The Sound of a Miracle

 

Hearing anything at all is the sound of a miracle.

If you think the image above of an ape smoking a cigarette while playing a guitar on stage is unlikely, then think again; because in comparison to sound waves giving rise to music and conversation, an ape strumming Fantasia No. 10 by Alphonso Mudarra is a near certainty. Why? Because sound is an extreme rarity, possibly a one in countless trillions of chances against even the possibility.  In our solar system we have just one star, the Sun. In our Milky Way galaxy there are about a billion stars and thirty billion planets. And that is just in our celestial backyard. Sound as we experience it probably only occurs in one place in the entire universe: and that would be on planet earth.

How can that be? Because we need three things. The first is to provide the medium through which sound waves can be carried, and that is air. Next an organ sensitive to sound, and finally a processing structure capable of interpreting the incoming sound waves. In summary we need the atmosphere of planet Earth, an ear and a brain.

Nothing can be heard in Space. In space, there are no molecules in the large empty areas between stars and planets. With no molecules in the vacuum of space there is no medium for sound waves to travel through. And that is the reason nobody can hear you shout in space. Sound cannot travel in the vacuum of space. Space isn’t a complete and empty void, interstellar gas and dust does have the potential to carry sound waves. The problem is we cannot hear them. The particles are so spread out, and the resulting sound waves are of such a low frequency, that they’re beyond our capacity to hear them. In other words there is, as far as science can know, nowhere else in the universe other than on earth where sound can be heard. That fact is just the beginning of the ongoing and ever more sophisticated miracle of sound as we humans experience it. From our breathing, to a scream in the dark, and onto the fine tuned beauty of an orchestra playing one of the great musical compositions. Sound is not just a thud of a rock falling to the ground, it is a work of genius, a miracle that could not happen if the subject of the next article: the Atmosphere, did not exist to provide the air without which sound could not be transmitted.

Sound can both scare us and make us deliriously happy: the sounds of a violent threat or the first time a baby tries to say the word “Mummy”.  In either case, the air we breathe which is probably unique to our planet, must be a miracle. Since nothing could register in our brains without a hearing system of incredible complexity. One linked to a brain that can interpret sound and trigger a response in seconds. Imagine a time delay of even five minutes between hearing and comprehending a verbal message. Dinner party conversations would become a nightmare.

That sound, in all its fathomless diversity evolved is so far beyond the realm of commonsense and experience that I wonder how a sane person could ever accept that it happened in any of the ways we are taught. We have been fed a lie and it takes a brave scientist to confess the truth. Here is one: the famous scientist Fred Hoyle is quoted as saying the following.

“Once we see, however, that the probability of life originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd, it becomes sensible to think that the favourable properties of physics on which life depends are in every respect deliberate … It is therefore almost inevitable that our own measure of intelligence must reflect … higher intelligence’s…even to the limit of God…such a theory is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific.”

Below is an even more famous quote.

“The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.”

Can you imagine something like this orchestra playing The Planets by Holst happening anywhere else in the universe, given all the information listed above? On the basis of the total lack of any supporting evidence for sound anywhere in the universe, then if you were to calculate the chances you are I believe circling somewhere in the hazy region of the incalculable and absurd.

 

We are designed to hear. The technical problems involved and the engineering solutions put into place to enable us to hear are incredible. If you interested, you can see and hear an explanation in the video below.

 

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