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10 March 2011

The Cosmic Perspective

I saw this on one of the forums I frequent, and found it to be a wonderful perspective:

To put it into perspective, our galaxy alone is 100,000 light years in diameter. If you made a nice big picture of it, say, 2048x2048, it would be about 50 light years per pixel. Earth, Alpha Centauri, Sirius, and several dozens of other stars would be in the same pixel. That big.
Just drives home how insignificant we really are on the cosmic scale.  And yet some people have the audacity to claim that all this is just for us.  This ties in with my other post about the so called Fermi Paradox. Just look at this picture of NGC 2831.  That's a pretty comparative image of what the Milky Way may look like.  One pixel.  50 light years.  Yeah, space is huge!

And to think, I have the arrogance to understand that this isn't in any way connected to me.  The universe cares not one whit about the small rocky planet we live on, nor about any of the inhabitants on said rock.  The universe was not made for me, and I have the intellectual honesty to admit that I have no idea how all this came about, or even why (if asking why even makes sense).  This is not in any way for me or my species.  Yet, there are those out there who have the arrogance and hubris to insist they know why, and that all this is here for them, because they talk to their imaginary friend and he's running some sort of horrible experiment on the universe for his own reasons.  And their source for all this:  a bronze age collection of fables...  And they call atheists arrogant!

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