8/26/18 Our Significance in the Universe

As of this moment, there are roughly 7.65 billion people on planet Earth. That means that compared to the rest of the human population, each one of us represents a statistically insignificant portion of the population. The smaller our groups become, the more significant we become. When you get down to it, we are most significant to our friends and family.

We are lucky to inhabit such a beautiful planet with mountains and oceans and life. We revolve happily around our sun each year, not knowing when the next comet or asteroid will inevitably pummel us into oblivion, just like the dinosaurs.

There are more suns in our known universe than there are grains of sand on planet Earth. If our sun is one grain of sand, it is also completely insignificant compared to the total population of suns.

We have been searching for other planets similar to Earth, which inhabit the ‘Goldie Locks’ zone, meaning their proximity to a neighboring sun and potential atmosphere could harbor life (not too hot and not too cold). “Over 9 years in space, NASA’s pioneering Kepler probe has already found more than 2600 confirmed exoplanets, implying hundreds of billions in the Milky Way” (Science Mag).” The Milky Way is just one of countless galaxies in the universe, which means there are probably countless Earth’s.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/04/updated-nasa-s-new-satellite-brings-search-earthlike-exoplanets-closer-home

If there are hundreds of billions of other Earths, and since we have discovered that water is prevalent in the universe (we found it on the moon and Mars), the chance of life existing out there is pretty strong. It’s selfish of us to think that we are the only intelligent beings in the universe. We didn’t even know our planet orbited the sun until 500 years ago, thanks to Copernicus.

We don’t know shit yet is what I’m trying to say. Imagine the human civilization 1,000 years from now, given the rate of exponential technological growth we’ve had over the past 100 years. How about humans 100,000 years from now, or 1 million years from now.

Now, imagine a planet just like Earth with a civilized species that has been around for 100 million years. They have opposable thumbs, similar brain capacity, and walk upright on two legs. If they can create fire, they will probably follow a similar path as we have up to this point. They would begin crafting metal tools, weapons, and machines. With enough time, their technological prowess over their environment could allow for the unthinkable. We have cars, trains, air planes, drones, and space ships. Perhaps similar vehicles would be created by alien life.

If we’re already thinking about artificial intelligence as lowly knuckle-dragging humans, it most likely exists out there already. What is the path of A.I.? Would it want to create or destroy? Maybe there is an existing universal artificial intelligence that can communicate through the vastness of space via some technology we can’t comprehend.

Photo credit:

https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/cool-jobs-reaching-out-et-numbers-game

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