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Sunday, January 16, 2005

And another...

Here is another interesting quote, by Arthur C. Clarke (from the preface to 2001: A Space Odyssey)

"Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth. -- Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this universe, there shines a star." (written in 1968 when the world population was only about 3.5 billion)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the Milky Way was supposed to be a galaxy. And I thought the universe was supposed to contain more than one galaxy.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

For one thing, he says `local universe', meaning that he probably is referring to what is relatively near us (I say relatively because this is one huuuge freakin' galaxy). However, it is arguable that there is a minuscule probability that life has evolved elsewhere precisely into humankind as we know it here, therefore the fact that he is referring to `man' would eliminate confusion.

4:25 PM  

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