So.. lately I got my mind fucked pretty hard by Brian Cox on the Joe Rogan Experience #1233 and by some other related content (particularly on the YouTube channel Exurb1a).
I felt the need to share a few things I’ve learned because.. why not shaking your mental stability too? It’s kinda fun, hey! 😬
👉 Here’s a small recap.
🌌 To the best of our scientific understanding, this Universe is 13.8 billion years old. There are potentially 20 billion Earth-like planets in the milky way galaxy alone, 200 billions stars in each galaxy for a total of 2 trillion potential galaxies. (lol? 😅)
🌍 We have still no idea how complex life evolved (how we went from unicellular organisms to multicellular organisms). One hypothesis is that 700–600 million years ago a bacteria got inside another single-celled microorganism (an archaea) and somehow not only survived as a symbiotic organism, but also — unbelievably — reproduced in that configuration. If that is true, it happened once for pure random chance.
🌝 We have still no idea how our solar system formed. One of the most predominant hypothesis is “The Grand Tack Hypothesis” which explains how the gas giant Jupiter first was migrating inward toward the Sun “like a wrecking ball”, destroying a first generation of inner planets.. until the formation of Saturn caused it to reverse course and migrate outward to its current position. The possibility of that happening are miniscule and again, if that is true, it is pure random chance.
🌗 Whatever the case is, our solar system seems to be pretty unusual for how stable it has been over such a long time, allowing complexity (life) to exist and evolve. We should not take that for granted. Minor events can change things drastically. Remember dinosaurs?🦕They existed for as long as 147 millions years (we here since 250k years) and there were over 700 species of them.
🌠 On a brighter note, when the Earth was formed, we know that only hydrogen, helium and a bit of lithium existed. All other chemicals we are made of today, such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, are made of a mixture of many stars who burned out over billions of years. Yes, you are actually made of stars. It’s cute, isn’t it?
However, let’s not get too complacent.
🌚 We know that this universe began in a highly ordered system and since the Big Bang everything it is tending to disorder and it’s degrading. This degradation is measured as entropy and as far as we know it is irreversible. Not only everything is degrading and all bodies are moving away from each other, but this is also happening faster and faster due to the Dark Energy, which is a form of energy that we currently cannot detect, but we know that it’s there and that it should account for approximately 68% of the mass of the Universe.
In other words, the more we discover, the more we realize we have no clue about anything in this world. 👀
We do not know why the most fundamental laws of physics are the way they are, and we have no idea why there are these laws in the first place. We don’t know what consciousness is, how it is originated and why..and so many other fundamental things are still a mystery.
In front of so much uncertainty it’s understandable that most of people seek shelter in some simpler religious stories. But.. when you stop and observe reality through what we know so far already, you realize how incredible just being alive really is.
To quote Brian Cox himself during the podcast with Rogan:
“The ingredients in our bodies were assembled in the heart of long-dead stars over billions of years. And they have assembled themselves spontaneously into temporary structures that can think and feel and explore. And then the structure will decay again at some point and in the very far future, there will be no structure left.
So here we are, we exist in this little window where we observe this magnificent universe.. why do you ask for more?!
The real treasure is in that journey of trying to face the incomprehensible. It’s in that realisation that it’s almost impossible to believe that we exist!
That’s a wonderful thing. Don’t try to simplify things because you don’t want to face the infinity that’s right there in front of us, or you will miss the beauty of it..!”