Size Matters?

When I was a kid (and this happens to many people) I had an overwhelming sense of insignificance when I contemplated what we knew of the cosmos even then. I thought, Oh, I’m tiny, hardly more than an ant or a bacteria, in the scale of things, and strikingly temporary, so nothing matters. But I grew out of that, partly because, as I told my sons, we are sentient beings and in the unthinkably vast cosmos, and while there are certainly others out there somewhere, they are rare.

Yes other sentient life exists, on other worlds, but is exquisitely rare, astoundingly rare, because of all the factors naturally working against it, and all that must happen to fall into place to make it possible.

Hence we are, in that sense, not insignificant, we are gemlike rarities: organized matter that is aware of itself. Not unique, but rare. Special. If anything is special, that is.

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