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Homework Help: Probability theory

  1. Aug 20, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A - something that is a known possibility
    C - correct conditions conducive to produce A
    T - many trillion years in which C continues

    2. Relevant equations

    Is it true that with the above factors the probability of "A" is "1", or very close to 1?

    3. The attempt at a solution

    This is what I believe Professor Steven Hawkins said about a meteor or comet striking Earth.

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2010 #2

    Andrew Mason

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It depends on how improbable the event is. If the probability of A occurring in a given year is 1 in a million, this does not mean that the probability of it occurring in a million years is 1. But in a trillion years, the probability of it not occurring is practically 0.

  4. Aug 22, 2010 #3
    Hi Andrew,
    Thank you for the quick reply. I have tried to find an answer to my question on several math forums but you are the first one to respond.

    The specific conditions of my case is the random mixing of all 92 elements and 26 amino acids In order to produce an exact sequence of the exact amount of elements and amino acids to produce a single primitive living cell capable of reproduction. A single cubic microleter of water in an ocean or lake or stream makes a perfect test tube for such random mixing of elements and amino acids. Moreover each microleter of water on the planet is continually changing its make up, thereby trying new mixtures. How many microleters of water do you think there are on planet Earth, and how many differnt combinations would be produced every hour? Now multiply that number of possible random combinations times the trillions of planets that exist in the universe and you have a very high number of randomly different combinations.

    If Steven Hawkins can say the probabily of the Earth being hit bt an exterestial object is "one" over time. Then I feel my "number of randomly different combinations" is far higher than the number of extraterrestrial objects in the space of the solar syatem, and if anything, the occurance of the right combination of materials shoud be at least "one" given a time span of the trillions of years the univers will last.

    Is there any way I can prove this?

    I will look forward to a reply. You may email me if you like.

    Take Care & thanks again.

    The single most important criteria for all human decisions is ...
    "Is it good for Earth's children?"

    Dick Roose
    http://realityfound.org [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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