The Circle of Zero
He laughed scornfully. 'The age of the earth is somewhere between a thousand million and three thousand million years. What proportion of eternity is that?'
'Why--no proportion at all. Zero.'
'Exactly. And zero represents the chance of the same atoms combining to form the same person twice in one cycle of a planet. But I have shown that trillions, or trillions of trillions of years ago, there must have been another earth, another Jack Anders, and'--his voice took on that whining note--'another crash that ruined Jack Anders and old de Neant. That is the time you must remember out of lethargy.'
'Catalepsy!' I said. 'What would one remember in that?'
'What a mad scheme!' I said suddenly. 'What a crazy pair of fools we are!' The adjectives were a mistake.
'Mad? Crazy?' His voice became a screech. 'Old de Neant is mad, eh?
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Another creative story from Stanley Weinbaum.
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An interesting philosophical/mathematical approach to predicting the future--if you buy it. The writing was good, and the characterizations reasonable. I especially liked when the professor slipped from rational arguments into complete gibberish and his daughter came and put him to bed.