March 20, 2011

WE’RE ALL ALONE, AND NOBODY KNOWS WHY: The rejection of human specialness here is basically an act of faith, though: “The first proposition, that we humans are unique and special, appears quite absurd. It contradicts all that we have discovered during the last five hundred years about the true nature of the universe and our place in it. We are not special: the Earth is not at the center of our solar system, the solar system is not at the center of our galaxy, and our galaxy is not at any special position in the universe. Our placement in space and time seems to be random and unremarkable.” Somebody has to be the first intelligent species. If you believe in randomness, why can’t it randomly be us? The odds may be low, but low-probability events happen all the time, and it’s consistent with the available evidence and doesn’t require the invocation of fudge-factors — “cosmic roadblocks” — for which there’s no actual evidence at all.

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