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What are the odds?
What are the odds that you exist, as you, today?
Author Ali Binazir attemps to quantify the probability that you came about and exist as you today, and reveals that the odds of you existing are almost zero.
LET'S START SMALL
What is the probability of your dad meeting your mom?
Though the world was smaller 20 years ago, your dad could have met almost 200 million of its women (go dad!)
But over 25 years, he probably met around 10,000 women.
So the odds that your mom was in this small group and met your dad is: 1 in 20,000
BUT WE KNOW HOW TRICKY LOVE CAN BE.
What is the probability that they stay together long enough to have kids?
It is a 1 in 10 chance that they talk to each other.
Also a 1 in 10 chance that they go on a second date.
Another 1 in 10 chance that they keep dating for a while.
And a coin toss if they stay together long enough for offspring.
Thus, the odds that your parents' meeting results in kids is: 1 in 2,000
So far, the combines odds of you being here are: 1 in 40,000,000 That is about the size of the population of California.
NOW THINGS ARE GOING TO GET PRETTY INTERESTING
Why? Because we are about to deal with eggs and sperm, which come in large numbers.
Mom has about 100,000 eggs in her lifetime.
Dad makes about 4 trillion sperm during the years you could have been born.
What are the odds that the 1 egg... (Sally)...
...met the 1 sperm, which together made you(and not your brother)? (Harry)
1 in 400,000,000,000,000,000 (1 in 400 quadrillion)That is approximately the volume in cubic meters of the Atlantic Ocean (3,236x10 17 cubic meters).
BUT WE'RE JUST GETTING STARTED
Because your existence here, now, and on planet earth presupposes another supremely unlikely and utterly undeniable chain of events. Namely, that every one of your ancestors lived to reproductive age- going all the way back not just to the first Homo sapiens, first Homo erectus and Homo habilis, but all the way back to the first single-celled organism. You are a representative of an unbroken lineage of life going back 4 billion years.
What are the odds that you lineage remained unbroken for the length of human existence?
1 in 2 odds that a child will be born, grow, and reproduce per generation...
... for 150,000 generations
1 in 10 45,000
That's a 10 with 45,000 zeroes after it.
How large is that number?
That number is not just larger than all the particles in the universe-it is larger that all the particles in the universe if each particle were itself a universe.
THAT'S PRETTY BIG, BUT WAIT A MINUTE.
The right sperm also had to meet the right egg for every single one of those ancestors.
ODDS OF THE RIGHT SPERM, MEETING THE RIGHT EGG 150,000 TIMES?
1 in 10 2,640,000
That is 1 quadrillion multiplied by 1 quadrillion for every generation.
Let's add it all up
10 2,640,000 x 10 45,000 x 2000 x 20,000= 1 in 10 2,685,000
The number of atoms in the body of an average male (80kg. 175 lb) is about: 10 27
The number of atoms making up the earth is about: 10 50
The number of atoms in the known universe is estimated at: 10 80
THINK OF IT LIKE THIS:
It is the probability of 2 million people getting together (about the population of San Diego) each to play a game of dice with trillion-sided dice. They each roll the dice, and they all come up with the exact same number-for example, 550,343,279,001.
SO, THE ODDS THAT YOU EXIST AT ALL ARE:
A miracle is an event so unlikely as to be almost impossible. By that definition, we have just shown that you are a miracle.
Now go forth and feel and ac like the miracle that you are.