Do we matter in the Cosmos? (Nick Hughes)

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Do we matter in the Cosmos? (Nick Hughes)

Postby hyksos on August 7th, 2017, 6:53 pm 

Do we matter in the cosmos?
Nick Hughes
29 June 2017

Humanity is nothing more than a microscopic blip in the universe. But does that mean we are insignificant?


https://aeon.co/essays/just-a-recent-blip-in-the-cosmos-are-humans-insignificant
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Re: Do we matter in the Cosmos? (Nick Hughes)

Postby mitchellmckain on August 8th, 2017, 3:17 pm 

For some people, size may be the only thing they have going for them. It must be tempting for them to measure the value of things by their size.

"You humans, when are you going to learn that size doesn't matter. Just because something is important doesn't mean it isn't very very small." Pug in the film Men in Black
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Re: Do we matter in the Cosmos? (Nick Hughes)

Postby DragonFly on August 8th, 2017, 3:48 pm 

As 4.6% of the universe, we surfers of light seem to be an after-effect of a side-affect; however, the universe is only .02% along and we already have shown great potential; so, we will eventually rule the galaxy and then the universe and then the Cosmos and then the Multiverse.
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Re: Do we matter in the Cosmos? (Nick Hughes)

Postby Braininvat on August 8th, 2017, 4:18 pm 

I look forward to the special hats.

I like Kahane's diamond in a warehouse analogy. But, as he notes, we don't yet know if we are the sole exemplar of intelligent life or just one among billons. I admit I will be sorry if no one ever intercepts that record with Chuck Berry on it, flying through interstellar space on the
Voyager probe. But the odds seem small that anyone will happen onto it.
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Re: Do we matter in the Cosmos? (Nick Hughes)

Postby DragonFly on August 8th, 2017, 5:17 pm 

Braininvat » August 8th, 2017, 3:18 pm wrote:I look forward to the special hats.


Then we will rule Totality.

Once we colonize space, there will be no stopping us.
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Re: Do we matter in the Cosmos? (Nick Hughes)

Postby mitchellmckain on August 8th, 2017, 10:11 pm 

DragonFly » August 8th, 2017, 4:17 pm wrote:
Braininvat » August 8th, 2017, 3:18 pm wrote:I look forward to the special hats.


Then we will rule Totality.

Once we colonize space, there will be no stopping us.


Unless someone out there is watching and agrees with you and thus decides to put a stop to us.

Personally, I think the universe is designed to make what you suggest impossible. There can be no star empires. Star Trek is pure fantasy. If we do go to other stars then not only will it be a one way trip, but people will have to change and it won't be a singular humanity anymore but life becoming more and more diverse. It is the nature of life. There will be no we and certainly nobody ruling over everything.

I think those who imagine evolution has stopped with civilization have got it all wrong. I think civilization and technology is a natural part of the evolutionary process and thus it has neither stopped nor even slowed down but actually accelerated.
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Re: Do we matter in the Cosmos? (Nick Hughes)

Postby hyksos on August 12th, 2017, 7:20 pm 

So the argument from size isn't very compelling, I agree. Maybe the blogger should have gone over the usual suspects before getting into size.

Like for example, our sun is pretty much a regular star in the main sequence. (although its a wee bit hotter than average). Our solar system is not located in the center of the galaxy, nor on its edge. It's not even located halfway to the edge. It's in a random spot. Our galaxy is not unique, and not in the center of any other large structure.

In addition to being wee tiny specs in the universe, we circle around a random star in a random galaxy located in a random neighborhood of a galactic group.
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Re: Do we matter in the Cosmos? (Nick Hughes)

Postby mitchellmckain on August 13th, 2017, 1:43 am 

hyksos » August 12th, 2017, 6:20 pm wrote:Like for example, our sun is pretty much a regular star in the main sequence. (although its a wee bit hotter than average). Our solar system is not located in the center of the galaxy, nor on its edge. It's not even located halfway to the edge. It's in a random spot. Our galaxy is not unique, and not in the center of any other large structure.


But this is not quite as random as you are implying.

The center of the galaxy is not good place to be at all. That location is occupied by a very large black hole. But even close to the center would mean a large increase in gamma radiation which is also not conducive to life. This is due to an increase in the density of stars and the increase in the numbers of larger hotter stars which also means an increase in the number of supernovae in this region.

The edge of the galaxy lacks the material for the production of young stars like our own, and thus is mostly populated with the older colder red dwarf stars.

Thus scientists have suggested that there is a galactic habitable zone. It is more probabilistic in nature than the stellar habitable zone, but it does suggest that instead of being simply random, our location in the galaxy is just the more probable location for the development of life.
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Re: Do we matter in the Cosmos? (Nick Hughes)

Postby mitchellmckain on August 14th, 2017, 9:38 pm 

There is also a catch 22 here in regards to significance of location.

The more the universe is conducive to life, then the larger the regions of space would be which allow the development of life and thus more random we would expect our particular location to be. We would only expect to be in a very special nonrandom location if the locations which allow the development of life were extremely rare and thus the more hostile the universe as a whole would be to the development of life.

So... even if our location in the universe isn't quite so random as suggested above, the regions in which we can expect life to occur are reasonably large, as far as we know. Thus it is not that far fetched that the universe may have been designed to support life, even if it does not revolve around our particular instance of it.

The most we can say is that much of the development of life is not a matter of design, but I believe that design is not compatible with the very nature of life in the first place. Perhaps one day we will have the technology to use the machinery of biological organisms for technological applications but I do not believe these will constitute the design of living organisms. I think the very fact they are a product of design makes them machines not living things. This is because definition I have for life has to do with the process not the substance and medium in which it occurs. And self-organization is a definitive aspect of the process I call life.
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