Rainbows above the Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle at the Moment of the Queen's Death

Ann K

Senior Member.
@LilWabbit
From the article I previously cited:
To form, rainbows require two essential elements: rain or mist in the air and sunlight. As well as this, places near altitude often experience rainbows as the air cools down coming from height and turning into rain.
Content from External Source
https://thedailybrit.co.uk/where-to...w-their-symbol-of-hope-is-inspiring-a-nation/

Upon reading that again, I see that they've left out a third essential element: a viewer. Rain and sun give diffraction of light, but it isn't a rainbow until there's someone (or a camera) looking at it, because it appears as an arc at the appropriate angle to the viewer. @Ravi makes a point that you seen to be missing: people saw it at the place where they were gathered because that's where they were gathered.
 

jplaza

Member
1. Go find data about precipitation, cloud cover, etc... for a date/time (check here, for instance https://view.eumetsat.int/productviewer?v=default)
2. Pick a place in the UK.
3. Find the position of the Sun
4. Workout whether a rainbow can be visible, and in which direction from that point.
5. Go back to 2 and pick a different place until you map the whole UK
6. Go back to 1 and pick a different date/time

There you have your map of "rainbow appearance" probability.

Now take into account that for a map of "rainbow reporting" probability is going to be modulated by the population density (more people in an area, more chance that anyone sees a rainbow AND reports it, even if the probability of appearance is the same in London than Invermoriston.)

Good luck.
 

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LilWabbit

Senior Member
@LilWabbit
From the article I previously cited:
To form, rainbows require two essential elements: rain or mist in the air and sunlight. As well as this, places near altitude often experience rainbows as the air cools down coming from height and turning into rain.
Content from External Source
https://thedailybrit.co.uk/where-to...w-their-symbol-of-hope-is-inspiring-a-nation/

Upon reading that again, I see that they've left out a third essential element: a viewer. Rain and sun give diffraction of light, but it isn't a rainbow until there's someone (or a camera) looking at it, because it appears as an arc at the appropriate angle to the viewer. @Ravi makes a point that you seen to be missing: people saw it at the place where they were gathered because that's where they were gathered.

How am I missing that point? Rather, you and @Ravi are missing the point inherent in the RVZ that rainbows are potentially visible in these zones whenever there's an observer there. If there's none, the weather conditions optimal for rainbow-viewing are still present within those zones. These zones are observer-independent and locatable while the rainbows viewed from within these zones aren't.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
1. Go find data about precipitation, cloud cover, etc... for a date/time (check here, for instance https://view.eumetsat.int/productviewer?v=default)
2. Pick a place in the UK.
3. Find the position of the Sun
4. Workout whether a rainbow can be visible, and in which direction from that point.
5. Go back to 2 and pick a different place until you map the whole UK
6. Go back to 1 and pick a different date/time

There you have your map of "rainbow appearance" probability.

Now take into account that for a map of "rainbow reporting" probability is going to be modulated by the population density (more people in an area, more chance that anyone sees a rainbow AND reports it, even if the probability of appearance is the same in London than Invermoriston.)

Good luck.

A solid sequence of steps! Only if some algorithm could go through them for every September afternoon of the last decade at the coordinates of the viewing area in front of the Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Then at least we'll have some sort of a RVZ probability distribution.
 

Henkka

Active Member
In other words, the timing of the two rainbows didn't accurately coincide with the exact moment of the Queen's death but rather coincided uncannily accurately with the Palace's public announcement of her death. Does it really disprove the overall claim though, or rather add it further credence?
It doesn't add or decrease its credence... Whether or not a rainbow was made to appear by God is a completely unknowable thing. It can't be proven or disproven, so there's not much sense even talking about it. Like you have two options here:

A) The double rainbow just appeared by coincidence

B) It was a divine sign

How could you determine which one is more likely? You can't, because the probability of B) is completely unknowable.
 

jplaza

Member
English is not my first language, so I may be missing somehting, but this is not what I understand for a rainbow over Buckingham Palace:


Yeah, for people west of the palace it will seem like the rainbow is over the palace. But that's not where the camera was, and where most people were gathering.

Buckinham.png

You can add what has already been said about the hour of death and hour of announcement, so is there any claim to debunk? Or just a creative journalist making headlines?

Or is actually the claim that there is something to debunk what needs to be debunked?
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
English is not my first language, so I may be missing somehting, but this is not what I understand for a rainbow over Buckingham Palace:


Yeah, for people west of the palace it will seem like the rainbow is over the palace. But that's not where the camera was, and where most people were gathering.

Buckinham.png

You can add what has already been said about the hour of death and hour of announcement, so is there any claim to debunk? Or just a creative journalist making headlines?

Or is actually the claim that there is something to debunk what needs to be debunked?

You're right. It's sort of directly 'in front of' the Palace, as far as the viewer's experience is concerned. But not 'above' the Palace. But it doesn't really debunk the overall claim of two rainbows appearing for the viewers gathered at the Palace just at the right time of public announcement, coinciding with another one at Windsor.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
It doesn't add or decrease its credence... Whether or not a rainbow was made to appear by God is a completely unknowable thing. It can't be proven or disproven, so there's not much sense even talking about it. Like you have two options here:

A) The double rainbow just appeared by coincidence

B) It was a divine sign

How could you determine which one is more likely? You can't, because the probability of B) is completely unknowable.

Potentially, you can scientifically establish whether the coincidence was likely or unlikely, and that if it were as unlikely and non-arbitrary as it seemed to the observers, it's not unreasonable for the self-same observers to think the rainbows appeared by design. No further theological speculation is required nor parsimonious.
 
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jplaza

Member
You're right. It's sort of directly 'in front of' the Palace, as far as the viewer's experience is concerned. But not 'above' the Palace. But it doesn't really debunk the overall claim of two rainbows appearing for the viewers gathered at the Palace just at the right time of public announcement, coinciding with another one at Windsor.
I had to look where Windsor castle is, and I found is close to London. I am pretty sure the same rainbow was seen from Buckinham, Windsor, Heathrow, Big Ben, Hyde Park, Covent Garden, Greenwich,...

(that is, if buildings nearby allow for that)
mapa_Londres.png
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
I had to look where Windsor castle is, and I found is close to London. I am pretty sure the same rainbow was seen from Buckinham, Windsor, Heathrow, Big Ben, Hyde Park, Covent Garden, Greenwhich,...

(that is, if buildings nearby allow for that)
mapa_Londres.png

There's quite a distance between the Windsor Castle and the Buckingham Palace. Similar conditions for rainbow viewing surely existed in both places, but the same exact droplets diffracting the light that appears as a rainbow to the viewer's eyes/sensory apparatus at both locations? Not likely.

Also, was there a contiguous RVZ between the two locations at the same moment? If yes, then we cannot really talk about "two" rainbows appearing at different royal locations.
 
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jplaza

Member
There's quite a distance between the Windsor Castle and the Buckingham Palace. Similar conditions for rainbow viewing surely existed in both places, but the same exact droplets diffracting the light that appears as a rainbow to viewer's eyes at both locations? Not likely.
Move 100 meters away from Buckingham, and the difrfaction won't be ocurring on the same exact droplets either.

The diffraction ocurrs on the same mass of water though, even if not the same exact droplets.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Move 100 meters away from Buckingham, and the difrfaction won't be ocurring on the same exact droplets either.

The diffraction ocurrs on the same mass of water though, even if not the same exact droplets.

Correct. Hence I find it more helpful to discuss about RVZs and the geographic span of the Buckingham Palace RVZ at that moment, whether it contiguously extended all the way to Windsor.
 

Henkka

Active Member
Potentially, you can scientifically establish whether the coincidence was likely or unlikely, and that if it were as unlikely and non-arbitrary as it seemed to the observers, it's not unreasonable for the self-same observers to think the rainbows appeared by design. No further theological speculation is required nor parsimonious.
Yeah, I'd say that a double rainbow occurring on specific time and location is a very unlikely event. But what I'm saying is, what do you do with that information? Where do you go from there? You're no closer to determining if there was divine intervention involved.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Yeah, I'd say that a double rainbow occurring on specific time and location is a very unlikely event. But what I'm saying is, what do you do with that information? Where do you go from there? You're no closer to determining if there was divine intervention involved.

By contraposition you get closer. Let me clarify the argument by contraposition once more.

As I've stated earlier, under a materialist/naturalist worldview these coincidences would still amount to a highly unlikely, whilst possible, co-occurrence of awe-inspiring physical and emotionally moving political phenomena (i.e. deaths of widely respected monarchs and appearances of beautiful rainbows at the seats of their reign on the day of their passing). It's a very unlikely co-occurrence because both of these phenomena historically occur at random variance in relatively low frequency.

If they happen to co-occur as they did on the 8th, it 'smacks' of a divine commemoration to the unbiased lay observer and hence of intelligent design. Why?

Because their co-occurrence is analogous in the unbiased lay observer's mind to how humans (theists or atheists) would commemorate their deceased loved ones by beautiful visuals, music and other forms of art. It doesn't require one to be theistically pre-disposed in the slightest to see intelligent meaning in the rainbows by simple mental association to human funerals.

Since the logical alternative to a chance occurrence is determinism, by the inference rule of contraposition in first-order propositional logic the mere improbability of the above-described co-occurrence by chance, and the fact that it involves synchrony with a sociopolitically significant event (the death of Queen Elizabeth II), translates into the greater probability of the logically alternative claim of purposeful determinism a.k.a. intelligent design.

However, all of this seeming purposefulness can be disproven by demonstrating that on every other average September afternoon rainbows can be seen at the Buckingham Palace and the Windsor Castle.

I hope this was helpful.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
But it doesn't really debunk the overall claim of two rainbows appearing for the viewers gathered at the Palace just at the right time of public announcement, coinciding with another one at Windsor.
You keep changing what claim is being debunked. Maybe if you followed Posting Guidelines for this thread you wouldnt be so confused about (or need so many words to explain) what exactly you are debunking.


it 'smacks' of a divine commemoration
I dont think you know the definition of divine in the context you keep using it. Either that or you started a thread solely to mock people's religious beliefs and grief.



However, all of this seeming purposefulness can be disproven by demonstrating that on every other average September afternoon rainbows can be seen at the Buckingham Palace and the Windsor Castle.
Then why dont you just find a picture or two that shows a double rainbow has ever occurred over Buckingham Palace. Why are you proposing a ridiculous and impossible map of all of England? Why do you keep insulting members who are telling you the parameters of your 'study' are wrong. (In fact many of the parameters of the study suggested here are so wrong it's almost laughable, and yet you have the hubris to mock my credentials of rainbow science? lol)


Thus far the discussion, including your comment, has demonstrated that the topic is more uncomfortable to many regulars than the UFOs without people being sufficiently open about the reasons of their discomfort.

You're going to need to decipher (use small words) this sentence. Because i am reading it as you comparing this disrespectful "debunking" of mourners* with debunking UFOs!? Is that what you are really saying?

You are not "uncomfortable", you are grossly and heartbreakingly disrespectful to millions and millions of people worldwide who are in their fresh pain of mourning. This thread is ALSO disrespectful to religious people EVERYWHERE, regardless of their feelings of the Queen's passing, because of your constant flippant paraphrasing injecting the word "divine".

*Like i said to my psychotic (<that's literal not hyperbole) cousin after Sandy Hook "Can't you just f'ing wait until we bury the children before you start vomiting your 'don't take my guns' crap? Show some respect. What the __is wrong with you?"

I realize that NOW on page 2 and 3 you are claiming that you are trying to prove the mourners right, but your OP and following posts and excessive impoliteness to other commenters, in no way reads that way. And most readers don't even finish page 1 of threads.

And i dont need to hear you condescend to me and insult my intelligence again with a response to this. YOU accused people of not being "sufficiently open about the reasons", so i am only writing this to you to enlighten you on the subject. Obviously the moderators are fine with your thread and your paraphrasing and your not following Posting Guidelines, so my opinion does not matter...again i'm only telling you because you accused us of not telling you.

If you left out all the religion bashing in your OP and just asked "What are the chances a double rainbow would occur over Buckingham Palace with a concurrent rainbow at Windsor" in Chat Chat your thread would not appear to some others as so ghoulish.
 
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LilWabbit

Senior Member
For a full hour I've been searching the internet for any pictures of rainbows at any angles at the Buckingham Palace and Windsor, taken before the date of the Queen's passing. I haven't found a single picture, not even historical ones. One would reasonably expect that especially Buckingham Palace and its immediate environs which is visited by a stream of tourists around the year would have been photographed with a rainbow before.

Surely my inability to find even a single picture is not a perfect indicator of the rarity of rainbows appearing at Buckingham Palace. But it surely is starting to seem like a very, very rare occurrence.

Please post a picture if you find, preferably with a date and year. Maybe they're all on Instragram which I'm not a subscriber of.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member

Thanks for the very efficient quick search. The August 2007 and the May 2012 ones are caused by the fountain but the others are legit "rain" bows.

I googled "White House rainbow" just out of curiosity and found this one above the Mall from April 2021 reported on The Washington Post (nothing significant happened on that day):

74347EAE-76E8-429B-8644-B869D918A8D1.jpeg

In August 2017 on a "day when Trump left Washington" (a quip from the Left), this one appeared above the White House:

88D716B8-4024-4329-B690-20D3B35D1707.jpeg
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Thanks for the very efficient quick search.
I think the take away (for me) is if google, instagram and Flickr only have those few examples, it is not all that super common. and i found no examples of double rainbows (aside from the fountain spray). maybe you can check AP Images, Shutterstock and Getty Images (press phtoo databases)

but i like that there was also one on the Diamond Jubilee.

Imgur is a site too. but its flooded with the new rainbow so i dont want to trough through it to find older rainbow examples, if there are any
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Given that rainbows appear at Buckingham Palace at random variance in such a low frequency, it's highly unlikely, whilst possible, that rainbows appearing both at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to onlookers at the exact moment the death of their Chief Royal Resident is announced is just a normal chance occurrence.

Logically, it's either (1) a very unlikely chance occurrence or, by contraposition, (2) more likely a purposefully timed appearance orchestrated by 'something intelligent and powerful' whatever that may be (the specifics are irrelevant).

As uncomfortable as this conclusion may seem to some readers, it's neither unreasonable, illogical, nor unscientific. It's just awkward.

This conclusion is also more than befitting for the sad occasion of the passing of a much-beloved monarch.

For an unbiased lay observer (whether religious or agnostic/atheist) this special co-occurrence reminds them of how most humans would commemorate their deceased loved ones by beautiful visuals, music and other forms of art. Therefore, it doesn't require one to be theistically pre-disposed to see intelligent and beautiful meaning in these rainbow appearances by simple mental association to human funerals.

Thank you for bearing with me and please accept my apologies if there were any miscommunications on my part, suggesting that I'm doing anything other than honouring the Queen's memory in my own weird way.
 

jplaza

Member
Given that rainbows appear at Buckingham Palace at random variance in such a low frequency, it's highly unlikely, whilst possible, that rainbows appearing both at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to onlookers at the exact moment the death of their Chief Royal Resident is announced is just a normal chance occurrence.
What is the normal chance of occurrence?
Is it more or less unlikely than the rainbow appearing at ...Greenwich? ...Oxford? ...Manchester? ...Balmoral, where the the Chief Royal Resident was?
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
What is the normal chance of occurrence?

One where the two variables (the death of monarchs and rainbows appearing at their seats of reign) roughly observe normal (Gaussian) distribution. Their co-occurrence in such low historical frequencies, under normal random distribution, is therefore extremely unlikely.

Is it more or less unlikely than the rainbow appearing at ...Greenwich? ...Oxford? ...Manchester?

A rainbow appearing at Greenwich, Oxford or Manchester does not have the same geographic reference point to the Queen where mourners are gathered for news. Hence they're unnecessary for the present calculation. But if indeed there were multiple rare rainbow sightings all across UK on the same afternoon, how would that lessen the seeming remarkability of the occurrence?

...Balmoral, where the the Chief Royal Resident was?

The Balmoral Castle isn't a place where people can gather outside for news, nor is it anywhere comparable to Buckingham Palace in its royal significance. Are you saying rainbows appearing at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle aren't enough of a remarkable coincidence, and that the coincidence would be sufficiently remarkable only if the Balmoral Castle is included as the third location for a rainbow appearance?

Me raising a toast to the late Queen outside the Buckingham Palace doesn't lose its symbolic significance if I fail to do the same at Windsor and Balmoral Castles. And yet, the largest inhabited castle in the world and the Queen's favourite residence was the Windsor Castle (rather than the Balmoral) where a rainbow also appeared at the same moment.
 
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Ann K

Senior Member.
Logically, it's either (1) a very unlikely chance occurrence or, by contraposition, (2) more likely a purposefully timed appearance orchestrated by 'something intelligent and powerful' whatever that may be (the specifics are irrelevant).
You don't have numerical values upon which to base (1), so probabilities cannot be ascertained. Calling it "very unlikely" is an unwarranted conclusion. After all, the moment of death is still not known to the general public, and the two royal sites in the area of London may just have been at different points on the edge of the same rainstorm. The particular time at which rainbows appeared is dependent on the time when the sun was low enough in the sky to form rainbows.

As for (2), the specifics are indeed not irrelevant, since you call it "more likely". Rainbows are a well-understood celestial display; I've seen hundreds in my long lifetime, and @deirdre managed to find a number of examples of them in those particular places. But neither the "intelligence" nor the "power"(nor the "purposeful timing", as I've mentioned) are in evidence at all, so even the possibility of scenario 2 would have to be minuscule in comparison to the coincidence of rainbows occurring in two areas on a memorable day.
 
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jplaza

Member
One where the two variables (the death of monarchs and rainbows appearing at their seats of reign) roughly observe normal (Gaussian) distribution. Their co-occurrence in such low historical frequencies, under normal random distribution, is therefore extremely unlikely.
I fail to see what the x-axis variable would be for such a distribution.

How much statistics have you gathered to conclude they are a gaussian distribution... of whatever the numerical variables are?

A rainbow appearing at Greenwich, Oxford or Manchester does not have the same geographic reference point to the Queen where mourners are gathered for news. Hence they're unnecessary for the present calculation. But if indeed there were multiple rare rainbow sightings all across UK on the same afternoon, how would that lessen the seeming remarkability of the occurrence?
My point is, if the appearance of a rainbow has the same probability at every place (either high or low, it doesn't matter), in any case, mathematically expressed as an "uniform probability distribution over longitude and latitude variables", then seeing from a specific point a phenomenon that can be seen from a wide area that includes "remarkable" and "unremakable" sites, means nothing.


The Balmoral Castle isn't a place where people can gather outside for news, nor is it anywhere comparable to Buckingham Palace in its royal significance. Are you saying rainbows appearing at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle aren't enough of a remarkable coincidence, and that the coincidence would be sufficiently remarkable only if the Balmoral Castle is included as the third location for a rainbow appearance?
It is the place where she died. Not relevant for me or rainbows, but you should then explain what criterion you are using to decide which places are relevant and which are not.

BTW, even if people could not gather there, there were TV, journalist, etc... that could have taken images, in that case.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
You don't have numerical values upon which to base (1), so probabilities cannot be ascertained.

Correct. We're operating on rough estimates based on the limited information we have where @deirdre provided a glimpse into the rarity of rainbow appearances at Buckingham Palace. Something which I had already assumed earlier but had no evidence. Now we have very rudimentary evidence.

Calling it "very unlikely" is an unwarranted conclusion.

Not if we base it on the few pictures showcasing rainbows at the Buckingham Palace over the years. They present a picture of low frequency at random time-variance. It's reasonable to expect there to be many more pictures if it were a more common occurrence. "Very unlikely" is not a numerically specific conclusion, granted, but it's not an unwarranted one either.

After all, the moment of death is still not known to the general public,

But the announcement is and that's when the rainbows appeared. To suggest that the rainbows appearing exactly at the moment of the announcement at 1830 hrs is not as remarkable as them occurring at the (thus far unknown) moment of death is itself an unwarranted and unreasonable assumption. It comes across as motivated reasoning to trivialize the coincidence because 'I don't like anything that implies a more mystical explanation'. No disrespect intended.

and the two royal sites in the area of London may just have been at different points on the edge of the same rainstorm.

Windsor Castle is not in the area of Greater London. It's in the County of Berkshire. Greater London is to the east of Berkshire. And even if the two castles are at different points of the same overall rainstorm, the double-rainbow footage from Buckingham demonstrates there was plenty of choppy cloud cover towards the direction of The Mall (pointing NE where the rainbow 'appeared') while the sun shone underneath a slightly less choppy cloud cover from the rough direction of SW. I think someone clever here can quickly produce a weather map of Southern England at 1830 hrs on 8 September 2022 to settle this matter.

But if indeed it was a choppy cloud cover all the way from Buckingham to Windsor, it's then unlikely that the rainbow-viewing zone at Buckingham Palace contiguously extended all the way to Windsor Castle, and hence all this talk of 'two different rainbows' remains reasonable. There were likely plenty of spots between Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle where no rainbows were visible at any angle. And yet, if the rainbow-viewing zone was contiguous all the way, the coincidence still remains statistically unlikely.

As for (2), the specifics are indeed not irrelevant, since you call it "more likely".

They are if we wish to be scientific and parsimonious. This implies involving only the barest minimum and necessary amount of theoretical statements to account for the set facts at hand.

But neither the "intelligence" nor the "power" (nor the "purposeful timing", as I've mentioned) are in evidence at all

By logical contraposition they are, rather than by direct observation. The fact (if properly shown) that a normal random distribution producing such a coincidence is unlikely renders a non-chance occurrence more likely. Contraposition is a kind of a logical gimmick, but totally valid at that, that does not require us to indulge in profound and detailed theories on the exact nature of the intelligence and power involved in the alternative non-chance occurrence.

so even the possibility of scenario 2 would have to be minuscule in comparison to the coincidence of rainbows occurring in two areas on a memorable day.

Not unless you can pinpoint errors in my application of the inference rule of contraposition above.
 
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Ann K

Senior Member.
Contraposition is a kind of a logical gimmick, but totally valid at that, that does not require us to indulge in profound and detailed theories on the exact nature of the intelligence and power involved in the alternative non-chance occurrence.
If I were to say that X is "unlikely" therefore the contraposition Y, but that pink unicorns cause Y, I'm sure you'd point out the improbability of pink unicorns (as well as the complete lack of any known mechanism by which, if they existed, they could actually cause the rainbow) renders that conclusion to be unsound. That's what you've just done.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
As for (2), the specifics are indeed not irrelevant, since you call it "more likely". Rainbows are a well-understood celestial display; I've seen hundreds in my long lifetime, and @deirdre managed to find a number of examples of them in those particular places. But neither the "intelligence" nor the "power"(nor the "purposeful timing", as I've mentioned) are in evidence at all, so even the possibility of scenario 2 would have to be minuscule in comparison to the coincidence of rainbows occurring in two areas on a memorable day.
There's a common error in thinking that sometimes holds something specific more likely than the general group. The example goes something like this: you meet a guy in a bait&tackle shop, and find out he works at IBM. Is it more likely that a) he's a software engineer, or that b) he's a software engineer who goes fishing on weekends? People will pounce on b), but a) is more likely since it includes b) and also software engineers who don't go fishing.

If we're looking at rainbows in Britain, that includes both rainbows caused naturally and rainbows caused by superpowers; the abundance or scarcity of such rainbows is knowledge about the general case, and can therefore not yield information about the specific case, i.e. how likely it is that any given rainbow was caused by a superpower is unknowable that way, no matter how unlikely rainbows are in general.

What you need is evidence for superpowers, not evidence for rainbows.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
I fail to see what the x-axis variable would be for such a distribution.

How much statistics have you gathered to conclude they are a gaussian distribution... of whatever the numerical variables are?

The assumption of a random (Gaussian) distribution is a theoretical tool used to model chance variables. The times of death of people and the times when conditions are ripe for rainbow-viewing at a given location seem somewhat random/chancy. But if we do not agree they are random, or at least involve a major random component, then we're taking on the far bigger burden of demonstrating non-random patterns in their occurrence. In the case of rainbows, obviously, there are some non-random patterns in terms of the time of day, and certain rainy seasons, when they are more likely. But within those timeframes they seem to follow a roughly Gaussian pattern.

My point is, if the appearance of a rainbow has the same probability at every place (either high or low, it doesn't matter), in any case, mathematically expressed as an "uniform probability distribution over longitude and latitude variables", then seeing from a specific point a phenomenon that can be seen from a wide area that includes "remarkable" and "unremakable" sites, means nothing.

I fully understand your point, and I have myself already outlined its gist in the OP as well as many posts since. If rainbows appeared very frequently and at random all over Britain, say virtually every other September afternoon an hour or two before sunset, the Buckingham Palace and Windsor rainbows would (no disrespect intended to any a believer), objectively speaking, lose their symbolic significance. In fact, it would be sufficient to demystify these rainbow appearances by simply demonstrating how they occur at those two locations quite regularly at those times in September.

But based on the low frequency of Buckingham Palace rainbows using our rough photo search (thanks to @deirdre) as a tentative starting point, that doesn't seem to be at all the case.

It is the place where she died. Not relevant for me or rainbows, but you should then explain what criterion you are using to decide which places are relevant and which are not.

I think the proper scientific approach is thinking the other way around. The places where the rainbows appeared at 1830 hrs are factually known. Buckingham and Windsor. The real phenomenon for which there are two rival theoretical explanations. These locations are, factually, her chief residences and seats of reign. They're not a theoretical criterion. For awe-inspiring rainbows to appear there at 1830 hrs when her death was announced, and when mourners were gathered there, seems like a remarkable coincidence. Unless it is demonstrated that it was a likely occurrence explicable by the usual distribution of rainbows at those locations.

BTW, even if people could not gather there, there were TV, journalist, etc... that could have taken images, in that case.

No doubt.
 
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LilWabbit

Senior Member
If I were to say that X is "unlikely" therefore the contraposition Y, but that pink unicorns cause Y, I'm sure you'd point out the improbability of pink unicorns (as well as the complete lack of any known mechanism by which, if they existed, they could actually cause the rainbow) renders that conclusion to be unsound. That's what you've just done.

It's decidedly not what I have done. 'Pink unicorns' is actually quite a cheap shot and a trite strawman, I would've expected a more reasonable counter-point from you. I generally respect the sound reasoning behind what you post. But that's irrelevant. Back to the point:

I've clearly outlined chance and determinism as logical contrapositions. If there's a third one, let me know. The properties of 'intelligence' and 'power over physics' come reasonably into play with any deterministic (non-chancy) hypothesis involving a rare co-occurrence of sociopolitically significant events with human observers (intelligence) and rainbows (power over physics). As if the deterministic variable in question was 'aware' of the sociopolitically significant events that were occurring. But if this is too much of a leap for you, let's just say the contraposition to chance is unintelligent determinism. Then that unintelligent deterministic thing is more likely than the chance co-occurrence. Whatever that is.

Maybe the intelligent universe has been brilliantly calibrated in just the right way for two genuinely random processes (the death of Queen Elizabeth II and rainbows appearing at her chief seats of reign) to result in a meaningful co-occurrence on 8 September 2022, without any need for a deus ex machina 'divine intervention' to manipulate the laws of physics. Call it the Intelligent Calibration Theory or whatever. But if not, then there's some inexplicable unintelligent action-at-a-distance between these two variables (the death of Queen Elizabeth II and concurrent rainbows at her chief residences), yet to be discovered, but remotely similar to nonlocality in quantum mechanics. The latter is a sillier deterministic theory imho compared to the ICT. But a theoretical possibility all the same (on the deterministic side of the coin).

In short, 'intelligence' and 'power over physics' are logically reasonable components of the deterministic contraposition to chance in this particular case.

If there are any logical loopholes in my reasoning above, please pinpoint them specifically and explicitly rather appeal to obscure and disparaging strawmen.
 
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jplaza

Member
The assumption of a random (Gaussian) distribution is a theoretical tool used to model chance variables. The times of death of people and the times when conditions are ripe for rainbow-viewing at a given location seem somewhat random/chancy. But if we do not agree they are random, or at least involve a major random component, then we're taking on the far bigger burden of demonstrating non-random patterns in their occurrence. In the case of rainbows, obviously, there are some non-random patterns in terms of the time of day, and certain rainy seasons, when they are more likely. But within those timeframes they seem to follow a roughly Gaussian pattern.
I think the word "gaussian" does not mean what you think it means ;)

A random variable can be distributed in different ways:
- Gaussian distribution means (roughly) that multiple measurements (for instance, of an electric current) will gather around an average value within a certain deviation, with a specific shape which is mathematically defined. In fact, a gaussian shape with a very small deviation is kind of "spoiling" the randomness, as one single value becomes the most probable!
- A uniform distribution means all results are equally probable, like in gambling in a roulette: all numbers should have the same probability of wining. I would never ever gamble in a roulette which has a gaussian distribution: they are cheating!!
- You can even make up an "inverted gauss" distribution, where all values are equally probable, except those around an average value and deviation defined by an "inverted gauss shape"
- The number of different rainbows that can appear for a certain fixed period of time can be modeled using a Poisson distribution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisson_distribution)
- The number of cards guessed using Zener cards (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zener_cards) can be modeled using a binomial distribution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binomial_distribution)

Now, you can statistically model the location where a rainbow can be seen using latitude and longitude.

If you say that they are both gaussian distributions it means that there is a very specific point where rainbows are seen more likely than others, and the further you move away from that point, less likely is to see one. That's what "gaussian" means. (or you could use an "inverted gaussian" to say it is the least likely spot to see a rainbow). Either case, that itself would deserve a research, without the need of a Queen passing. It means that would be a special location for some reason.

I don't see any reason to suppose the distribution has to be different than uniform (i.e. same probability at Buckingham than London Eye, Windsor, Greenwich, Salisbury or wherever). It is random, but not neccesarily gaussian.

I fully understand your point, and I have myself already outlined its gist in the OP as well as many posts since. If rainbows appeared very frequently and at random all over Britain, say virtually every other September afternoon an hour or two before sunset, the Buckingham Palace and Windsor rainbows would (no disrespect intended to any a believer), objectively speaking, lose their symbolic significance. In fact, it would be sufficient to demystify these rainbow appearances by simply demonstrating how they occur at those two locations quite regularly at those times in September

But based on the low frequency of Buckingham Palace rainbows using our rough photo search (thanks to @deirdre) as a tentative starting point, that doesn't seem to be at all the case.
You should compare that frequency to other "non remarkable" sites, not stick to a single value. Also, basing your statistics on photo search can lead you to wrong conclusions. It depends on :
- weather/sun conditions to create a rainbow
- People around to see it
- People having a camera to take a picture.
- People uploading it to internet.

I don't expect the frequency of being able to see rainbows from Whitechapel to be significantly different. However, I kind of think Whitechapel is not as photogenic as Buckingham. Also, some places may usually be more crowded than others, increasing the probability that someone takes a picture that is later uploaded to internet.

I think the proper scientific approach is thinking the other way around. The places where the rainbows appeared at 1830s are factually known. Buckingham and Windsor.
Places where rainbows were reported to appear at 1830 are known. Places where rainbows appeared but were not reported are not, because the focus of attention was at the other places. You are looking at a single spot, ignoring others.

The real phenomenon for which there are two rival theoretical explanations. These locations are, factually, her chief residences and seats of reign.
Balmoral is factually the place where the passing occurred.
They're not a theoretical criterion. For awe-inspiring rainbows to appear there at 1830 hrs when her death was announced, and when mourners were gathered there, seems like a remarkable coincidence.
I wouldn't expect mourners to gather at London Eye. But I expect they could also see the rainbow.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
I think the word "gaussian" does not mean what you think it means ;)

Actually you are demonstrating below that we mean exactly the same thing. Equiprobability. Gaussian distribution is the probability distribution for a real-valued random variable (see below). I'm assuming the death of monarchs and rainbow appearances are more or less random variables. Obviously, using the Gaussian model here is a theoretical approximation of a more nuanced real-world variable, employed as a rough tool.

- A uniform distribution means all results are equally probable, like in gambling in a roulette: all numbers should have the same probability of wining. I would never ever gamble in a roulette which has a gaussian distribution: they are cheating!!

Article:
In statistics, a normal distribution (also known as Gaussian, Gauss, or Laplace–Gauss distribution) is a type of continuous probability distribution for a real-valued random variable. The general form of its probability density function is

{\displaystyle f(x)={\frac {1}{\sigma {\sqrt {2\pi }}}}e^{-{\frac {1}{2}}\left({\frac {x-\mu }{\sigma }}\right)^{2}}}



Now, you can statistically model the location where a rainbow can be seen using latitude and longitude.

If you say that they are both gaussian distributions it means that there is a very specific point where rainbows are seen more likely than others,

Gaussian distribution in the way it was applied in my argument means two things:

(1) The probability that the rainbow would be visible at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle is roughly the same as at any other spot roughly within the same unpredictable weather system at the time.

(2) Due to 1, statistically a rainbow is regularly visible at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle after somewhat long intervals due to the low frequency of their appearance.

Places where rainbows were reported to appear at 1830 are known. Places where rainbows appeared but were not reported are not, because the focus of attention was at the other places. You are looking at a single spot, ignoring others.

I'm not. I've said since the OP that if there's data showing that rainbows 'appear' commonly at those times and in those overall whereabouts, such data would serve to demystify these claims a notch. Not completely. Obviously we've realized that such data is harder to come by. Yet, in our modern day and age, photographs of rainbows are increasingly taken on the spot by the average smart phone user. And hence if there were other locations with rainbows sightings in London or in the UK, we'd likely have photographs of them 'somewhere'. It's just a matter of digging them out from 'somewhere'. I lack the opportunities and means to do a comprehensive digging.

Balmoral is factually the place where the passing occurred.

And how does that reduce the remarkability of rainbows appearing to crowds of observers at Buckingham and Windsor exactly at the announcement of the Queen's death?

I wouldn't expect mourners to gather at London Eye. But I expect they could also see the rainbow.

Maybe they could indeed. Maybe they couldn't. We don't know yet. But if they could, then afterwards when the London Eye observers learn about the Queen's death, they might find it remarkable that it occurred in London in the very same afternoon the Queen died whilst no rainbows have been visible in London for days, maybe months.

Also, they wouldn't be stupid believers in Pink Unicorns in experiencing the said sense of wonder.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
But a theoretical possibility all the same
is there an actual theory that admits to that possibility? in the sense of a complex web of thought?

if yes, is the idea that all rainbows are flowing from that kind of theoretical cause also possible?
 
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