How lucky we are to be alive at this moment in time. Our grandparents had no idea of the magnitude of the universe, we do. Our parents, and their emphasis on science made it possible for us to finally understand where we sit in the cosmic tapestry.
The enormousness of it all is too much for a human brain, mired in middle scale thinking, to comprehend. But we can imagine what it is like to comprehend the scale and majesty of the Universe. That's about the best we can do.
But we can imagine it. We, the lucky few, we band of human animals alive right now, are the first to know where we sit in the Universe. Only a few hundred years ago, the Universe was very small, and we sat exactly in the center of it.
We were not fools for believing so, we just did not know better. Now, we do. Finally. And it is our generation that has made this discovery.
It's good to be a human in 2009 CE. Our
Gone and obsolete are the ancient superstitions about the nature of the Universe. Gone and done in our lifetimes. We simply know better now.
And what small, provincial superstitions they were. What narcissistic, solipsistic myths we hubristic humans believed until now. "Life" and "intelligence" are just a few of the qualities of the Universe. We do not know of other qualities of it yet. We do assume, in our ignorance, that these are necessary properties of advanced development elsewhere. Perhaps we have no idea. Likely, we have no idea.
Now, we have the curiosity to imagine, to seek, to explore, to examine in the light of real knowledge what might be out there. And there is so much "out there" to be considered.
How lucky are we? Would you prefer to be alive in any other time? There is no answer to those questions, but I am very glad to be alive now, when so much of the natural universe is being discovered.
To quote the immortal Randy Newman, in his song "Short People": It's a wonderful world.