22 November 2014

Stenger on the place of Humanity in the Cosmos

Since Copernicus, humanity's conception of its place in the universe has steadily diminished from the biblical teaching that we are the center of the universe to one in which we are but a minuscule speck in space and time. Once we had telescopes with which to peer into the sky, our view of the universe grew from originally that of a single star system and its planets to a galaxy of 100 billion stars and on to a visible universe of 100 billion galaxies. And that was not the end of it. As we have seen, since the 1980s we have found good reasons to think that our visible universe is but a drop of water in an ocean of galaxies lying beyond our light horizon, perhaps 100 orders of magnitude larger, that all resulted from the same Big Bang. Furthermore, this universe may be just one of countless others just as big [in the Multiverse].
  While a god might still preside over all this, it becomes incredible to believe that he, she, or it put his, her, or its favorite creatures on this tiny planet and left the rest of this vast multiverse inaccessible to them.
   --Victor Stenger (d. 2014), God and the Folly of Faith, 2012

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