alternate englands: when?

Roger Burton West roger at
Mon Feb 7 10:37:03 EST 2005

On Mon, Feb 07, 2005 at 01:15:15PM +0000, minnow at wrote:

>The alternative would be that given a fairly small original gene-pool
>(isn't it something like fifty or sixty individuals are ancestors of
>everyone in the world, or something?) one might end up with the same
>combinations from entirely different ancestry, in an entirely random
>pattern.  And I am not struck on that as an explanation.

The odds against a suitable random combination turning up would be
quite high - even without chromosome fragmentation, one in 10^39 or so.
One would be better off waiting for spontaneous proton-proton fusion.

On the other hand, it need not be random; there might well be a
controlling principle, conscious or otherwise, that caused parallels to
occur much more often than they'd be expected.


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