Essay On Earth'S Uniqueness

Essay On Earth'S Uniqueness-71
There are organisms on Earth that are physically larger and more massive than we are—just look at whales and trees.Yet we are much closer to the upper limit of scale than we are to the microscopic end of life's spectrum.We must be appallingly silly to imagine we can find any importance for ourselves at all.

There are organisms on Earth that are physically larger and more massive than we are—just look at whales and trees.Yet we are much closer to the upper limit of scale than we are to the microscopic end of life's spectrum.We must be appallingly silly to imagine we can find any importance for ourselves at all.

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Much of the evidence we have supports the basic Copernican view that we are mediocre.

Yet at the same time, there are specifics about our environment that say otherwise.

In that remarkable descent, sliding down the ladder of physical dimensions, into the thriving universe within us, was one of the first clues that the components of our bodies, our arrays of molecular structures, exist at one extreme end of a spectrum of biological scales.

Until van Leeuwenhoek's moment of surprise, I doubt that humans had the opportunity to think about this fact in anything more than a superficial way.

They exist at the edge of feasibility, their bodies endlessly leaking heat that they can barely compensate for by voracious eating.

But most mammals are closer to this size than to our size: so much so that the global average body weight of the mammalian population is 40 grams, or less than 1.5 ounces.

Other suns, and their planets, are forming at an average rate that is barely 3 percent of that 11 billion to eight billion years ago.

The stars are slowly beginning to go out across the universe.

His idea has been one of the greatest scientific guides for the past few hundred years and a critical signpost on our journey to discern the underlying structure of the cosmos and the nature of reality.

In our efforts to assess our significance, we face a conundrum: Some discoveries and theories suggest life could easily be ordinary and common, and others suggest the opposite.

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