ColGlobe At The Spoof

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Size Matters: Human Perception

I think that the most important fact of the universe, and one that very very few people have ever actually accepted, is the sheer size of it all. Every single thing we talk about, we describe in human terms, and those terms are based entirely on our PERCEPTION of time and space. The only problem, as I see it, is we have little hope of comprehending the sheer vast spaces involved in universal origins.

Who do we think we are, anyway? Here's a reality check for you: Our entire existence depends on a thin film of gases, called an atmosphere, that is probably not as thick as the average American commutes to their job each day. Everything we have had physical contact with, aside from assorted probes, is contained within that thin bubble, and without it more than 99.9% of all life on earth would end instantly. Every animal, tree, and insect, and a majority of single and multi-celled animals as well.

Have you ever considered whether the flea knows it lives on the back of a dog? In a very real sense, we less than fleas on the back of the planet. From outside the atmosphere, no single person can be seen at all, and only our largest cities form nests that are large enough to perceive with the naked eye. And "nest" is a good term, for it is built by ravaging the surrounding area, laying waste to entire ecosystems in order to feed the unchecked growth within the nest.

From just outside the atmosphere, our own perception makes us almost invisibly small. But journey to the edge of the solar system, and this world that dwarfs us into obscurity is likewise dwarfed by immense distances that seem awkwardly large when expressed in kilometers or miles. And from as close as the closest start to our own, even the solar system is unremarkable dot. At the distance of the edge of our galaxy, it would be nearly impossible to even locate the area of space our sun resides in, let alone finding a minuscule lifeform on a single small pebble of rock.

At the universe level, our entire galaxy looks to be a single bright dot among billions of other dots, and we, who have the audacity to believe that we understand the universe, and everything we have ever done for as long as humans have existed, is less than a single drop of water dropped into the ocean.

And if we go one more step, to the macroverse level, nothing at all of mankind is visible at all. At that level of perception, our entire galaxy has become nothing more than the background hum emanated by the universe, with nothing coherent about it all. And of anything which may exist beyond the macroverse level, we don't even have the concepts to fathom.

No comments:

Post a Comment