.... In Carl Jung's semi-autobiography Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung remembers an argument that he had with Sigmund Freud, in which Jung was talking with Freud about coincidence and then Jung predicted there would be loud 'report' ('bang'(?)) in the bookcase near where they were talking; and then soon after Jung predicted another such report, which soon occured, to which neither Jung nor Freud could fathom. This seriously disquieted Freud, and they parted company. Would this kind of example (narrated cleanly) be a better example of coincidence/synchronicty?Drakonicon 18:51, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Another type of examples is what happens to persons who at random intervals "are led" to look at a clock or watch and there then see there a "special time reading" such as 11:11 or 12:34. People having such coincidences may attribute them to God, gods, spirits, angels, etc. but are labelled by others as "Atheists" nevertheless. (talk) 07:45, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Simon Walker's TV & Radio coincidences[edit]

I have noticed this phenomena for sometime but unfortuneately have not recorded any. I have been intensely interested and concerned about this as I am a religious and spiritual skeptic. I have been too afraid to search the net for others who have experienced the tv word coincidence phenomenom. I am now getting obsessed!!? Obssesed enough to write in here! This is because of my latest exact coincidence.

Whilst searching the net for information about autism I came accross many articles on MERCURY poisoning. Tooth fillings (ouch) came up as a sources of MERCURY poisoning, as did many industrial processes. Previously that day I had also been reading about the source of AIDS. This I mention because of Freddie MERCURY of Queen who died of AIDS. This is a slight coincidence that I include for spookyness and completeness - This is not the coincidence.

Whilst searching I went into another room to get my ciggies and noticed another musician I like on TV talking about the Bristol (UK) music scene. His name is Ronnie Size (check him out!). I watched for a short while and then returned to the room with the computer. I carried on searching about MERCURY. I finished my ciggie and started to get both bored and increasingly worried about tooth fillings. I returned to the room with the TV and switched it on. The words uttered by Ronnie Size at this precise moment (no other words had been spoken) were 'MERCURY music prize'.

Spooky... These internet / tv, radio / tv and my thoughts / tv & radio have occured to me often. Often when switching on a device or changing channels. I did not record the date but It was in June 2005 (I think).

MERCURY was the Roman (possibly Greek?) MESSANGER deity.

The tooth is out there!!!

Keep it real (if you can)..

Peace & harmony from spooked out Simon Walker...

18th October 2005

I thought I'd see if anyone else has some TV/Radio/thought coincidence moments. I have not been aware of any radio/thought exact word coincidences for a while but another coincidence has just occured, not like these TV/radio exact word/thought coincidences but still highly relevant. I have just read an article claiming that people can perceive radio waves via their FILLINGS! They can actually 'hear' radio broadcasts in realtime in their heads! It also turns out that some deaf people have this (heightened) ability. There are hearing aids that transform the audio signal from the usual less than 22,000 hertz range to the VHF (radio) range. This is made by LISTENING INC. and is known as the Neurophone. It would seem our hearing 'pitch shifts' sound into the VHF range - our brain 'hears' in the VHF range. The article I read is:

I still haven't been to the dentist!

Another thought I have had is ruling out repetitions of programs previously experienced. There is a good chance that I had already seen some of the music documentary (I checked, it was a repeat). Was I 'drawn' to the TV at the precise moment to hear the MERCURY coincidence by a recording in my brain!?? Also, even if we can 'hear' VHF frequencies how can we decode the digital compression/error handling formats? Although I was watching the documentary via a digibox the program was also being broadcast on the non digital terrestrial channel - We still have 5 of these in Britain. Also TV is UHF, not VHF. Of course it may just be a simple coincidence... I wish I'd recorded a few more to see how many exact word radio/tv/thought/conversation coincidences I have really had.

Probability and coincidence[edit]

How low a (perceived) probability does a pair of events happening in proximity have to be before someone considers it to be a coincidence?

Would the existence of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's Improbability Drive increase the level of coincidences? (As a theroretical question, it being a theoretical object.)

Jackiespeel 17:46, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Examples cont'd[edit]

I honestly think we should drop the Pope stuff are just leave one. They are quite minor. Marskell 18:43, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Why drop the Popes - given that there were far more parallels with that entry than with some of the others (and seeing that the Kennedy-Lincoln grouping seems to have fewer coincidences than claimed). Can the other details be restored (or put somewhere - Papal curiosities perhaps which would include the prophecies of Malachy)?

Jackiespeel 22:17, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Types of Coincidences[edit]

Seems to be taken directly from:

This has been picked up by a newspaper blog. I'm removing it since, even if it isn't a copyvio, it's OR/POV/unverfible.

Well, I believe in EXTREME coincidence. You can put something about that there. If you want more info, tell me. Why does everyone hate Torax2? 21:44, 10 October 2006 (UTC)


So I was about to edit something out in the article, and as soon as I click edit and scroll down to the change I was going to make, it had already been made!
O RLY? 17:46, 6 November 2006 (UTC)


Removed the link to the Google search tips. It's a guide for getting the most out of Google searching. Has nothing to do with coincidence, unless you consider it a coincidence that adding more words to a Google search gets you closer to what you're looking for. PacificBoy 18:08, 23 August 2006 (UTC) Removed the link for Conspiracy Theorist Guide to 9/11 for POV violation. The tone of the text is derogatory and leading. A bias-neutral substitute may be inserted but this link should not be re-added. Kaos Klerik (talk) 18:53, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Coincidence Definitions[edit]

I think the definition of coincidence, as proposed here, deserves a bit of discussion. Someone has simply stated, that a coincidence is "two or more events or entities occupying the same point in space or time." I'm not sure where this definition comes from. I think the actual definition is not this cut and dry. Even Webster's is understandably ambigous about the term: "a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent casual connection."

Also, the inclusion of the word "colloquially" has no place in this entry. Colloquial is a term of language, not of casual connection.

I'm not sure if I've done any better than what was in the article already but I've had a go. It's hard to convey the definition of a coincidence without implying certain prejudices about what we consider to be coincidences. -- (talk) 15:54, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Kennedy vs Lincoln[edit]

I don't know if this deserves its own article, but it definitely does NOT deserve 90% of the coincidence entry.--Ellissound 13:41, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Noteworthy alignment of two or more events or circumstances?[edit]

This is an incomplete or inaccurate definition, for, when the significance connecting two disparate events is disputed, the same term, coincidence, is employed - as in 'mere coincidence.' Perhaps synchronicity is what is really meant by the editor here(?). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:55, August 20, 2007 (UTC) And just what is meant by 'alignment' in these circumstances, for that matter? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

Links to other languages[edit]

Since there is a significant difference between "randomness" and "coincidence", whe should be careful with these two terms. I already corrected this page linking to the german article to "Zufall" (= Randomness), now it links to "Koinzidenz". But as I just noticed this article links to the Japanese article "ランドム" ("Random"). Could someone who knows more Japanese than me check this and correct it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:11, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Prefix co-[edit]

There is no reason to explain the word coincicdence with the prefix co- and neglect the neccessity of more than just the occurrence of the sole event. There must be something second, e.g. another event or just a condition. Otherwise a linguistic contradiction might reside. However, coincidence does not require nor define a relationship, neither causal nor otherwise modal.Wireless friend (talk) 14:54, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to share 2 coincidences that happened in the last month to me, both as has been said here, connected with television. I am an avid reader, history being the primary attraction. For the first time in my 36 or so years of voracious reading, I started and finished reading about the mutiny on the bounty on a friday, and the next thing I know, the movie was on TV on the following sunday, and I happened to surf "Accidentaly" to the very channel. Someone sent me an email with a pic of a crash of a Boeing FA18 hornet (or something close). I have absolutely no interest in planes, but the name stuck on my mind for no apparent reason. The very next day, there was a program on TV about these aircraft, totally un-related to the story on the mail, I happened upon it. Go figure. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:15, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Split and Dab[edit]

Page structure[edit]

   The accompanying article is probably best described as an improper combination of an article on a vague topic, with sections on a couple of topics confusable with it, created to the exclusion of a Dab needed to Dab'ate at least

Coincidence (film)
Coincidence (mathematics) and
Coincidence (road)

to mention only the most obvious pages.
   I am putting the article in use until i quit in the middle, to continue another day (probably soon). I suspect i cannot thoroly fix it quickly, and perhaps i'm not the best candidate for the task, but when an article is so neglected that no one has seen the glaring need, any start is a better than a delay in starting.
--Jerzyt 01:52, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Physics—nonlocality theory[edit]

   The following content was in the page that i found, moved, and split. I doubt it belongs in the corrected article, but the vagueness of the statement of so technical a topic suggests to me that it offers only hints, not evidence, of any relevance to the article. Your thots?

Main article: Nonlocality
Nonlocality theory in physics is the latest example of phenomena that seem coincidental, but are in fact causal. The claim is that this and other scientific and mathematical conclusions can extend causality to every aspect of existence.

--Jerzyt 02:55, 12 May 2012 (UTC)


I removed

{{For|more on simultaneous events|Concurrency (disambiguation)}}

which evaluates to

For more on simultaneous events, see Concurrency (disambiguation).

I think i put the lk in the See-also of the new Dab, and so far i think that suffices.
--Jerzyt 03:06, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Coincidence/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

the Chopra reference has the tone of advertizing. He is not significant in the field and not a chief proponent of what reduces to simple determinism, of which the explanation is clumsy. It's weaselly. the idea that mathematics is approaching his views is nonsense, as maths do not have anything to say about teleology, or the lack of it, in the causes of actual events.Cyranorox (talk) 19:37, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Last edited at 19:37, 11 March 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 19:52, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

Urges to look at a watch/clock at a special time.[edit]

I know somebody who frequently gets the urge to look at a watch or clock just when it happens to be a special time, such as 1:11 am, or pm, or 12:34 for examples. Some people may explain those urges and the various coincidences, and others, that we are being managed by somebody or something "out there", possibly called a spirit or an angel, or God, (talk) 03:20, 11 August 2016 (UTC)