Re: more desperate self-glorification....

Eric Watt Forste (
Wed, 24 Nov 1999 17:51:58 -0800

>>Perhaps Universe is so young that we are the first kids on the >>block.

On Wed, 24 Nov 1999, Rob Harris <> wrote:
> Consider the number of stars in this galaxy, and then the number
> of galaxies in the universe, and then the fact that our galaxy is
> far from the most outward-lying (ancient). For us to be No.1 in
> this universe would be quite incredible luck. In fact, I'm sure I
> couldn't even write the odds in standard form and fit all the digits
> on all the computers on earth.

Um, since when is outward-lying the same as ancient? Outward lying from what, anyway? Our own galaxy is the *most* ancient galaxy that we can observe, because we are looking into the past at younger and younger galaxies as we look further away.

We simply do not yet know how improbable the spontaneous origin of self-reproducing molecules is. Perhaps it is extraordinarily improbable. Perhaps not. Given all the actual evidence we have at the moment, we can say that it has happened at least once in Universe to date. I don't see any basis there for making any estimates of probability or improbability. I haven't studied Bayesian techniques very much yet, but you certainly can't tackle this one with resampling.

So, you state that the odds written in standard form would be a very large number of digits. But this is no reason to believe that those aren't what the odds actually are.