Why are we here? Funny how just because we're capable of asking the question, we assume there's an answer.
We are a self aware chemical reaction. We replicate, therefore we are. We have been growing unstopped to date, thanx to the diversity we've enjoyed. This is despite irregular culling of entire species - bombardment from space by the irregular comets and asteroids that frequent our solar system. In fact, life at our level may never have happened but for this culling... But i digress.
Let's get a grip on the scale of what we're talking about
here. Let's say 1 year = 1mm. If Life On Earth has existed for 3,500,000,000 years (roughly),
and the present day is here where i live in
And don't get all arrogant and start thinking only about "mankind" or "humanity" here. It's Life On Earth we're talking about. We're just the thinking end of the creature - though we don't do a whole lot of that. What's the use of intelligence if we don't use it to visualise and plan where we're going? So what if this 4000km long beast with it's tail in Perth, upon gaining consciousness, was so short-sited, it could only see between 4 and 40mm ahead, depending which eye's it's looking through?
We are infants who's ecological eye's have only started opening in the last 50mm or so. We're just beginning to learn the importance of our environment. We've just got to be a little understanding with the slow ones, those with the extremely shorted sighted vision, and help them along. With a little imagination, you can see a variety of excellent futures for life, and humanity's part therein.
Humanity has the ability to focus resources, to take control. I've heard it said we are the only species capable of destroying not only ourselves, but the planet - the type of destruction only previously inflicted by asteroids and comets. But this is a negative spin on something with such positive possibilities. We are wise enough to learn the error of our ecological ways, though we'll look back and regret the damage we did as stumbling infants.
We're only just beginning to recognize life's creative genetic solutions to the question, "How will i continue to replicate?" Is there any chance that this genetic library may be important to life's survival and the part we need to play in it? Let's face it. The biodiversity of nature is far more creative than the imagination of humanity. Look to any science fiction for proof. Too often the alien's a biped with fingers, 2 eyes, 2 ears, etc. Now look in any corner of nature to find spectacularly creative solutions. We'll need this diversity both for itself and the idea's it can inspire in us. Biodiversity's medical solutions alone are only just surfacing, but we, humanity, the thinking end of the creature, are killing species faster than we're discovering them, and we've only discovered a small percentage of them to date.
We (Life On Earth) need all the creative resources we can get to survive the challenge of the great question that will approach Life On Earth - How will we survive when our Sun burns out? Our Sun is directly or indirectly the source of all energy on Earth. When it burns out, the nearest neighbour for the moment is the triple star system of Alpha Centauri, at over 4.2 light-years. There are presently 48 other star systems within 17 light-years of our solar system. Many of these will also be dead by then, but new ones are forming even as we speak. So there will be somewhere else to go.
We are the only earthly species currently capable of ensuring life from our planet continues to exist forever (however long that can be), by colonising other planets, other solar systems. Even other galaxies. Earth is an oasis in the desert of space, but we can find our way to the next. Earth is a seed.
Thanks to the Internet, and whatever succeeds it, we have a bomb proof and growing distributed archive of all the dreams and ideas our global consciousness holds dear. For the first time in the history of Life on Earth, ideas and information are indestructible. So ideas such as these can live forever, however long that is. Looking back from the future, our time will be considered the dawn of time.
Lucky, are we not?
"But why are we here," you ask? Well, as wards and guardians of all of nature, we're obviously here to nurture and protect biodiversity throughout eternity. Read any religious text for evidence if the rave above hasn’t convinced you. And if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem, guilty of treason and heresy under the more sensible laws of our future civilization.
"But why are we here," you ask? But just because you can ask a question, doesn't mean there's an answer. A question can pose the assumption that there is an answer. "Who is that spoon?" might seem a reasonable question if you accept the assumption in that question.
But while we are here, let's make sure this seed blossoms and grows in all it's diversity throughout eternity.
The opinions expressed here are Mine, although, you are most welcome to share them!
a hello? It'll be Excellent to hear from you!
This page first published 25 March 1997,
last modified 26 April 2006.