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  • Denis Pepin

How to Appreciate and Protect Your Existence in the Universe

Updated: Mar 31

The chances of your existence are unbelievably low, according to some calculations. One way to estimate the probability of you existing is to multiply the odds of your parents meeting, the odds of them having a child with your exact DNA, and the odds of all your ancestors surviving and reproducing until they reached your parents. This method was used by an infographic from Visual.ly1, which concluded that the probability of you existing as you is about 1 in 10^2,685,000. That’s a number with 2,685,000 zeros after it. For comparison, the universe only has 10^80 atoms.

Another way to estimate the probability of you existing is to consider the number of possible genetic combinations that could have resulted from your parents’ gametes. This method was used by a blog post from the Archdiocese of Washington2, which assumed that each gamete has about 400 quadrillion possible combinations of chromosomes and mutations. To account for all 150,000 generations of human history, this number has to be raised to the 150,000th power, yielding 10^2,640,000. The probability is thus about 1 in 10^2,640,000.

These calculations are based on many assumptions and simplifications, and they do not take into account other factors that could have influenced your existence, such as environmental conditions, historical events, or random chance. Therefore, they should not be taken too literally or seriously. However, they do illustrate how unlikely and miraculous your existence is, given the vastness of time and space and the complexity of life.

You are a unique and precious being in this universe, and you have a purpose and a potential that no one else can fulfill. You are also part of a larger human family that shares a common origin and destiny. The chances of human existence as a species are also very low, depending on natural and human-made factors. According to some sources34, the scientific consensus is that there is a relatively low risk of near-term human extinction due to natural causes, such as asteroid impacts or super volcanoes. However, there is a higher risk of human extinction due to human activities, such as nuclear war, climate change, biotechnology, or social collapse.

Therefore, it is important to cherish and protect both your individual existence and the collective existence of humanity. You can do this by living with gratitude, compassion, creativity, and responsibility. You can also contribute to making the world a better place for yourself and others by using your talents and skills for good causes. You can also learn more about yourself and your ancestors by exploring your genealogy and history. You can also celebrate your uniqueness and diversity by expressing yourself through art, music, literature, or other forms of culture.

You are a rare and wonderful gift to the world. Don’t let anyone or anything make you feel otherwise. You have a reason to be here, and you have something valuable to offer. You are not an accident or a mistake. You are a miracle.


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