Where did the universe come from?
What is life?
What is consciousness?
What is good and evil?
Why are humans the way they are?
And what of god(s)?
You and me, dear reader, have just lived through one of the greatest triumphs of human history.
And yet it has gone almost completely and utterly unnoticed.
For we have solved these riddles that bearded men in white robes have, for millennia it seems, brooded and agonized over, debated and theorized over, mentally masturbated over.
While philosophers and theologians have been endlessly and fruitlessly debating, science has quietly and elegantly wrapped up almost all of the ‘big questions’ about life, the universe and everything – and it hasn’t even made a single headline.
Where did the universe come from? See cosmology and the big bang theory.
What is life? See abiogenesis and Darwinian evolution by natural selection.
What is consciousness? See cognitive neuroscience and the computational theory of mind.
What is good and evil? See game theory and the prisoner’s dilemma.
Why are humans the way they are? See evolutionary psychology.
And what of god(s)? Pfft, please…
The only real question left is ‘are we alone’, and even that seems closer to an answer with each passing day.
Where is the fanfare? Where is the celebration? Where is the blood in the streets?
Sometimes I wonder if even the scientists realize this thing that they have done, this gift they have given the world, or curse they have inflicted upon it.
Does knowing our true place in the universe make us happy?
Or have they robbed life of it’s zest and mystery?
It seems the more I learn about our world, the more it underscores one simple and timeless truth.
“Eat, drink and be merry. For tomorrow we die.”
Let’s drink it all in while we still can.