[Taxacom] Random taxonomy

Knut Rognes knut at rognes.no
Fri Nov 29 04:24:29 CST 2013

Dear Taxacomers,


I have a statistical problem. 


Consider 50 black boxes, within each is a specimen of fly. Each fly has been
identified by someone, its name written on the inside of the box, but this
is invisible to you. You cannot peek inside. Each fly belong to one of 50
possible species. 


You have at your disposal the 50 possible species names for these flies,
each name printed on an adhesive label, the supply of printed labels for
each name is limitless. 


Here is the game: you affix a random label on the outside of a random box. 


Now the problem: What is the likelihood that you put a correct label on the
box, i.e. that the name on the label matches the identity of the fly within?


Knut Rognes

Oslo, Norway


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