Emma and Carl Sagan

 

Some time ago, I had a life-changing experience while in Japan, in this case, it was not about an event, but about a person.
Sometimes I meet some people and they mention that they learned many things from or I inspired them somehow, well this time it was my turn to get inspired.
Her name was Emma Crawford, and little did she know, how much she would shape my ideas and influence the processes required to interpret the upcoming events in my life.

 

 

 

She was a zoologist and somehow we ended up talking about evolution, and I mentioned how sometimes I felt like it was just too much coincidence, the way humans evolved. Especially the complexity of our brains and our DNA, I felt like it happened just too fast, 200.000 years wasn’t enough for such a complexity, and the chances of being at the exact distance from the sun for liquid water to exist and life to have evolved and billion coincidences after that led me to become part of the only species that can analyze themselves like I’m doing now. It’s just too mind-boggling.
Evolution is a fact, not really something you can deny, it just happens, like gravity, but many times I felt like I wasn’t getting all the answers I needed from evolutionary biology and there was a missing piece somewhere
And the concept of a god was just too farfetched, couldn’t subscribe to that one either.
So if you don’t buy the answers from the religions nor the ones from science, what’s left?
New age, aliens and metaphysics, and I did fall into that for a while, but there was still something missing.
 
In my ignorance, I was just trying to give my empty life some meaning so I wouldn’t feel so miserable and insignificant knowing I was just part of a natural process instead of a greater plan.
And little did I know that my anthropocentrically self-centered ideas were just some normal consequences of being able to process information at such a high levels.
Back to Emma now, she explained things in the easiest way possible, and she was always confident because she knew that things were that way for a reason and I didn’t have any way to prove my point that there were just too many coincidences out there.

 

Nop, not a valid proof

 

 So she showed me a documentary that would shape my understanding of life and the way I approached things from that moment. It was the episode 2 of the Cosmos series, about artificial selection, by Carl Sagan.[1]
Sagan was able to communicate things the way I wanted to and his objectiveness and neutrality were the ones I wanted to have for my own, but I didn’t know how to acquire them.
Even though I want to believe there’s something out there, something magical or mysterious:
I had to force myself to understand how my mind works and why I believed those things, understanding that my mind is fragile, susceptible and very very prompt to hallucinating, and how I used to believe crazy stuff makes me understand why other people also believe crazy stuff, because their minds work same way as mine, so we are all the same in the end, and I am not entitled to judge anyone but myself.
I still can’t really vouch for the scientific community as a whole, because they usually work under funds of universities and governments, which act on the interests of corporations which care only about remaining profitable in order to maintain or increase the cash flow by blocking groundbreaking discoveries that would not bring them a long-term profit.
 
But I do vouch for the scientific method as the best decision-making tool and a way of finding a common ground where we all can act for the same cause and reach a consensus on which course of action to take in every circumstance. and will hopefully brings us closer together in the end.

 

 

 

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