To live at all is miracle enough.
— Mervyn Peake,The Glassblower (1950)
It is immensely improbable that I exist.
Consider that the sperm that united with the ovum in my mother was 1 of approximately 50 million (from the research I conducted, this is a conservative number) that were all engaged in the race for survival. Mine won.
One in 50 MILLION! What odds against my existence.
But it’s so much more improbable than that. Because the odds that my dad existed are also 1 in 50 million.
So, already, we have raised the odds of my unique existence to 1 in 2.5 × 1015 (that’s 2,5oo,ooo,ooo,o00,000). And that’s only going back two generations. Considering the vast number of generations that predate my existence, the odds of me being here are preposterously, stupendously, gargantuanly improbable.
And yet here I am.
What am I to make of the fact I exist in spite of the enormous improbability of that fact?
I have three responses: wonder, humility, and reverence.
How do you respond?
Here’s a less reverential response: