In our current understanding exists trillions of galaxies. Each one of those galaxies can host billions of stars, and each one of those stars can host systems of planets. Each one of those systems is unique, in terms of the geometric formation of the planetary system and the host star. This allows there to be an enormous amount of variation regarding the nature of the planet.
When taking all that into consideration, alongside our understanding of how life operates on earth, we are led to conclude that there is likely billions if not more potential alien planets which mimic to a significant degree the surface conditions of earth. The same conditions which allowed the emergence and abundance of life to exist. These conditions are created by multiple factors, including atmospheric composition, proximity to the host star, etc. What’s most important however is the fact that even though we know all of this, a large part of our identity stems from the idea that we are a unique product of the universe, and that we fulfill a role that cannot be fulfilled by anything else in the universe.
To me this seems slightly illogical on the surface, but when you consider that we’ve seen no conclusive evidence yet to date (as far as we know) that alien life exists it makes some sense why some people would hold this view. However, in terms of astronomy there is still much to be seen, and it does still seem rather preemptive to conclude anything regarding how and where life may exist when we are just now opening up new pathways to uncover those exact questions in the fields of astrobiology, astrophysics, etc.
Because of that fact I would rather wait and see just what the universe has in store for us before I make any determinations regarding what the nature of life really is. Even the most brilliant minds amongst ourselves never ceases to be amazed at what the universe might surprise us with, and maybe one day we will be surprised by someone who was searching for an answer to the same question. Is there anybody out there?
When it comes to warfare, thats something humans have known closely since their inception. In terms of modern warfare however, there is a clear and notable distinction. Back in ancient times there was a sense of honor and dignity whenever the topic of war was brought up, because back then there was an element of war that cold not be erased: Danger and Sacrifice. What does it mean when in our day and age the powers that be may conduct warfare utilizing weapons that can preform all of the same tasks that humans can do (even better in some cases) all while not having to worry about those tolls objecting to their orders? Machines incapable of individual agency, merely preforming what is asked? That is the jungle we’re dealing with now, and I’m not sure we as a species are fully capable of accepting the responsiblity for such technology. I hope I’m wrong in my assumption, but time will tell if thats the case or not. The way that things are going, id say we won’t have to wait much longer.
They say every age is characterized in its own unique ways. From egalitarianism, to the megacities of today. From a preoccupation with the natural world, to a shift in focus to the virtual. I think what is lost in all this however, is that for many people an age isn’t defined by technological marvels, mass cultural events, or the ramblings of plutocrats. It is defined by how much the world in which they live in allows them to grow and flourish, and ultimately allows them to reach their full potential.
If theres anything that truly defines the 21st Century, it is potential. The potential to unlock the mysteries of consciousness, to harness the fundamental forces of nature in unprecedented ways (perhaps even space itself), and expand our collective knowledge to places few of us can imagine. In lieu of this fact however, lies the giant shadow of uncertainty. Every time you increase the potential in something, you increase the level of uncertainty in how it will operate. That is a principle founded in quantum physics, and it relates to life as a whole as well. Because of this uncertainty in the face of potential, combined with an increased acceleration of technological advancement, we also live in one of the most tumultuous and sometimes frigthening periods in human history.
Even though that can lead to stress and worry, i also think it brews a kind of excitement within our generation that is unknown to those that came before us. Its a big gamble, but if it pays off well be in a whole new world. After all is said and done, what will be the legacy of the 21st Century. What will be its soul? Whatever it may be, there is no doubt it will fundamentally change our species in ways that will make us question not only the nature of the world, but the nature of ourselves as well. I can’t wait to see what happens.