Monday, May 16, 2011

What are the odds?

I believe in miracles. Given that the odds of any one of us being born are 23 to the 23rd power, or about 20,880,468,000,000,000,000,000 to 1, each of us truly is a winner of life’s lottery.

But it goes way beyond that. Monsignor K once told a group of us that we “have to believe that everything is a miracle, or nothing is a miracle.” So I began looking at everything in a new light. I looked at the smallest of things, pedals on a flower, a blade of grass and wondered about their form and purpose.

Then one day, I watched a beautiful sun rise through the woods this early spring. That experience caused me to wonder about bigger things and I came up with this bit that I call:

Miracles by the Numbers

584,088,921 is the number of miles that the Earth travels each year in its journey around the sun.

93,000,000 is the average distance of the Earth from the sun on that journey.

67,108 is the number of miles per hour that the Earth must travel to complete it’s orbit in 365 ¼ days.

7,917.5 is the Earth's diameter in miles.

1,070 is the number of miles per hour that the Earth must rotate on it’s axis to complete one rotation in 24 hours

23.5 are the number of the degrees the Earth is tilted on its axis.

All of these numbers add up to make days, months, seasons and years here on Earth. Now if you think odds of you or your kids being here are astronomical at 20,880,468,000,000,000,000,000 to 1, consider what the odds are in astrological terms that a planet with a diameter of 7,917.5 miles, would be tilted precisely at 23.5 degrees and set spinning on that axis at 1,070 miles per hour, while it hurtles though space at 67,108 miles per hour at an average of 93,000,000 miles from the sun on an elliptical orbit of 584,088,921 miles.

Consider what would happen if any of those numbers were altered by…what’s the cut off for an A these days – 96 in Catholic school and 78 in public school? 4 %. No doubt that would dramatically alter everything here on Earth, probably making it uninhabitable for most everything here.

The class of people who look down their noses at anyone who doesn’t think Darwinism and evolution are the answer to every question, would probably react with a, “You Bible thumping buffoon – evolution answers that question. We simply would have evolved differently.”

Oh, really? This is their only answer to every question. But while there are thousands upon thousands of examples of species that didn’t evolve, i.e. went extinct, and discoveries of new species every so often, there is not a single example of even one species on Earth today that has evolved into a new species. Given the plethora of life here, you’d think they could find at least one. They can’t.

Yet it’s the religious people who are looked down upon by these know it alls. I submit it takes a whole lot more FAITH to believe that we’re here by accident or happenstance than it does to believe that we’re here through the grace of God or some intelligent design.

The odds are just too long that something somewhere blew up and here we are. Really? With odds so long that there is not enough paper and ink in the world to print out the number of zeros that would be required to express the odds of our circumstances here on Earth, that’s the best you got? Something somewhere blew up and here we are? OK.  I'm game, but where did that something come from?

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