Friday, June 20, 2008

A misplaced sense of self-importance (II - you ain't so special)

(Part I is here.)

If deflating misplaced self-importance in hypocrites is a good thing, we should be prepared to deflate our own as well.

Fortunately this is easy. The universe is happy to disabuse us of any sense of importance, if we're prepared to listen to it. Here's a few examples from the last few days:

Other apes can plan for their future needs just as we humans can – by using self-control and imagining future events.

At the same time, our human sense of empathy is nothing special either. Chimps calm each other after an attack with hugs and kisses, in the same way that humans do.

Our memory of what happens to us is not as good as we think

And we may (just possibly) be in for a biggie - since there's ice on Mars, the chances improve substantially that one day we'll find evidence of life there in the past. There will be good reason to think that the universe is filled with life. We would know, then, that life just tends to pop up whenever the conditions are suitable.

Which I find is kind of a cosy feeling.

1 comment:

Dana Hunter said...

I just hope it'll be more intelligent life than what's currently infesting Congress. Shouldn't be hard. I know some pretty sharp amoebas...