The Odds of You

December 22, 2014

Many people think they are here by accident. I challenge those who think that to keep reading and do some research; math says otherwise.

You are unique. There is no one else on the planet who is exactly like you. Even identical twins, who technically have the same genetic code, have different fingerprints and slightly different personalities. And unless you are an identical twin, your DNA is unlike any other person’s. You are different from any other person who is living, has lived in the past, or will live in the future. And if a single letter in your genetic code were different, you would be a different person.

A healthy woman’s ovaries have roughly 400,000 eggs. Each has a different genetic code. Likewise, a healthy man will produce, in his lifetime, between 40 million and 1.8 billion sperm cells. Again, each is different, and has a different genetic code. So the odds of your parents producing you, assuming they both have a healthy reproductive system, would be, at best, 1 in 16,000,000,000,000, or 1 in 16 trillion.

In addition, there were 7.125 billion people in the world as of 2013; the number has grown by now. Taking that number, the odds of your parents having a child—not you, but any child—is 1 in 50,765,625,000,000,000,000, or 1 in roughly 50 quintillion (1 quintillion=1x10^18). Now, the odds of that particular man and woman having YOU are roughly 1 in 800 nonillion, or 1 in 800,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1 nonillion=1x10^30).

This infinitesimal number isn’t even taking into account the fact that you were born at the time you were; there were how many thousands of years you could have been born into? It doesn’t take into account the odds of your parents being born, or their parents before them. They were just as unlikely as you are. Also, your surroundings determine who you are. What are the odds of your being raised the way you were, in the place you were, with your exact genetic code? What are the odds of you being you? Next to impossible, that’s what they are.

And people affect you, as well. What are the odds of you living and interacting with the people you interact with? Not just one of them; all of them. They are just as unlikely as you, but on top of that, what are the odds that you are all together, in this particular time and place in the entire universe in Earth’s entire history, with your particular background?

David says in Psalm 139: 13-14, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” In the song “Here for a Reason,” by Ashes Remain, the lyrics say,

"Every breath that you take has meaning
You are here for a reason”

In another, “Made,” by Hawk Nelson,

"You're beautiful, wonderful
Perfectly made, perfectly made
You're meant to be what you see
You're not a mistake, not a mistake
Brighter than stars that shine
You light up the Maker's eyes
And you'd believe if you could see
The smile on His face
The moment you were made”


A line from VeggieTales says it the best: “God made you special, and he loves you very much.”

The odds are against you. So why are you here? Winning the lottery looks like a surefire deal compared to you. Unless, of course, there’s a third party who stepped in to make sure you turned out the way you did.

Still think you’re an accident?


World Bank
Holy Bible, NIV
Ashes Remain, “Here For a Reason,”
Hawk Nelson, “Made,”
VeggieTales, Big Idea Productions

Join the Discussion

This article has 16 comments. Post your own now!

the-mormon-introvertThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm
This is so true! I love how you tie your work back to the importance of religion. That's definitely something we need more of in the world.
ThrillQueen126This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 4, 2016 at 9:31 pm
That really made me think, and was actually quite inspiring. Awesome article!
sarahd_432 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm
This is extremely interesting and quite amazing to think about. Keep up the good work :)
TroyChittock said...
Oct. 7, 2015 at 6:59 pm
Reading this was very interesting, learning about the odds of my birth. This was inspiring, as it made me remember that my life is worth keeping as there is nobody else like me. I certainly enjoyed reading this and will check out your other pieces soon.
CNBono17 replied...
Oct. 8, 2015 at 10:08 am
Thank you so much, and God bless!
BreeZephyr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 8, 2015 at 4:19 pm
This was interesting. As a Christian myself who's also very interested in math and science, it's nice to see your examples of how religion, math, and science support each other--people think that science is totally separate from Christianity, but that's simply impossible. For example, I want to be a doctor and I think a lot about how complex the human body is. There are specialists for EVERYTHING. As my dad likes to say, there's even such a thing as (sorry to be a little crude here, but I'm maki... (more »)
CaseyChickenWang This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm
Very strong argument supported by a number of credible sources. Your article is very strong and outstanding. I love it!
CNBono17 replied...
Jan. 23, 2015 at 7:54 pm
Thanks so much!
PTsaxplayer said...
Jan. 15, 2015 at 4:09 pm
Nice man love how you were able to relate this science with the biblical matter of things. Another thing that my pastor always says is "Ever number has a name every name has a story and every story matters to God. Please continue your writing. God bless -Preston
CNBono17 replied...
Jan. 15, 2015 at 4:56 pm
Thanks! And I may quote your pastor on that, I love it! God bless you, too!
PTsaxplayer replied...
Jan. 20, 2015 at 4:02 pm
Awesome his name is Perry Noble if you wanna quote him :)
ProfessionalJaywalker This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 28, 2014 at 9:56 pm
I like the article--great concept! I recommend reordering the paragraphs--you say "the math says otherwise" and but it took you a little while to get to the math. I would recommend moving the current second paragraph to after the current sixth paragraph. My one other suggestion is to change up the word choice when citing quotes. You used some version of "say" each time, when you could mix it up with "proclaims" and other stronger verbs. Overall, well done!
CNBono17 replied...
Dec. 29, 2014 at 11:03 am
Thank you! Glad you liked it!
Sharkbait said...
Dec. 27, 2014 at 12:50 am
This is so inspiring! Amazing job!
CNBono17 replied...
Dec. 27, 2014 at 10:00 am
Thank you so much!
Blabablaba said...
Dec. 27, 2014 at 12:15 am
Common sense, dude. Common sense.
Site Feedback