Transterrestrial Musings

Defend Free Speech!

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay

Site designed by

Powered by
Movable Type 4.0
Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

« Night Launch | Main | Heading Back South »

Why Is Earth Here?

Lileks seems to be a co-religionist with me:

You know, every so often I run across comments on message boards from the "12 Monkeys" demographic, the people who wish people would just disappear and leave the earth alone. If the Aftermath show has any message, it's how useless the world would be without people. Without humans it's just hunting and rutting, birthing and dying, a clock with no chimes. It's always interesting how people romanticize Nature, and ascribe all manner of purpose and intelligence to it, lamenting the injuries people wreak on the innocent globe. I'd love to read an interview with Gaia in which she says that her goal all along was to come up with a species that could produce Beethoven and make rockets to send the music deep into space. Now that's something to make the other planets sit up and take notice. You think the point is merely to provide a home for thirty billion varieties of insect? I can't tell you how much they itch. Sorry about the earthquakes, but it's the only way I can scratch.

I do believe in a teleology, and this belief is not scientific at all.

And there's nothing wrong with that.


0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Why Is Earth Here?.

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Billy Beck wrote:

The thing that fascinates me is the necessity of the original question.

Personally, I have no such necessity. I'm here, in this place and time, and that's all I need.

"The world began when I was born."

(Badger Clark -- "The Westerner")

Frank Glover wrote:

Recent documentaries on The History Channel and National Geocraphic Channel regarding what would happen to our works if humanity suddenly, quietly vanished, give me pause for more thought then the producers may have intended.

Some people would see that as perfection, but I look ahead to the time when the Sun leaves the Main Sequence, becomes a a red giant and (at least) fries the entire surface of Earth. I can't help thinking that without humans (or whatever intelligent and technological species that may come to exist after us) to migrate into the universe...just what did a then-sterile (if not destroyed) Earth do/have to show for itself in the end?

Which may sound odd, coming form a childfree person, but still...

Paul F. Dietz wrote:

The most recent work on what happens to the Earth as the sun expands has predicted that the Earth will indeed be swallowed by the Sun and evaporated. The Earth's orbit expands as the aging sun loses mass, but tides raised by the Earth in the bloated solar atmosphere will retard this orbital expansion enough for the Sun to catch up.

Chris wrote:

". . .just what did a then-sterile (if not destroyed) Earth do/have to show for itself in the end?"

You can take it a step further and ask yourself, what happens with the implacable demands of thermal dynamics are finished with the universe and every planet is a cold dark rock, every sun has wink out, and all light has diffused into grey nothingness.

You might have a few wierd life forms hovering at the edges of black holes, but even those too, with enough time will dissappear or cease to radiate. No energy source that science knows of can radiate energy forever.

What then will the universe have to show for itself. (Personally, I don't think things will come to that)

Paol Anderson once wrote a very interesting short story on the topic that had a pretty cool ending.

Josh Reiter wrote:

I know why the Earth is here.....FOR ME TO POOP ON!

William Turnbow wrote:

If the importance we attach to the concept of "eternity" is derived from the continuity of our genes, then I have to wonder at the actual motivations of the "12 Monkeys" crowd.

I really don't think there's any intelligible idea under the "voluntary extinction" movement.

It seems much more likely that these sots are not living lives they are really very happy with. The idea of producing children that would live as they do, is therefore meaningless and even painful to them.

(Unfortunately they don't perceive any authority which would contradict their selfishness. But that's another subject altogether.)

BTW I don't mean to imply that childless people do not enjoy life, or cannot live for something greater than themselves.

Take the superlative British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, who tragically lost his great love in World War II and never married; but he has since made the world a richer place through his passionate popularizing of astronomy.

This just goes to show that our drives can be successfully sublimated to many purposes. I merely suggest that avowedly self-destructive purposes indicate motives as selfish as any which "exploiters of nature" are accused of.

Leave a comment

Note: The comment system is functional, but timing out when returning a response page. If you have submitted a comment, DON'T RESUBMIT IT IF/WHEN IT HANGS UP AND GIVES YOU A "500" PAGE. Simply click your browser "Back" button to the post page, and then refresh to see your comment.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 11, 2008 6:06 AM.

Night Launch was the previous entry in this blog.

Heading Back South is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.1