I used a simple demonstration to illustrate my amazement with humanity, with life, with existence. I did not need an athlete with seemingly super human abilities or a man who could recite the first one hundred thousand places. All I did was hold my hand out in front of me, fingers extended, and contract them all at once. What this showed was not just the amazing human ability. It is true, the complexity of such an action is incredible. From streaming of that signal to the nerve to the release of calcium with the muscle tissue, the “walking” of the motor protein myosin along the filament actin. All this truly is incredible, but is all explainable and in that regard is not god-like.
The universe is incomprehensible. In our galaxy, there are hundreds of billions of stars and in our universe there may be more galaxies than there are stars in our galaxy. This is incredibly vast and our human minds cannot even begin to grasp that sort of expanse. But still, all of this can inevitably be explained by physics. As you may have guessed, that is with one exception. We cannot explain why the universe ever came into existence. True, we can discuss the Big Bang Theory and how the universe came to be what it is now. But in that atom size origin, there will always be a murky confusion. What created that? What created that microscopic origin that the universe we know today expanded from?
I just recently I learned of the statistical probability of there being other life in the universe. With that figure I cited above, hundreds of billions of stars, and hundreds of billions of galaxies containing hundreds of billions of stars, I realized that we in fact are not alone. I have believed this for quite some time but the shocking reality that I have come to accept is that we are far from alone. I have acquired awareness through statistical knowledge as well as fundamental astronomy and biology, that the universe is littered with life. In fact, researchers are currently following a lead that there have even been two or more geneses on planet earth. With that possibility that life had come about at two separate times on this one planets, the theory that it has come about on many other planets is all but fact.
Despite never being much of a science fiction fan, I recently watched the 2009 movie, Star Trek. Watching this silly fictional movie, I thought, despite being simply a creative creation of many people’s minds, that something similar to this may become reality. Then, realizing that life from planet to planet may be possible in the future, I thought, why could it not have already happened? This relates to our conceited idea of ourselves in relation to the universe.
Humanity’s self righteousness has been holding us back for many, many years. Originally, we thought of one human better than another. Still, even with the knowledge of the vastness of our universe, not many people can grasp that we are not some divine single creation within a deserted universe. While we are but one creation, this does not take away from the beauty of our existence. That is what people need to accept. Simply because we are not alone does not mean we are not special. In fact, I believe it means the contrary. Who would care to watch Usain Bolt run in a race on an empty track? What would his world record mean if he were the only one to have ever run, ever? It would be meaningless. Sure, we can compare ourselves to dolphins and monkeys but in all honesty, what are we going to find? To interact with another species that struggles with understanding the universe would be the greatest comparison. The reality of other intelligent life in the universe also challenges us to improve. If there is such a strong possibility that some other species has long term discovered space travel (they have probably not visited earth), maybe we could rise to the challenge. When we were competing with the Russians to land a man on the moon, we advanced further technologically in such a short amount of time than we ever have. Imagine us united as a species to show our strength against an alien race, whether fueled by bitter hatred or friendly competition.
This is discussion not of the graspable world, but rather of god. I have been very frustrated recently with these questions. With all the study of science, with the more and more knowledge I have attained, the idea of god has become much harder and harder to grasp. Just a year ago, I had a strong belief in an unmeasurable entity that penetrated everything. I had a concept of it. But with each addition to my comprehension of the universe, the idea of God become more and more impossible and obscure. But there were still some things that could not be explained and things I believed could never be explained and because of that I clung to my simple faith.
This is what helped me to realize my childhood belief of god was simply naive. God is not a savior, tending to our every needs. God is not preserving morality. Instead, god is what enables our existence and is a force instead of an entity. God cannot hear and god cannot respond. Because of god, we are here, but god did not make us like a potter molds clay. Instead, our universe was supplied with physical laws that enabled our existence. God is not deserving of worship nor requesting of such. God is not relegated to simple feelings like vengeance and compassion that humanity observes. God is not something we necessarily need to consciously be aware of to be complete. God is simply a power that we need to comprehend awe but while this is where god is necessary, it is not defined by such measures. To believe this force serves a purpose solely for humanity is naive and selfish. With all these limitations taking god away from the graspable mortality of a human, it is difficult to imagine what it could be. Instead, we can simply accept the amazing beauty and power of the universe as something to bizarre, if not impossible to comprehend. For that, we will institute god.
I know many people are getting worked up reading this, refuting my claims before they even consider the possibility that they could be true. To me, this is the most disappointing thing. We have never been a very open minded species and that could inevitably be our downfall and definitely is a restriction on our progression. An opinion does not originate from teachings. An opinion, instead comes from learning and analyzing. If people refute the idea of similar life elsewhere in the universe before considering it, they can consider themselves brainwashed. I have greatly considered the idea of god and studied it and have listened to teachings. And what I have to conclude is that god and science can be compatible. We do not have to abandon the concept of faith and the belief in something greater, an existence, an entity that infuses everything. And we also do not have to abandon the desire to understand to our fullest extent the way this universe works. But to believe that everything primitive man once preached is true is sort of similar to believing the fictional, imaginative tales of a child. To take them as stories of morality and compassion is wise but to accept everything that has ever been written by a man is historical record would be naive. In summary, I never shun the inability to grasp this overwhelming universe, but to tie with such confidence a definable supernatural being to it is simply childish.
My challenge to humanity is this: let us see ourselves for what we are, a diverse community of very special beings with immense capacity aboard an amazing, beautiful blue and green spaceship. God is evident in the unexplainable. However, the belief or comprehension of God is not necessary as desire to understand something through analysis and observation is. The idea that we are not alone could unite us as a planet and in my opinion could be the end of all war. All we have to do is accept that this earth is a lot smaller than we originally thought. Currently science cannot explain everything and I firmly believe that is incapable of doing so. I believe in the power of a force that is beyond our comprehension because of the loose ends but I do believe that we can advance beyond our primitive belief of what God is for a more mature understanding of our existence.