A Universe of Infinite Chimps

Imagine for a moment that there is a parallel universe that is entirely populated by chimpanzees.  Let’s say that this universe has hundreds of billions of galaxies. In each galaxy there are hundreds of millions of stars.  Circling these stars are even more planets.  Now let’s say that each planet is capable of sustaining life, and the only form of life is a chimpanzee.  Let’s see now, that’s going to be about… near infinite chimps.  Excellent.

Now imagine that another universe entirely populated by typewriters collides with this one, and each chimp has one at his disposal.  So we have a trillion trillion trillion chimps beating away at a trillion trillion trillion typewriters.   Do you have this picture in your head? Good.

Oh wait!  I almost forgot.  Another universe collides with the chimp universe and it is a paper universe.  Then a universe made up entirely of ink enters through a million wormholes and supplies the chimps.  Ok, now we’re on target.

Now to my point.

None of these chimps will write an accidental novel.  This is a probability illustration, and it is supposed to say something about time and infinity.  If you have an infinite number of chimps punching an infinite number of typewriters, eventually one of them will hit all of the right keys to write a classic piece of literature.  I challenge this theory, and here is why.

The chimps would starve to death.

But in all seriousness, excellence is no accident.  And if a chimp produced Shakespeare’s work, it wouldn’t mean anything.  A writer is intentional and each word is influenced by the words surrounding it.  So, even though this isn’t the point of the theory, I just wanted to point out that an infinite number of chimps couldn’t produce good literature.


3 thoughts on “A Universe of Infinite Chimps

  1. Pingback: The motivational (non-systematic) basis of real science | Malignancy Blog

  2. Pingback: The Long, Slow, Painful Death of The Simpsons « Thoughts of a Man Named Dave

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