The Odds That We Exist: Why You Are Literally A Miracle

what are the odds that you exist

Ever thought about how miraculous a thing it is that you exist?

Each one of us lives on a planet along with 7 billion others. With so many people, it should be no big deal right? Let’s think about it.

For you to be born, your mother had to meet your father. Taking into account the number of eligible bachelors she might meet in her prime fertility years (let’s say at least one per day), that would give us a bottom number of around 10,000 potential partners. Now the odds that your father would be in that small group (based on their relative proximity) would bring the total chance of them meeting to about 1 in 20,000. But then your parents have to get to know each other by going on a first date (1 in 10), going on a second date (1 in 10),  continuing to date for a while (1 in 10), and then stay together long enough to have kids (1 in 2) So the combined odds, that your mother and father would meet and stay together long enough for you to be born, are about 1 in 40,000,000 (roughly the population of Canada).

Now here’s where it really starts to snowball.

By the time your Mom reached reproductive age, she had about 300,000 eggs ready for conception and your father, during all the years he could have helped conceive you, would have produced approximately 4 trillion spermatozoa. But for you to have come into existence (instead of one of your countless possible brothers and sisters, two very specific cells (out of trillions) had to meet, bringing the odds to an incredible 1 in 1,200,000,000,000,000,000 or 1.2 x 1017.

At the same time your existence also hinges on the incredibly unlikely event that every single one of the ancestors on your family tree adding up to you should have survived to reproductive age, going back thousands of generations, the odds of which alone are about 1 in 1045,000    – a number so large that even if every particle in the universe was itself a universe … there still wouldn’t be that many particles in all the universes combined.

And the coup de gras?

Every one of your ancestors had to have the exact two cells meet all the way down the chain, just like your mom and dad, that would result in making you; bringing our total to an unimaginable 1 in 102,685,000; roughly equivalent to 2 million people rolling trillion sided dice and having them all land on exactly the same number.

So what are the odds that you should exist?

Essentially Zero.

You are literally a miracle.

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About Patrick Stephens 163 Articles
Patrick is the founder and lead editor of the publication. Currently a pastor of many years by trade, Patrick served in the US Army and did his graduate work at both Miami University in Oxford, OH (Social Sciences) and the University of Dayton (Theology) — earning an advanced degree. He enjoys bringing a larger historical and philosophical perspective to his projects. Also, he likes comic books.