Saturday, April 4

Economical Numbers

"There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers." --Richard Feynman

1 comment:

Aaron said...

10^11 is a big number, and if you were a philosophical naturalist you might expect the odds of there being another habitable planet with life on it out there very high. However, as noted in their facinating book "The Priveleged Planet," Richards and Gonzalez consider the factors required for life to exist on a planet, and even the most conservative figures put the odds at 1 to 10^-15 for our galaxy. (Nevermind that information theory now shows the likelihood of getting the simplest cell anywhere in the entire universe, without an intelligent designer, is effectively zero.) AA