/Why we are the only humans in the Universe and why it matters for our collective future

Why we are the only humans in the Universe and why it matters for our collective future

Key idea:  The acceptance of our cosmic loneliness and the rarity of our planet is a wakeup call.

Original author and publication date: Big Think / The Well – April 23, 2023

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Alone or not in the Universe, we should still take our present and our future seriously.

From the article:   

We need to change the way we see each other and our relation to our home planet. For thousands of years, tribal divisions have ruled the way we humans have organized ourselves in groups. Unfortunately, what was good for our ancestors and their survival now seeds deeply destructive and predatory behavior.

We don’t care about the other living creatures with whom we share this planet. We don’t care about the planet. We don’t understand what is needed for our survival as a species. As the news tells us daily, we remain profoundly divided, prone to isolate ourselves in groups that define the way we think and behave. Widespread political strife, cultural intolerance, and tribal entrenchment are symptoms of a deeper problem: Our focus on material greed and unstoppable growth is choking civilization and the planet along with it. Civilization is at a crossroads. To move beyond, we need to reframe our connection to other living creatures and to the planet we all share.

A new unifying narrative
We need a new unifying narrative that has the power to awaken humankind to a very urgent truth: that despite our political and religious differences, we are a single species living on a fragile and rare planet. This narrative must break down the tribal walls that separate us; it must make a convincing case that we need to work together if we are to protect our way of life and the planet that harbors it. Scaring people about the dangers of global warming, social unrest, and mass extinctions is not working. We need something new, something that we can all share, that we can all relate to, that can awe and inspire us into action — a positive, constructive, inclusive message that resonates with young and old alike, from Baby Boomers to Generation Z. We need a new narrative of mythic proportions that unites us as a species and brings our planetary fragility to the forefront. We need to restructure our project of civilization.

The essence of this new narrative, which I present in a forthcoming book, is that the Universe has a history only because we are here to tell it. But this story is not just about the Big Bang and the expanding Universe, of myriad galaxies and stars, of electrons and quarks, of planets and moons. It is a story of the interconnectedness of the nonliving with the living, of the uniqueness of our planet and its biosphere, of our cosmic loneliness and its deep moral implications.

The way we tell a story makes a difference. And the story of who we are and of our planetary role needs to be retold.

Read here the complete article