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rodin
2008-Sep-02, 09:05 PM
Scientific observation suggests we are born, live then die. Before us came an eternity or something close to, and we anticipate similar after we are gone.

What are the odds of you being able to read this today given the human lifespan and age of the universe/Earth/humanity?

etc

More on odds. What are the odds of our Sun and Moon having the same apparent diameter in the sky (as witnessed during a Solar eclipse)

Kaptain K
2008-Sep-02, 09:07 PM
What are the odds of our Sun and Moon having the same apparent diameter in the sky (as witnessed during a Solar eclipse)
100%
Actually, slightly less, since some eclipses are annular!

pzkpfw
2008-Sep-03, 12:22 AM
More on odds. What are the odds of our Sun and Moon having the same apparent diameter in the sky (as witnessed during a Solar eclipse)

The Kaptains answer was funnier (once I got it) but I'd add for the heck of it:

Since the Moon was closer, and is now moving away (tidal friction effect), the odds that there'd be a time when the apparent diameter of it matches the Sun is not really all that low.

That we, now, see this apparent "coincidence" may seem unlikely; but essentially, someone, sometime would have seen that. Would they ask the same question?

Since the Earth and Moon have not been around for "eternity", the odds of us seeing this is better than the odds in the beginning of your OP.

In any case, I certainly don't feel there's anything special about it.

A (sentient) lotto ticket may as well say "wow, of all the possibilitities I was chosen this week!".

slang
2008-Sep-03, 09:43 AM
More on odds.

Take a deck of cards. Randomly pick 5 cards. Calculate the odds that you would pick those 5 cards, in that order. Those are very small odds. And yet.. you hold those 5 cards.

Neverfly
2008-Sep-03, 09:49 AM
Take a deck of cards. Randomly pick 5 cards. Calculate the odds that you would pick those 5 cards, in that order. Those are very small odds. And yet.. you hold those 5 cards.

WHOAoohoooohoohohoho..
Dude!
That's like totally far out maann...

I'm totally like freakin' out now... I mean... whoa...
Howja do that man? Was that like... some kinda weird psychic ability? Howja KNOW like that you knew and stuff...

im trippin yo...

ohh ohh can you do it with dice too? I got some fuzzy dice and mannn... they are like so totally fuzzy ... I mean... What are the oDDs that I would think of fuzzy dice right now?
Im tellin ya man... theres some mystical properties of the universe that make all these things happen...

pzkpfw
2008-Sep-03, 09:57 AM
theres some mystical properties of the universe that make all these things happen...

You mean like when I roll a 1, and fumble, then roll a 20 for my self-inflicted wound?

Ivan Viehoff
2008-Sep-03, 10:00 AM
100%
Actually, slightly less, since some eclipses are annular!
Actually a little less than 50%, as in fact there are slightly more annular eclipses than total eclipses. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_solar_eclipses. Annular eclipses don't get the media coverage of total ones, so we are perhaps less aware of them.

As to OP's questions, these are really unanswerable. The first one is probably totally meaningless. "Odds" only make sense in relation to some kind of random process, or a background population which can be divided into categories. I don't think these exist in relation to what you are asking. But prove me wrong if you can.

The second question perhaps could be made meaningful, but would require careful definitions. But the data to answer it, even approximately, is probably unlikely to be available in our lifetimes, and I would suggest much longer. I do not expect that we will know the population and sizes of the satellites of a large population of extra-solar plants for a very long time.

slang
2008-Sep-03, 10:11 AM
WHOAoohoooohoohohoho..

NURSE! I'll have what HE is having! :lol:

Neverfly
2008-Sep-03, 10:39 AM
NURSE! I'll have what HE is having! :lol:

Gnarly brownies mannn;) Like totally...
Marvy...

MAPNUT
2008-Sep-03, 01:19 PM
What's even more amazing is that I'm the only person out of six billion who's inside me looking out.

If you take the existence of humanoids on Earth as having lasted 2 million years, we've only been around for 1/2300th of the life of Earth. To get up to 1/2200th, we have to stick around for another 90,000 years!

Neverfly
2008-Sep-03, 01:23 PM
What's even more amazing is that I'm the only person out of six billion who's inside me looking out.

If you take the existence of humanoids on Earth as having lasted 2 million years, we've only been around for 1/2300th of the life of Earth. To get up to 1/2200th, we have to stick around for another 90,000 years!

Was it Spock Jenkins had a thread about this kinda thought a while back?

I have YET to stop trying to figure that one out- seriously:doh:

It eludes my brain.
Sometimes I get close- and think I got it...
then it fades away from my brain again...:neutral:

HenrikOlsen
2008-Sep-03, 09:17 PM
What are the odds of you being able to read this today given the human lifespan and age of the universe/Earth/humanity?
Since I'm actually reading it the odds are100%.

The odds of me being able to read it tomorrow is a bit less, since my computer may break down, my internet connection may break down and I may go blind or die.

rodin
2008-Sep-06, 01:48 PM
Consider again your soul. Your existence. Your gift of being alive. Consider time's arrow as linear and its length (I would say infinite). Consider the odds of you being alive (impossibly high). Yet you are.

Am I the only one to see a significance to this?

slang
2008-Sep-06, 03:23 PM
Consider again your soul.

Not my kind of music. :) But I fear discussing this topic comes a little close to a religious discussion, which is not allowed here.


Your existence.

Nothing special, I look around and I see an entire universe in existence.


Your gift of being alive.

So is every blade of grass I cut without remorse, this afternoon. So is every bacteria in my gut, and so is a lot more. Nope, nothing really significant there.


Consider time's arrow as linear and its length (I would say infinite). Consider the odds of you being alive (impossibly high). Yet you are.

Look at my deck of cards example. It seems impossible.. but that's what you get when you try to calculate the odds for something that already happened. Depending on how you look at it, the chance is 100%. If you know that cards will be picked, there is always one hand of cards. The odds of winning a lottery are very low, yet there is always someone who wins.


Am I the only one to see a significance to this?

Hardly. I think most of us have pondered the same sort of thing once, or still do. It's a fun thing to think about, and yes, it makes you consider everything around you and in your life. But real significance? No, I don't think so.

rodin
2008-Sep-06, 03:44 PM
The odds of winning a lottery are very low, yet there is always someone who wins. .

Yes, true, but it is never YOU

You must look at this game of chance from your own personal perspective not in the general

Lepton
2008-Sep-06, 03:54 PM
You must look at this game of chance from your own personal perspective not in the general

Why?

rodin
2008-Sep-07, 06:39 PM
Why?

Because it is you who are reading this, no-one else. The unique and once-off YOU.

all that dead time in the past...

and in the future...

but you are alive NOW.

The odds against this are astronomical

Lepton
2008-Sep-07, 06:43 PM
Because it is you who are reading this, no-one else. The unique and once-off YOU.

all that dead time in the past...

and in the future...

but you are alive NOW.

The odds against this are astronomical

That doesn't answer why this can't be viewed from a general perspective. BTW, it is just plain foolish to try to place odds after the fact. We are here and alive so the probability is 1.

rodin
2008-Sep-07, 06:52 PM
That doesn't answer why this can't be viewed from a general perspective. BTW, it is just plain foolish to try to place odds after the fact. We are here and alive so the probability is 1.

This is flawed reasoning. By same token the person who wins the lottery this week had a 100% chance of winning after the event yet a 0.000001% chance before the balls fell out.

Lepton
2008-Sep-07, 06:54 PM
This is flawed reasoning. By same token the person who wins the lottery this week had a 100% chance of winning after the event yet a 0.000001% chance before the balls fell out.

Exactly the reason trying to assign odds after the fact is just plain silly.

rodin
2008-Sep-07, 07:03 PM
Exactly the reason trying to assign odds after the fact is just plain silly.

No. The odds of the person winning remain 10,000,000:1. He just beat the odds. The odds of you winning was 10,000,000:1. You didn't. 'You' never does win - well almost never - in a lottery.

Life, apparently, is different. 'You' DID win.

Lepton
2008-Sep-07, 07:10 PM
No. The odds of the person winning remain 10,000,000:1. He just beat the odds. The odds of you winning was 10,000,000:1. You didn't. 'You' never does win - well almost never - in a lottery.

Life, apparently, is different. 'You' DID win.

How does that change the fact that assigning odds after the fact is silly?

mugaliens
2008-Sep-07, 07:42 PM
What are the odds of you being able to read this today given the human lifespan and age of the universe/Earth/humanity?

100%. Because I am.


More on odds. What are the odds of our Sun and Moon having the same apparent diameter in the sky (as witnessed during a Solar eclipse)

They don't. The Moon has a slightly larger apparent diameter than the Sun. If they were identical, some of the Sun's direct light would refract around the surface of the Moon and there would be a bright ring around the Moon.

Also, if this were true, the umbra would be a pinpoint. It's not, and the area of total solar eclipse is several states wide.

rodin
2008-Sep-07, 07:42 PM
How does that change the fact that assigning odds after the fact is silly?

I am assigning odds as they must be BEFORE the fact. Of your, or my, existence. The odds of his or her existence is of course higher x population of Earth

Lepton
2008-Sep-07, 07:48 PM
I am assigning odds as they must be BEFORE the fact. Of your, or my, existence. The odds of his or her existence is of course higher x population of Earth

If you are, you must be a time traveler and that would be an impossibility.

cosmocrazy
2008-Sep-07, 08:14 PM
Since I'm actually reading it the odds are100%.

The odds of me being able to read it tomorrow is a bit less, since my computer may break down, my internet connection may break down and I may go blind or die.

Feeling a bit pessimistic? :lol:

Lepton
2008-Sep-07, 08:24 PM
I am assigning odds as they must be BEFORE the fact. Of your, or my, existence. The odds of his or her existence is of course higher x population of EarthAs soon as you know the outcome, the odss are 1. To use your lottery example, yes the odds of winning are say 0.000000001% and you can say each participant has those odds of winning but as soon as you know the outcome, those odds are no longer applicable. Fact is the winner had odds of 100% while those of everybody else were 0.

Jens
2008-Sep-08, 09:55 AM
Since I'm actually reading it the odds are100%.

The odds of me being able to read it tomorrow is a bit less, since my computer may break down, my internet connection may break down and I may go blind or die.

Or alexic. :)

HenrikOlsen
2008-Sep-08, 10:48 AM
Or alexic. :)
After watching how other people post here, that won't be enough to stop me:)

Ivan Viehoff
2008-Sep-08, 11:01 AM
They don't. The Moon has a slightly larger apparent diameter than the Sun. If they were identical, some of the Sun's direct light would refract around the surface of the Moon and there would be a bright ring around the Moon.
That's called an annular eclipse and they are quite common.

The earth and the moon both follow approximately elliptical orbits, so the apparent diameters of the moon and sun are not constant. Rather they vary so that sometimes the apparent diameter of the moon is smaller, giving rise to annular eclipses, and sometimes larger, giving rise to total eclipses. There are even hybrid eclipses, which can be seen as annular in some locations and total in others.