Big Numbers

Dawkins got me thinking – I’m going to collect a page on big numbers. He spends a lot of time on the statistics of improprability of various cosmic, geological and evolutionary events on the one hand and the various microspcopic, molecular genetic, scales on the other. He is at pains to emphasise that our ability to believe them is greatly influenced by our own perspective (as humans) of scale in space, time and probablities of life experience, which is itself a result of our own evolution.

Dealions, Googles, Googleplexes, or how long would it take a million monkeys to write the compete works of Shakespeare by chance, etc, perhaps 2 to the power of a number whose number of digits it would take us the entire known life of the cosmos to even write down, spring to mind as boggling biggies – Dawkins Watchmaker is full of similar examples to illustrate his points of credulity. No doubt his later Climbing Mount Improbable is similarly endowed. Anyone know of a starting resource for such concepts ?

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