Wednesday, September 15, 2010
There are roughly about ~200,000,000,000 (rough estimates range from about ~100,000,000,000 to ~400,000,000,000) stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
There are roughly about ~80,000,000,000 galaxies in the entire universe with about an average amount of stars near that of our galaxy.
Therefore, there are roughly about ~30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to ~70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the entire observable universe.
There are doubts about the actual size of the whole universe (including the unobservable) in its maximum, but pretty good estimates indicate that its size has a lower limit of about ~93 billion ly across (in diameter), but possibly has an upper limit of infinity.
We are only a one small, small, small obscure pale blue dot paired with a few other small and some seemingly larger dots amongst a black void glittered with tiny mediocre stars in our part of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Are we alone?
If so, this universe would be a very, very, very lonely and or spacious place to exist within for our humankind and the intelligent beings that we will create.
The basic odds in Vegas for our feeble existence as the sole existence amongst all of the heavens is about 1:70000000000000000000000 as a low-ball estimate. The odds for winning the lottery are so much better than the odds for us being alone in the universe.
I'm not against belief in our superiority or the belief that we are alone in the universe, but I am against us refusing to accept our place in the universe as mere specs, little granules of sand, sitting next to the mountain of rock and stone.
Why is it so hard to remove our self-centered, human distortion from our perspective in existence and realize that we have been wrong so many times before. The Earth is round. The planets orbit the Sun, and the Sun is an average star in an average place in its galactic system. Heck, even our galaxy is somewhat ordinary in its size, shape, age, and even placement amongst the cosmos. It seems strange to me that we would think that we are anything but ordinary, but then again, we are the hominid species and we are only two "sapiens" away from our animal kingdom heritage.
Let's just remember that we live on an extremely fragile piece of real estate that is just short of being so precious that not a single molecule of it should be wasted. For instance, the element Helium is becoming scarce because it keeps eventually floating to the top layers of our atmosphere almost every time we use it. Those bits of heavy metals in your electronic devices, the plastic in your water bottle at your desk, they all are made of materials that are not infinite or superabundant, but rather limited, scarce, and precious. We don't say anything is precious except for the precious metals or maybe a diamond because their scarcity and value is so much greater than the seemingly ordinary plastic or aluminum, but all of these resources are precious. Every drop of water, every organic molecule, every amino acid, every protein, is extremely precious, not to mention the big component of our Earthly existence called life and all of its facets running the gamut from simple bacterium to intelligent multicellular organisms.
We are on a terrestrial oasis with precious drops of water to live upon in a desert that would make even the Great Sahara appear to be minuscule in comparison. In fact, there really isn't a word in the English language that would appropriately describe this ratio.
Do not overlook our apparent superabundance, but conserve as if we were lost in a desert and stuck in a small, but fruitful oasis thousands of miles away without anyone to help or assist us in our survival. In the oasis, what water we waste does not return and on Earth, what hydrocarbons we burn do not return.
Good luck Earthlings. Good luck humankind. Good luck intelligent beings of the future. I hope that you all are able to clean up and restore the damage done, the beauty lost, the intricate destroyed, and the natural, but ineffable landscape of preciousness resting upon homo sapien sapiens' souls-past, so that Earth's little seeds of life that snowballed through the evolutionary progress of the many, many, many chains of descendants from millions and millions and millions of years and years and years of trial and error is not, was not, and will never be all for naught, all in vain, nor lost for eternity. At least not yet, not until the final breath of the little quarks of energy evaporate from our wispy little end into a cold, dark, absolute, abyss of nothingness when our universe ends into the void beyond all voids.