Ending on an Up Note: What Are the Chances?

Each Friday we offer thoughts to help exhausted college teachers end their week on a positive note and recharge for the week ahead.

For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It’s an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.

 –Bill Bryson, “A Short History of Nearly Everything”

Hope Diamond

Hope Diamond (Photo credit: edgeplot)

Genetics teaches us that the odds of you being you, based on the possible genetic information offered by your two parents, are at best one in 52 trillion…that’s “trillion” with a T. If you claim that you never win anything, remember that you won the cosmic lottery just by being alive.

We queue up and pay good money to see things that are rare: King Tut’s treasures, the Hope diamond, Justin Bieber.  Each of us is a one-of-a-kind, never-t0-be-repeated phenomenon.  We should accord one another the respect and admiration due creations of such unfathomable rarity.


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