# Statistically life somewhere else is almost certain

#### csbrown28

DP Veteran
I'm trying to find the source to what I'm about to claim, perhaps others have heard this and know the source.....

So as a way of disclaimer, I admit that I'm taking this from memory, but I'm certain that I have it correct....

There are more stars in the universe then there are ways to scramble the atoms in your body. In other words, there are only a finite number of ways to arrange the atoms in your body, there are more stars then their are ways to arrange those atoms......

#### sawyerloggingon

Banned
DP Veteran
I'm trying to find the source to what I'm about to claim, perhaps others have heard this and know the source.....

So as a way of disclaimer, I admit that I'm taking this from memory, but I'm certain that I have it correct....

There are more stars in the universe then there are ways to scramble the atoms in your body. In other words, there are only a finite number of ways to arrange the atoms in your body, there are more stars then their are ways to arrange those atoms......

I try not to think about things like that.

#### csbrown28

DP Veteran
I try not to think about things like that.

I was on the beach about two weeks ago. I picked up a handful of sand, and tried to imagine how many grains I was holding. I figured it was in the thousands. As it turns out it's about 10-12 thousand. Then I looked up and down the beach, a beach that stretched off to the horizon in both directions, and tried to imagine how many handfuls of sand were on the beach. If you had told me, that there were as many stars as their are grains of sand on that one beach, I would have been blown away, but when you realize that there are as many stars as their are grains of sand on all the worlds beaches, it defies all boundaries of understanding.

If an average grain of sand is as tall as 10 sheets of standard paper, then a trillion grains of sand placed in a straight line would stretch over 6 thousand miles. A quadrillion grains would stretch 6 million miles and there are 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (sextillion) known stars, and I assume, not even as many grains of sand.....

#### sawyerloggingon

Banned
DP Veteran
I was on the beach about two weeks ago. I picked up a handful of sand, and tried to imagine how many grains I was holding. I figured it was in the thousands. As it turns out it's about 10-12 thousand. Then I looked up and down the beach, a beach that stretched off to the horizon in both directions, and tried to imagine how many handfuls of sand were on the beach. If you had told me, that there were as many stars as their are grains of sand on that one beach, I would have been blown away, but when you realize that there are as many stars as their are grains of sand on all the worlds beaches, it defies all boundaries of understanding.

If an average grain of sand is as tall as 10 sheets of standard paper, then a trillion grains of sand placed in a straight line would stretch over 6 thousand miles. A quadrillion grains would stretch 6 million miles and there are 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (sextillion) known stars, and I assume, not even as many grains of sand.....

You take a lot of LSD don't you.:lol:

#### Jredbaron96

##### Gen 4:10
Moderator
DP Veteran
I was on the beach about two weeks ago. I picked up a handful of sand, and tried to imagine how many grains I was holding. I figured it was in the thousands. As it turns out it's about 10-12 thousand. Then I looked up and down the beach, a beach that stretched off to the horizon in both directions, and tried to imagine how many handfuls of sand were on the beach. If you had told me, that there were as many stars as their are grains of sand on that one beach, I would have been blown away, but when you realize that there are as many stars as their are grains of sand on all the worlds beaches, it defies all boundaries of understanding.

If an average grain of sand is as tall as 10 sheets of standard paper, then a trillion grains of sand placed in a straight line would stretch over 6 thousand miles. A quadrillion grains would stretch 6 million miles and there are 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (sextillion) known stars, and I assume, not even as many grains of sand.....

Makes you feel small, doesn't it?

#### davidtaylorjr

##### Well-known member
I was on the beach about two weeks ago. I picked up a handful of sand, and tried to imagine how many grains I was holding. I figured it was in the thousands. As it turns out it's about 10-12 thousand. Then I looked up and down the beach, a beach that stretched off to the horizon in both directions, and tried to imagine how many handfuls of sand were on the beach. If you had told me, that there were as many stars as their are grains of sand on that one beach, I would have been blown away, but when you realize that there are as many stars as their are grains of sand on all the worlds beaches, it defies all boundaries of understanding.

If an average grain of sand is as tall as 10 sheets of standard paper, then a trillion grains of sand placed in a straight line would stretch over 6 thousand miles. A quadrillion grains would stretch 6 million miles and there are 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (sextillion) known stars, and I assume, not even as many grains of sand.....

And to know that the God of the Universe had the creativity and majesty to create all of that, and that he is bigger than that, is breathtaking!

#### csbrown28

DP Veteran
You take a lot of LSD don't you.:lol:

No LSD for me. This stuff is just my nature....

#### csbrown28

DP Veteran
And to know that the God of the Universe had the creativity and majesty to create all of that, and that he is bigger than that, is breathtaking!

:roll:

#### FreedomFromAll

##### Political Parties = Corruption
DP Veteran
You take a lot of LSD don't you.:lol:

No he is just channeling Carl Sagan lol.

#### obvious Child

##### Equal Opportunity Hater
DP Veteran
I'm trying to find the source to what I'm about to claim, perhaps others have heard this and know the source.....

So as a way of disclaimer, I admit that I'm taking this from memory, but I'm certain that I have it correct....

There are more stars in the universe then there are ways to scramble the atoms in your body. In other words, there are only a finite number of ways to arrange the atoms in your body, there are more stars then their are ways to arrange those atoms......

I'd be surprised if there wasn't. Over a trillion organic reactions happen a second in a cubic foot of soil. The idea that life couldn't have arisen on other planets is pretty mathematically unlikely. We know there are planets in the goldielocks zone and we know that life can arise in places that aren't dependent on the sun. Heck, there are places on Earth where life lives purely off of chemicals, aka chemoautotrophs. There's an underwater chemical lake where bacteria feed off the chemical and are in turn eaten by other life forms:

#### specklebang

##### Discount Philosopher
DP Veteran
I've carefully done the math and I assure you there are about one million sentient races in the Universe and that some of them have utilized nearby planets and moons. Some have farmed asteroids. The only rarity I encountered was telepathy - less than a dozens species have that ability.

It's too bad that we're all so far away from each other. But maybe it's all for the best.

#### Hypersonic

##### Well-known member
And to know that the God of the Universe had the creativity and majesty to create all of that, and that he is bigger than that, is breathtaking!

What is God?

#### the_recruit

DP Veteran
There are more stars in the universe then there are ways to scramble the atoms in your body. In other words, there are only a finite number of ways to arrange the atoms in your body, there are more stars then their are ways to arrange those atoms......

You must be remembering the stat differently. There are many more atoms in a human body (~10^27) then there are stars in the (observable) universe (~10^23). Several orders of magnitude more.

And the number of ways you can arrange those atoms is unfathomably large.

#### csbrown28

DP Veteran
You must be remembering the stat differently. There are many more atoms in a human body (~10^27) then there are stars in the (observable) universe (~10^23). Several orders of magnitude more.

And the number of ways you can arrange those atoms is unfathomably large.

Perhaps you are right, I was hoping this thread would uncover the source of what I'm thinking about. I shall keep looking.

#### roguenuke

DP Veteran
Perhaps you are right, I was hoping this thread would uncover the source of what I'm thinking about. I shall keep looking.

Well there is this:

Alien Planets Able To Support Life May Number 60 Billion, Kepler Spacecraft Data Suggest

"The Milky Way alone may host 60 billion such planets around faint red dwarf stars, a new estimate suggests."

How Many Galaxies in the Universe

The most current estimates guess that there are 100 to 200 billion galaxies in the Universe, each of which has hundreds of billions of stars. A recent German supercomputer simulation put that number even higher: 500 billion.

That would be 6x10^21 possible life bearing planets if we assume we have about the average amount of red dwarf stars per galaxy. Obviously this could be off either way.

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#### ashurbanipal

DP Veteran
csbrown said:
There are more stars in the universe then there are ways to scramble the atoms in your body. In other words, there are only a finite number of ways to arrange the atoms in your body, there are more stars then their are ways to arrange those atoms......

This seems false. Based on current liberal estimates, there are probably 1x10^24 stars in the universe; we might reasonably estimate that this means there are no more than, say, 8x10^25 planets.

There are about 7x10^27 atoms in the average human body. Assuming on average that each could combine with any other in a maximum of three configurations (which is a very low estimate), this means there are [(7x10^27)^(7x10^27)]^3 possible combinations. Let's just call this number X. No doubt there are some limiting factors which lower X (restricting which atoms will combine with which others), but even 1% of X vastly overblows the number of atoms (not stars) in the whole universe.

Just to give you a way to compare: if the universe could somehow create the number of planets in our estimate above (i.e. 8x10^24) every second since the big bang (that is, if it could create the number of planets currently estimated to be in the universe right now every second and keep them all), at the present point in time, the number of planets in the universe would still not hardly even register when compared with X. There isn't enough space on the entire planet to write out the number of zeroes that would be required to express the percentage in the form ".000000...01%". Indeed, I don't even have to do the math to claim confidently that there wouldn't be enough space to write out that many zeroes on a piece of paper the size of our solar system.

Another way to think of it would be that if the estimated number of planets were to be represented as the size of a single atom (on a graph, let's say), the universe would have to be many trillions of times larger than it is to provide an accurate size comparison to represent X.

In short, there are vastly more ways to combine the atoms in the human body than there are atoms in the universe, let alone stars or planets in the universe.

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#### ashurbanipal

DP Veteran
Anyway, to address the subject of the thread: no one has any idea how to properly answer the implied question. We don't know how life gets started. We have some plausible theories, but all of them have gaps with no really obvious way to fill them. It certainly seems like there should be life elsewhere (I'd be surprised if there weren't), but unless you believe a certain narrative about UFOs, there's not any really good reason to think there is.

I think the final word, at least for now, comes from this quote, the source of which escapes me: Either there is life elsewhere or there is not. Both possibilities are extraordinary.

#### Sherman123

DP Veteran
Anyway, to address the subject of the thread: no one has any idea how to properly answer the implied question. We don't know how life gets started. We have some plausible theories, but all of them have gaps with no really obvious way to fill them. It certainly seems like there should be life elsewhere (I'd be surprised if there weren't), but unless you believe a certain narrative about UFOs, there's not any really good reason to think there is.

I think the final word, at least for now, comes from this quote, the source of which escapes me: Either there is life elsewhere or there is not. Both possibilities are extraordinary.

I just thought I'd edge in and say while we are not certain precisely how inorganic and organic compounds coalesce into life (or their antecedents) we have quite a few very good competing theories in Abiogenesis and not in-substantive empirical evidence and experiments to support these theories. If one accepts that some form of Abiogenesis is the mechanism for life arising from non-life then regardless of which particular theory is correct (or combination, or variance) it would become metaphysically extraordinary if this (or these) processes did not repeat themselves somewhere else.

#### Helix

Moderator
DP Veteran
i truly doubt we are the only contaminated planet in the universe. if there's even a slight probability, it becomes almost a certainty when multiplied by the size of the universe. i wonder sometimes about what's out there; the scale is hard to imagine. i also like to think about what our universe is a part of. what if it's like an atom in a larger structure? fairly mind blowing.

#### Lukas105

##### Active member
What is God?
An understanding in the Universe. Either a God stands for a religion, belief, or state of thought.

For example, I think of God as morality (In the terms of Christianity), and a state of mind that makes human's sentient beings.

#### csbrown28

DP Veteran
An understanding in the Universe. Either a God stands for a religion, belief, or state of thought.

For example, I think of God as morality (In the terms of Christianity), and a state of mind that makes human's sentient beings.

So if there was no god, there would be no morality?

#### Lukas105

##### Active member
It would be in a different form.

My idea of God, is not a physical thing, but the idea of morality and what makes a person "good".

So if there was no god, there would be no morality?

#### Guy Incognito

DP Veteran
The idea that life couldn't have arisen on other planets is pretty mathematically unlikely.

No, the likelihood is unknown. It could be extremely probably or it could be extremely improbable. We don't know how abiogenesis happens, we don't know the probability that it will happen under any circumstances. We don't even know if abiogenesis can happen more than once.

Without any idea of the likelihood that abiogenesis will take place, it is impossible to assign a probability. It is entirely possible that the chances of abiogenesis taking place more than once are vastly more slim that one in one sextillion. It is entirely possible that something about abiogenesis, in principle, can only occur once in the entire history of the universe. We just don't know.

Which is why threads like this are so ridiculous. It's just idle speculation, and a lot of people taking on faith this proposition that "life out there is almost certain" based on ignorance.

#### FreedomFromAll

##### Political Parties = Corruption
DP Veteran
Which is why threads like this are so ridiculous. It's just idle speculation, and a lot of people taking on faith this proposition that "life out there is almost certain" based on ignorance.

Replace the "life out there is almost certain" with "a god exists" and what you have is the Religious Discussions forum.