Theories of Humanity’s Place in the Grand Scheme of Things

Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope (Photo credit: Abraxas3d)

Hi, it’s Andy Wolfhol. The Martin Rees quote about our place in the universe at the end of the previous blog: ‘We’re not directly aware of the big picture, any more than a plankton whose universe is a litre of water would be aware of the world’s topography and biosphere’ reminded us of Marc Latham’s ant theory of humanity, so we thought we’d bring you a few more theories about our place in the universe. It ends with a Buddhist theory from 2500 years ago, which is eerily similar to some of the most popular scientific theories of the present day.

Images of the spiral galaxy Messier_100 demons...
Images of the spiral galaxy Messier_100 demonstrate the improvement in Hubble images after corrective optics were installed during Servicing Mission 1 in 1993. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isaac Newton, Mathematician and Physicist, 1642-1727:

“I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist, 1879-1955:

“The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws.”

Alan Watts, Philosopher, 1915-1973:

"Imagine a multidimensional spider's web ...
"Imagine a multidimensional spider's web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image." --Alan Watts Alan Watts Podcast - Following the Middle Way #3 alanwattspodcast.com. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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