Tag Archives: space

Our place in the Universe

28 May
“Equipped with his five senses,
Man explores the universe around him
And calls the adventure Science”
                                                          Edwin P. Hubble
Things around us aren’t always what they seem. In the everyday world we use a simple scale, ourselves, to know what is small and what is large. But what about the worlds that lie beyond; what is truly large and what is truly small?
Sometimes I wonder life beyond the earth on those countless other planets that circle other Suns. Is there also life! Does the beings on other worlds resemble us? Or would they be astonishingly different? What would they be made up of? How common is what we call life in the vast darkness of the universe?
Our purpose of life on earth and our quest for life elsewhere are the same side of a coin. The search for who we are.
We are made of organic molecules that came from the immense cloud of star dust, which we call the stuff of life. These organic molecules are abundant in the universe produced by the same chemistry everywhere. Perhaps, given enough time the origin and evolution of life in inevitable. There will surely be planets too hostile for life, but on some fraction of worlds there may be lifeforms more intelligent than us. And our blue planet is one of them, where life evolved as complex as we.
There is no generally agreed upon long term vision of the goal of our species, other than of course simple survival. Especially when the times are hard, we become unreceptive to dashed hopes and much more willing to hear that we are special, more special than the air we breathe and the water we drink. And we never mind even if the evidence is paper thin. We never think that the evidence of life somewhere else would be so repeatedly and thoroughly incompatible with position that we humans are the center stage in the universe. But, what’s the alternative? To be certain in an uncertain world’! To adopt the comforting belief system no matter how out of place the facts there is. If we do not know what is real then how can we deal with reality? How can we be sure which of the thousands of human belief system should become ubiquitous?
For practical reasons we can live for only finite amount of time to know the answers.
People get some kind of satisfaction in putting humans down and thinking that there is one Supreme Being. Why can’t we find a way in which we are superior? Then again, If God is dispassionate and unresponsive to human need and we are not the apple of God’s eye, there is no doubt that man may feel himself and has often felt himself a great too insignificant to be the object of any particular divine training or care. If earth be considered as an ant mound and life and death of humans can be considered as life and death of so many ants, which run in and out of so many holes in search of food and sunlight, it is quite certain that no adequate importance will be attached to the duties of human life. In this debate I sometimes feel cold and discouraged in the predefined mantras of science and religion.
But if universe is infinite and big bang was just a cusp of current state of the cosmos then cause and effect is redundant.
So do we have a choice of choice? Does it even matter what our choice is?
And to think, did God have any choice in creating the universe?