Thursday, January 7, 2010

Random or Unique

I just finished re-reading "Ten Prayers God always says YES to" by Anthony DeStefano.  Chapter 10 "Why am I here Anyway" addresses the question of whether we are random or unique.

As a statistician it's hard to believe  that of the 6,794,961,364 living people on earth and the additional people in the history of civilization - no two fingerprints are alike.  That sure sounds like we are unique.  And you are the product of a single sperm of 500 million that fertilized one egg. Add that volume to the mix and it means that we are talking about numbers equating to the number of stars in the universe. 

Then add time to the equation and a pure statistician would say that there is some probability of duplication - that is if it is all random. 

I haven't studied the subject of cloning - but I assume a cloned person (if it could be done) would have identical fingerprints.

No longer unique - No longer random.

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