This web site is dedicated to a conversation about the wonders of life.
If I look at all that had to happen before I was conceived and birthed into this world my existence here is nothing short of miraculous.
The odds were against me ever being born. One event in a string of millions of events that did or did not happen would have resulted in NO ME.
But here I am the result of al long line of precise events all the way back to the beginning of time.
All of it coming together to create the unimaginable, unique, one of a kind ME.
I was born a winner.
I am the product of immeasurable impossibilities.
This website is the beginning of a conversation about the miracle of my being …
What it is to be alive. What are the odds of you being here to read this.
Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. The book in its entirety is as entertaining as it gets when it comes to discussing scientific theories and what could be called epistemology or ontology. Here are three takeaways:
1. You exist. You are alive.
There are a few atoms that have come together in such an extraordinary way as to form a you.
These atoms could be anywhere, doing all kinds of things but for some reason for a few 10s of years they have decided to come together to be you.”
Now why atom’s do this is anyone’s idea.
Atoms are mindless particles, after all, they don’t know a thing, yet for somehow for the length of your existence these tiny devoted particles will engage in all the cooperate delicate efforts necessary to keep you humming, to make you you, to give you form and shape, and that you enjoy the rare and supremely agreeably position known as life.”
Not that these atoms are anything special either. The same basic components that make up dirt, make us up as well, “principally, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.”
2. There is no other life freely combining in such a fruitful way anywhere else. At least not with the evidence that’s in just yet.
That second sentence is a healthy qualification because the latest news that keeps coming in from physicists and cosmologists such as Alan Lightman’s 2013 book, The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew, is really throwing what we “know” and think we know on its head.
3. We live on a planet we don’t really know.
We don’t even remotely know. We don’t even know what we don’t know. By one amazing estimate, it’s quite possible that 97% of all that lives on the earth and lives in the seas is still to be discovered.”
Other universes in other time zones? Who has the time? We don’t even know an incredible amount of the pale blue dot we’ve inhabited all these years. We’ve got work to do. Checking out Bryson’s book is an entertaining stimulus package to begin your own journey.
The chances of your parents meeting, finding each other attractive and enjoying each other’s company, continuing to stay together and having a child is 1 in 2,000. The chances of you being conceived to become who you are (that is, that one particular egg meeting that single sperm; nice imagery for you there) is 1 in 4 quadrillion. The odds of your lineage remaining unbroken long enough to create you: 1 in 10[45,000]. That’s my incredibly unclear way of writing 10 with 45,000 zeros after it, so I don’t fill up this entire page with 0’s. This means that every single one of your ancestors also had to be conceived to become exactly who they were, so that scales the chance of you existing down to 1 in 10[2,640, 000]. When you calculate all of these possibilities and chances, the chances of you existing right now as you are (presumably with a huge headache after reading this) is basically zero.
What are the odds of you being alive …
The odds of your parents having you …
The odds of you ever being on the earth and reading this are 1 to 400,000,000,000**
** Odds calculated by factoring in the chances of survival of a continuous lineage of more than 100,000 generations of your predeces- sors, all surviving successive natural disasters throughout more than a million years of geological time, including factors of evolution, biogenesis, specific sperm and egg combinations, ultimately merging successfully together to result in the one-and-only YOU.
You are not here by mistake.
Around the world and down through the ages there has never been another you, and there will never be another you. The miracle of your existence is now in your hands. You are here for a purpose. You have something that only you can give to the world. Take time to consider what that is.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.” ~ Albert Einstein
CALL IT LUCK
Each the result of an endless flow of millions of events
flowing, one after another from the beginnings of time
Resulting in You
in the 7 billion other souls
that share this earth
Remove just one events and you would not be reading this.
So be quiet
be in awe
be in the moment
Never forgetting that we, the lucky ones are all individual miracles
All having one thing in common
We beat the odds which opened the door to LIFE.
For it is in that quiet awareness we each truly connect to
Meaning, happiness, joy, and love