Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Microstory 927: The Universe Itself

The anthropic principle is an infamous, and oft misused, scientific maxim that basically states that we exist within a universe that has itself come into existence to allow us to exist and evolve, so we can observe it. That was a bit of a whirlwind. So I’ll break it down some more. This does not mean the universe exists, or exists in the way it does, in order to support our lives. It simply points out that if it did not allow us to exist, we would not be observing it at all, and couldn’t remark on it. This may sound mundane, and even obvious, but it’s actually a perfect way to illustrate the rarity of life. Take this further, and recognize that even a minute change in the cosmic temperature would result in a wildly different set of circumstances. So we have heat going for us. Gravity is at a constant, allowing objects to coalesce, and form the heavenly bodies, so we have somewhere to stand. Atoms contain varying subatomic particles, which allow for an array of useful fundamental chemical elements, and by extension, molecules. Our solar system lies at an ideal distance from the galaxy’s central black hole, and the its edge, to support the creation of topographically asymmetrical rocky worlds. The gas giants, the moon, and interplanetary gravitational interference in general, protects us from many bolide impacts that once created life in the first place. We have an atmosphere and magnetic field to protect us from solar and cosmic radiation. The primordial ooze that started it all adapted to suit an ever-changing environment, to eventually evolve into the creatures we know today. Your biological mother and father joined at the exact right time, under the exact right circumstances, and your mother carried you under the exact right conditions to eventually make you the person you are today. I say all this, because it barely scratches the surface of what it took to get us to this point in time. While the universe is an unfathomably massive place, literally—and it would be practically impossible for alien lifeforms to not exist somewhere, in some way—the chances that anything exists is negligible. The math was never in our favor. The fact that the universe is here at all is, quite honestly, a miracle. There is just too much working against reality to allow for the creation of something, in place of nothing. A lot of people believe in a God, the creator; some supreme being that has determined what shall be, and what shall not, and some believe this entity continues to make decision. But I worship the universe itself, along with time and reality, because it’s far more a marvelous thing that it just suddenly came into existence, when it really shouldn’t have. This entry began as nothing more than an ode to the powerful force of the tides, but the moon and sun are only a fraction of what I’m grateful for cosmically speaking, so I just had to mention everything.

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