Think about it; modern humans have been around for at least a couple hundred thousand years.
Yet, your mind, your soul, your very awareness, happens to be "alive" today. If time is a flow, moving forward, and there's really only "now", isn't it an almost impossible coincidence that your lifespan of 70-90 years happens to occur "now"? Why not a hundred years ago? Why not tens of thousands of years ago? Why not a thousand years into the future? No.... Your mind and body are alive today, in the present - the only valid "now".
To me that sounds like too much of a coincidence. In fact, if you take the number of 300,000 years that modern humans have existed, and we take (just for the sake of making this calculation easily understandable) a lifespan of 100 years, your lifespan could have started at any time during those 300,000 years. There's only a chance of 1 in 3000 (0.033%) that the start of your lifespan would coincide with the present. If we add to this a potential/possible 100,000 years of additional "future time" that mankind may have left, then it's even more of a coincidence: 1 in 4000 or a 0.025% chance.
What are your thoughts and ideas about this? Is there some kind of known paradox about this? Or an explanation?
This questions has driven me nuts for years and years. I just can't wrap my head around it.
Wow, what a huge amount of responses, thank you all so much. Your answers definitely feed my hunger to try and learn more about the subject.
Just as a general reply; most, if not all of you, seem to focus your response around the probability of me being alive today, and assign the probability of 1 to this; after all, if I'm able to ask this question now, it means I must be alive now.
However, what I'm (even) more interested in, is the coincidence of me being alive today, assuming that time acts like an objective spotlight (gradually passing along, moving into the future) shining at one specific point on the timeline (reaching from the moment of the big bang all the way into at least now, or maybe even the future).
This quarrel, again, assumes that time acts like an objective spotlight, which is important, because, when time would act like a subjective spotlight instead, then (in my mind at least) the probability of a person being alive being 1 whenever he/she asks the question would only make sense if time was not a passing, moving spotlight at all - but instead a fixed dimension, meaning that all time (all moments in history and possibly all moments into the future) would exist all at once, and whatever we're experiencing as the present, is just a subjective representation of this specific moment in time... Which is just something I'm having a hard time with comprehending (which doesn't make it any plausible, of course).
I hope this makes any sense.
Again, thanks for all your contributions.