Less than 1%

I would never use the word "miracle" lightly, and I would certainly never use it in the religious sense. Rather, I think the word can apply when something happens that is so against the odds, so improbable, that the fact of it occurring is a "miracle".

In this light, we are miracles - everyone of us. In fact, every iota of life on this planet, from microbe to blue whale, is a miracle. Because it is so very, very improbable.

Consider, for us to be here, right now, in this way: First, the Big Bang (or whatever) had to have happened precisely as it happened. Any derivation would cause massive changes over time. This is the first miracle.

Then, over the millenia, the various interactions of energy and matter had to happen exactly as they happened, or once again, large changes would have developed over time and none of us would be here.

Then, a star somewhere near by either had to so supernovae, or expand in such a way as to seed our area of space time with the various elements -- especially the heavier elements - that would later congeal into our sun and solar system.

Then of course our sun had to form, and in this process, of course, everything had to happen in the way it did, or we would not be here -- consider, if the Earth were just a bit further from the sun, liquid water might be a rarity, and life may have never taken hold.

Then, the Earth needs to get hit by another planet -- this collision created the moon, and the moon is absolutely critical to all life on earth.

I could go on and on, but only now are we here on Earth, with the first shoots of life emerging. But a-ha! There have been multiple mass extinctions on Earth so far (off the top of my head, 6 or 7), and during these extinctions, over 99% of all life on the planet was wiped out. And this happened multiple times.

Think about it -- every iota of life that exists right now is a descendant of the lucky few lifeforms who have managed to survive these mass extinctions. And not just one, but many.

This is just the big picture of course, as there are an infinite amount of other variables that could change the whole equation.

But I hope my point is clear: To merely exist, to live, is a miracle. If only we could remember this.

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