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A statistic I have been quoting that is completely wrong…

A statistic I have been quoting that is completely wrong…

Time to Read:  Between 2 and 3 Minutes

A statistic I have been quoting that is completely wrong…

For the last few years, with great drama, excitement and a definition of ‘miracle’ thrown in, I have been sharing with people around the world the very unlikely chance of them being born:

1 in 400 trillion times (4×10 to the power of 14)

This is because the amount of available DNA so vastly outnumbers the number of actual people, that Scientist Richard Dawkins concludes the odds against you being born are so great that this event has no chance of happening.

No scientific chance whatsoever.

And yet, here you are.

The good news – you are a miracle.

Now the bad news, many experts now believe that 1 in 400 trillion figure is in fact wrong. So, maybe you are not a miracle at all

No, the new chances of you being on this planet and reading this are so vast the term miracle doesn’t begin to do them justice, because those odds of 400 trillion to 1 against don’t take into account the chances of your mum meeting your dad, that they stay together long enough to have kids, that 1 egg happened to meet that 1 sperm…

We are now up to 1 in 400 quadrillion – 1 in 400,000,000,000,000,000

That is approximately the volume in cubic metres of the Atlantic Ocean

Hang on though – there is another factor at play here – namely that every one of your ancestors going back 4 billion years lived to an age where they could reproduce, and did reproduce…

Now we reach a staggering figure – 1 in 10 to the power of 2,685,000

That’s a 10 with 2,685,000 zeros after it

Think of it like this – It is the probability of 2 million people getting together 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. (Source: )

So, the odds that you exist are basically zero.

And yet, here you are

You may not believe in miracles – the big question is…do you believe in you? Comment below.

With my love and best wishes to you all


Thank you for all your comments on previous weeks

13 Responses to A statistic I have been quoting that is completely wrong…

  1. I always lok at my kids and think they are miracles.
    It should be shouted from the rooftops that we are all unique and need to be who we were meant to be.

  2. Ah, yes, the miracle was definitely that my parents stayed together long enough to have me, so anything after that is a bonus 😉

  3. Not being good in numbers I thought I don’t deserve to comment but looking back I became a top producer in real estate, in mortgage, in insurance, and in financing. So instead of talking about the mathematics of it, how about saying that I happened because I was meant to be – period!I met my husband in another country while both teaching at the same University. It was meant to be.I made 3.4 million in one year for hard work – I made it and I can do it again if I decide on it.Statistics? I read some articles on it for entertainment only.

  4. I see no reference to God, only miracles. But what people are saying point directly to God. Funny how we dont want what we all agree is what we have…

  5. I found this very helpful David. This number is astoundingly large and I can barely comprehend the amount of time that has gone into calculating this figure.
    Love From Ellis

  6. The chances of you or me specifically being born is infitesamaly small. However the situation now is like when 99% of the lottery tickets are bought up. There quite likely will be at least one very lucky winner. Many people will be born but any one of those people had an infinatesamly small chance of it happening. It seems to the case that the most unlikely thing that will ever happen to you is your birth. The most assured thing that will happen is your eventual death.

  7. What about the chance thrown in there that some women abort their babies? What if your mother didn’t continue her pregnancy? That said, we are each a miracle!

  8. Actually this is grossly minimized!!!
    You forgot to factor in timing!
    If the moment of intercourse of any of our ancestors was off by even a millionth of a second, the same sperm would never reach the egg! In fact if the race was able to be ran exactly the same moment twice you could never get the same result. This means that if you mom or dad (or any of your ancestors) did ANYTHING different in their entire lifetime, which caused any hesitation of even a millionth of a second, they would never arrive having intercourse with at the same moment.
    Start trying to factor time into it and it becomes absolute miracle of miracles!
    Meaning mathematically impossible. If my dad coughed of sneezed one time more or less in his entire life from womb to that intercourse, he would not arrive there at the same time. A different sperm would have reached the egg! A brother or sister that would not be you, would have been born because you would never have existed. If 10,000 generations ago a baby in your lineage would have paused for 1/1000th of a second, doing anything, like crawling on the grass of the yard, and pausing at a strange sound, or to look at anything, that micro offset of time changes the ENTIRE trajectory of the babies life! The whole life is offset and the next intercourse at its necessary precise timing could never have happened. The odds are actually more like infinity. 1/infinity
    And there are even more factors to consider.

  9. Why do we not think about the millions of sperm cells being produced
    by the testicles on a daily basis plus all of those sperm cells that are lost in nightly ejaculates when we are sleeping from age 12 to age “XYZ” and nature has the male producing more than is necessary the same as the eggs produced by salmon and fertilized by sperm cells by the millions . . .not all turtles survive the hatching to make it to the sea and few become adults . . . Miracle is a word of METAPHYSICS AND RELIGION. Few survived to age 5 a hundred years ago and with medical science we live longer and our ability to survive the first 5 years is greater today because of technology, better nurses and doctors and hospitals and vaccines, etc. Buy a MILLION CARS AND ONE IS SURE TO SURVIVE A HUNDRED YEARS IF PROTECTED . . . 😉