Les Zador Crunches Some Numbers

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August 1, 2014 · Posted in Commentary 

Zador 8543R 4x5




 I did some numbers.

There are 60 seconds in a minute;
There are 3,600 (60 x 60) seconds in an hour;
and 86,400 (60 x 60 x 24) seconds in a day;
and 31,536,000 (60 x 60 x 24 x 365) seconds in a year; and
and 2,832,240,000 seconds (60 x 60 x 24 x 365 x 90) in a 90-year life span (a long life-time).

If there are 400,000,000,000 stars in the Milky Way, you would divide the 400 billion by 2,832,240,000 to get the number of people it would take to count all of those stars if they began their count from the instant of birth and continued without interruption (for sleep, eating, going to the bathroom, or observing religious holidays) to the instant of death (all on their 90th birthdays) while counting at the rate of one star per second.  It comes out to 141.23 persons.

With the Milky Way being an average-sized galaxy and with an estimated 100 billion (100,000,000,000) galaxies in the universe, it would take 14,123,000,000,000 (141.23 x 100,000,000,000) persons–that’s over 14 trillion human beings–90 years while counting at the rate of one star per second and going at it 24 hours per day (with no time off for weekends, legal holidays, fornication, or anything else) for the entire 90 year duration to count every star in every galaxy in the universe.  That’s more people who have ever lived on earth since humankind first came into existence and in all likelihood more people than ever will haved lived on earth before the species says its final “adios, amigos.”

Ours is a minor planet orbiting around a slightly smaller than average star located in an average-size galaxy.   With 400 billion stars in the Milky Way, and 100 billion galaxies, the total number of stars in the universe could reasonably be estimated as: 100 billion x 400 billion . . . or . . . 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, of which one of them is our own sun.  The sun has eight planets orbiting around it.  Assuming that eight planets is the norm–a not unreasonably assumption–then the total number of planets could be estimated at 320,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

All of which explains one of the reasons why some have questioned the existence of an interventionist God who, having singled out this planet and our species for some unfathonable reason, holds the doings of humankind on our world of paramount concern.


Les Zador is an attorney in Encino, among other things.


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