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Humans vs non human organisms

  1. Dec 16, 2009 #1
    This is my first post, so sorry if this is in the wrong section.

    I just came across an article which stated "At any time, it is estimated that there are some 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) individual insects alive."

    Now, this got me thinking about the number of humans on Earth vs all other living creatures. Lets say for arguments sake that humans are outnumbered by non human organisms by (say) 1 quadrillion to 1. Does this imply that I was extraordinarily lucky to be born a human, rather than an insect or bird and so on....? Surely I could have been born as anything on this planet, but by chance I was born a human.........

    Was this just some coincidence whereby I defied the unfathomable odds, or is there more to it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2009 #2
    The chance to ask this question and not be a human is 0%, so you aren't lucky in any way, you simply couldn't ask this as a non human. But then you can ask, was it coincidence that you are just you and not your friend for example. I would say (the following is a personal viewpoint of course) you are you, because you are exactly this combination and order of atoms and neurons, if you change them somehow you would become other unity. For example if you could save your physical state when you were 6 years old and you could load it now you'll become this kid again. If someone clones you, your clone will not feel like "your clone", but exactly like you. Basically you are something different every millisecond that passes, because your brain and body structures are changing.
  4. Dec 21, 2009 #3


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    We are all miracles of nature. The odds against us even being born are stupendous. We had to win the sperm swim lottery [~500 million to one] just to make it here in the first place. So, biologically speaking, each of us are incredibly improbable creatures. I find that amazing and humbling.
  5. Dec 21, 2009 #4
    I'd say the only odds you defied was being born vs not. The human part is irrelevant to the question. If 'you' were born a bug, you wouldn't be 'you', so you never had any chance of being a bug.
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