Montag, 26. September 2011

Probablility of life on earth, calculated

So I wanted to estimate the probability of life on earth, VERY VERY roughly, just to see if it seems at all likely, within any reasonable order of magnitude, that life could have just by chance popped into existence on the Earth. I'm going to ignore the laws of chemistry for now, which would increase the likelihood significantly, and just see how likely would be for all the right atoms to randomly fall into all the right places to accidentally form a bacteria.

So i started with an average single celled organism, which has about (200x10^10) atoms. Individual pieces of elements. Atoms, not molecules, Atoms. And the number of different types of elements necessary for life, about 10. So some math, giving us the statistical likelihood of all the right atoms falling into all the right places by chance...10^(200x10^10) or 10^20,000,000,000,000.

Thats a one with twenty trillion zeros, the number of shakes it would statistically take to accidentally construct one specific living bacteria, atom by atom, by putting some primordial soup in a glass jar and shakin'.

Really we can stop right there, cuz aint nothin gonna touch that number. But we'll continue, just to see what happens.

We still need to divide that figure by all possible bacterias. At any one time, there are 5x10^30 bacterias alive on the earth. With an average lifespan of 50 minutes, thats 3,650,000 lifespans per year times 4 billion years is about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 lifespans, times 5x10^30 bacterias giving us 5x10^50 different possible bacterias, cuz yknow, every one is just a little different. So we can nix 50 of those twenty trillion zeros.

So then I took an average size bacteria, 1000nm, which gives us enough space in 1 cubic meter of primordial ooze for 10^27 bacterias. Or, in our case, attempts at bacteria. And multiply that over 1/10 of the earths surface (5x10^10 meters) and we get ...(5x10^10)x(10^27)= (5x10^37) spaces for attempts at bacteria... assuming the primordial ooze us just 1 meter thick.

Then if we say that the primordial ooze gets mixed up 10x per second, that gives us (3x10^8) mixes per year, and with (5x10^37) spaces we get (15x10^48) chances at accidentally creating a bacteria per year. I figure primordial ooze was probably around for about 1 billion years, giving us a total of...(15x10^57) chances for life to form spontaneously. So we can nix another 60 zeros from our twenty trillion.

That leaves us with a 10^-19,999,999,999,89% chance of life just randomly happening to fall into place, atom by atom.

Dang, we should feel lucky!

This calculation is, of course, complete nonsense. But it shows, with some simple math, that even EXTREMELY unlikely things are still possible.

what the hell is GOD?

I'd like to say something about God and Nature,

theres a lot of argument about whether or not "God" exists, where life came from, who or what created the earth. Proving or disproving the existence of God. Evolution and Creationism...

First off, I was not exposed to religion in almost any way during my childhood. I did not go to church or any other religious institution. My parents are not religious. I was never read to out of any religious book. My most religious teaching came from Richard Bach's book Illusions, and all I remember from that book is that they ate the dudes finger in the end and I thought, "whoah, wtf..."

So when people start talking religion and start trying to prove or disprove stuff, they immediately start using words and terms that, to me, have no definition. Even at the most basic level, when people say, "do you believe in God", I have to respond, "what do you MEAN when you say GOD?" I have no idea what the word GOD is supposed to mean.

He is the messiah. the creator. Jesus is Lord. Amen.
Ok, theres a bunch of other words I don't understand.

I think it has something to do with spontaneous belief. When you decide to believe something abstract without being able to anchor it to anything that you have seen or experienced. Something that exists only in abstract concepts communicated to you by other humans. You don't know what it is, what it is supposed to be, or how it relates to anything. But you've heard it said so many times that it begins to have meaning. A meaning that you cannot explain to anyone without invoking in them the same spontaneous belief that you also have.

And I bet this has some evolutionary advantage. The human mind can process complex things and come up with an abstract conclusion which leads to the human acting physically in an advantageous way. And when large groups of people can be convinced of the same abstract thing, then their subconscious must have processed the same info in the same way. All in a way which our conscious mind is unable to explain. And I bet there is a lot of truth to the things they come up with.

For example, (and I'm grossly generalizing, so forgive me...) Ancient religions would personify natural events into man-like characters. Like the rain god. This makes sense, as Humans are finely tuned to interact with other humans, so why not interact with rain AS IF it were also a human? And then all other things have their own gods, so the god of love, the god of wine, the god of war. We are taking abstract concepts and personifying them. Thats simple.

But then somebody comes along and says, hey, what if all these "gods" are bullhooky, and theres really just ONE god that controls everything? So suddenly, we are personifying everything into one character. EVERYTHING. the man-like character of everything. And then, whaddayaknow, 3200 years later people get the idea that ALL THINGS in the physical world are governed by a single set of physical laws, which can be used to describe the character of everything. And suddenly, rain can be explained by the character of water vapor. Wine can be explained by the character of alchohol. Love and War can be explained by the character of our brains, built in the image of our genome, which follow the same chemical laws as water vapor and alchohol. That makes sense!

So to me, its no coincidence that people have this abstract idea of a unified everything, 3,000 years before the concept gets microscopic. Its a testament to the intuitive power of the human mind.

So what about these arguments, does God exist? Evolution or intelligent design? To me, there is no argument. Science is the act of making conclusions based on repeatable, irrefutable experiments. EVERYTHING we know about nature, through the act of science, is repeatable and irrefutable. There are lots of THEORIES, about evolution, for example, which extrapolate in a logical way on that which is proven and irrefutable. I trust this process!!! and think most of these extrapolations are nearing on the truth, and thats believable enough for me.

So does god exist? did he create life? I DONT KNOW WHAT THE HELL GOD IS. So, depending on how you define God, why not? Experiments show that the laws of nature are irrefutable, but who created the laws of nature? Experiments actually prove, irrefutably, evolution in microbes, and its not such a stretch to extrapolate that into multicelled organisms. And its all based on the laws of nature, but where did the laws of nature come from? Abiogenesis theorizes that the building blocks of life began to combine together through the laws of nature (note, not random) and from there more and more complex organisms began to form. Where did these building blocks get the ability to do this?

So to me, the acts of evolution and abiogenesis, MAKE SENSE and I believe them, but they are so spectacular that I have to ask, HOW did nature get the ability to do this? How can these simple elements combine to form MY consciousness, thoughts, emotions? Who came up with this stuff? AMAZING! And that leaves room for the wonders of Religion, not within the framework of science, but on the EDGE of science, explaining intuitively the things science has yet to describe accurately.

Put differently, if you don't believe that life can form "spontaneously" from nature, then you are clearly underestimating nature. Obviously, the design for all of life is contained within the laws of nature.

And this does not disprove God.

But then some people cling to a quote from an old (but impressive) book saying that the world was formed 6,000 years ago. Cmon, people, that can be irrefutably disproven. Its just a book. The people who wrote it just got the timeline wrong.

Freitag, 2. September 2011

Sex, Love, and Muammar Gadaffi

Dear public,
whoever you are. Its still very mysterious to me, who reads my blog. So it should be just that much more ironic, for me to share some very personal stories with you.

I recently hurt a girl who I care very much about. We had been not-together for about a year. She wanted me to commit to a "real" relationship, but I wouldn't do it. I felt that would be lying. So I would just tell her, YES I like being around you and spending time with you. YES you turn me on and I enjoy the naughty naughty. no, the feelings just arent there for me to promise anything. I told her that I considered myself single, and would act that way as well, I HAD to do that because thats what I felt was being honest with myself, and honest with her, and we agreed on several occasions to stop seeing eachother, for her own protection. Then she would invite me out, or over, and I could see no reason to say no. Thats how things went for quite some time, and it was one of those situations where you think to yourself, why DON'T I fall in love with her? Whats the problem here? Yet it just doesn't happen.

Anyway, she convinced herself that we were in love and that I just couldn't admit that to myself. Then my roomate accidentally commented about how I hadn't been sleeping at home much lately (he assumed I was at her place) and so she asked me, "are you sleeping with other people?" and I said "yes". I don't think she's going to invite me over again for a while.

I should be the Asshole now and not care. But I do care, and I don't want her to be hurt or sad. Unfortunately the only thing I could do to make her feel better would be to Lie. Will the truth prevail, and let her be comforted? Will the fact that I have been honest with her the entire time help her come to peace with the situation? I hope so.

In the meantime, I've had a wonderful love affair. Not the one that caused my roomates confusion, but a brand new one which started the same evening of the morning when I had to admit to my permiscuity. Two years ago I met a Hummingbird, and she mused me into a mudpuddle by being everything I love and cannot stand. Since then I facebookstalked her a couple times a year and otherwise we haven't had any contact. That happens, right? She had a boyfriend. I can deal.

Then, she appeared again out of nowhere. My neighbors brought her back from singapore and as I was standing there, talking to a friend about my mornings tragedy, she came like a beam of light to twist my mind around and throw my heart up into the air. Literally, just as my friend had begun to tell about HIS recent breakup, she walked up to me out of nowhere and said, Hi Dan! and gave me a hug. I had no idea who she was because it was so dark I couln't see her face. In a brief hallway embrace just a few minutes later we both admitted our secret desire for the other and made getaway plans to be alone for the rest of the evening. We spent the next 12 hours together. And another 10 hours the next evening.

Totally unfair, right?

My friend just broke up with his girlfriend, and didn't even get the chance to finish telling me about it. I just broke a girls heart. Another friend of mine came by with something heavy on his mind, but I had epoxy hardening and needed to keep working. My roomate just got arrested for stealing a paddleboat. Muammar Gadaffi's dreams of a united anything have been dashed. And here I am knootching around with my muse as if pain and suffering have gone out of style. Hm.