In order for you to exist, a great many unlikely events needed to unfold in exactly the way that they did. The exact sperm cell and egg cell needed to meet to create you with the DNA sequence that encoded you, and brought you into existence; a one-in-250 million chance for a sperm cell alone. That needed to happen each time in an unbroken string for millions of generations of your ancestors, going back to well before they were human beings or even hominids of any type.
Yet there’s one thing we can be sure of in this entire series of unlikely events, occurring one after the other: nothing that occurred at any point had an infinitesimal likelihood. Instead, every single event, including…must have had finite odds of occurring.
But there’s a fun, important, and underappreciated consequence of Bayes’ theorem that can tell us something vital about any of these steps: the odds of any one of them happening, no matter how small, could not have been infinitesimal.
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