I read this morning that NASA is planning a manned mission to Mars and I thought this might be a good time for this post.
We as a species spend an awful lot of time looking for answers and explanations. Why are we here? Where did life first come from? These are very human, very important questions but I have a theory that makes the answers to those questions irrelevant.
WE ARE THE FIRST LIVING CREATURES IN THE UNIVERSE.
It was our stories the pushed mankind into the future, turning us into explorers, adventurers and leaders. It was our ability to communicate from the distant past, all the way into the future, that makes us unique.
There was nothing before us and all life in this universe will come from us. Our storytelling ability has given us ways to explain the universe and serves as a means by which we pass knowledge down to our ancestors. Storytelling allows us to plan for the future and predict what could happen, inspiring those who hear the stories to dream bigger and travel farther. One tiny ball of water was able to create life and it is now our duty to spread that life throughout the entire universe. It is our responsibility to have our stories spread across the galaxies, guiding future generations of the human race.
It really doesn’t matter where we came from. Whether or not there is a God isn’t the question we should be asking. The question we SHOULD be asking is how can we better play God ourselves?
There are numerous scientific theories that can explain our loneliness in the universe. We are truly alone.
Stable environments in galaxies that were enriched enough to have planets only became available some nine billion years ago and rocky Earth-like planets and larger super-Earths, only some 7 to 8 billion years ago. And Life had to wait until that time if not later to begin its emergence throughout the Universe. Between 7 and 9 billion years ago, enough heavy elements were available for the complex chemistry needed for life to emerge were in place along with the terrestrial planets with stable environments necessary for chemical concentration.
A whole universe of materials have been laid out for us, to use as we need to bring our dreams to life. We spend so much of our time feeling small and insignificant when we are anything but. We need to accept our place as makers of the future and claim ownership over the many worlds laid out before us. Even if we can’t reach them yet, they are our future homes, our inherited playgrounds.
We need to realize that what we do now is going to be studied by our more highly evolved ancestors and while obviously we can’t be perfect, we need to realize that we will all become stories one day. How do we want those stories to be interpreted? What is it we want and need to say to those future generations?
Once we accept our divine ownership over the universe, a lot of our petty beliefs seem irrelevant. Do we really need to worry about population control or abortion when there are planets waiting to be filled with life? Does racism and multiculturalism matter when there is more than enough room for every culture to be as inclusive, or exclusive, as they wish?
The human race needs to put its animal past to rest and realize what a rare, special, gift our self-awareness is. We need to be better humans, not just for our own immediate needs, but for the future of our entire species.
Claim the universe. It belongs to us.
Bolded text courtesy of: http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2014/02/life-may-be-in-its-very-young-stage-in-the-universe-harvards-dimitar-sasselov-.html