Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Idiot of the Month: May I have $360 Billion?

Somethings are so absurd you know they are true. Take this story about a man in Fort Worth who, well, you just gotta see for yourself:

"A man has been accused of attempting to pass a $360 billion check, which he claims was given to him by his girlfriend’s mother to start a record business, Fort Worth police said."

Yeah, we can laugh at the obvious, but it does demonstrate one not-so-obvious fact. A billion, and all the numbers larger than it, are too large for us to really get our minds around. A billion seconds is 31 years. This lies at the heart of a lot of flawed creationist arguments. Their estimations of what can happen with tiny changes over a large enough period of time are off by orders of magnitude, just like they would never guess that a stack of a million pennies is about a mile high, or that banks don't have $360 billion lying around.

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