When you start to delve a bit more into physics and astrology, you begin to realize that our existence one big, damned miracle. Granted, my “miracle” might be your “coincidence,” but, man, that is one hell of a coincidence. Let me explain.
A ton of news outlets posted a story yesterday about how one in seven people believe that the end of the world will end in their lifetime. Fuck. That is pretty morbid. The story goes on to break down which countries are the most pessimistic about our future, with the United States and Turkey having the highest percentage of people waiting for the end to come, topping at 22 percent. Hilariously (and quite contrary to my earlier jokes), France has the least amount of “doomsday preppers”; only six percent of their population believe the end is nigh. All of this is punctuated by the countless stories on the end of the Mayan calendar, which is coming on December 21, 2012.
While I could spend the rest of this post arguing against the logic that a dead civilization could have somehow predicted such an event simply by not continuing their fucking day planner, I have bigger bone to pick with the aforementioned story. It seems to me that all of these horrible thoughts about our impending doom are fairly selfish. When you distil it to its purest form, all apocalyptic stories are about hitting the giant reset button of the world and starting fresh. These people believe the problems of humanity have become so imaginably large, with no viable solutions in sight, that they don’t think humans could ever solve them. So, they are seeking a second chance by letting everything go to hell, instead of trying to do something about it, and you can bet your ass that they imagine themselves surviving it all somehow. That’s kind of twisted
Honestly, maybe they are on to something. After all, Darwin did say that evolution boiled down to survival of the fittest. These people are ready to inherit the remnants of our world, pick up where we left off, and do right where we previous did wrong. My problem with all of this is that it is pointless to dwell on it. It is nihilistic and counterproductive. In my pursuit of understanding the functions of the universe, I’ve come across countless scientific theories of how our existence can end, from the very probable to the farfetched. It’s horrible and frightening to think about the indifference of cosmos in relation to us. Legions of scientists and scholars have become atheists after studying the forces that hold our universe together. There just doesn’t seem to be any order. But it is that very notion that gives me heart: We are here despite the apparent chaos that surrounds us. We continue exist in the face of incomprehensible odds. It’s a miracle. For me, that is enough to keep me going.
Alan Moore wrote a very fine graphic novel called “Watchmen.” Maybe you’ve heard of it. In one of the final scenes, the human race is moments away from a nuclear holocaust and one of the protagonists, Laurie, is trying to convince her ex lover, Jon, to stop the destruction of Earth. He sees no point in it, since he believes human existence to be meaningless. AND he totally isn’t hurt that his ex GF has moved on. Laurie begins to cry, which is understandable in the face of total annihilation. Here, Jon finds his heart and, possibly, a reason to save the planet:
“…Miracles… events with odds against so astronomical they’re effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing. And yet, in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter… Until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged. To distill so specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold… that is the crowning unlikelihood. The…miracle.” [Emphasis mine]
He goes on:
“…the world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget… I forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from another’s vantage point, as if new, it may still take our breath away. Come… dry your eyes, for you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg.”
That is from a comic book, bitches. So eloquent and profound. You can throw my nerdy references and quotes into question, but just take this away: Quit thinking about your impending doom and be thankful you are here.