Philosophical Question: Why Do We Exist?

The recent developments at CERN, concerning the discovery of bosons whose rest mass matches that predicted of the Higgs Boson, reignites the old question that they asked before setting off on this quest ... why does this universe exist?

To attempt to come up with the answer to the question Why does matter exist? scientists went haring off on this quest to find the boson whose existence would prove the presence of the Higgs field, a mystical energy field whose existence near the Big Bang may have catalysed the condensation of the energy of the universe predominantly into matter, rather than antimatter.

 But that does not really explain why we, humans, exist and have consciousness at all.

A television show, Cosmos by Carl Sagan, once lyrically pointed out that "We are made of starstuff." The carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and assorted elements in our bodies came from nucleosynthesis - from nuclear processes in the hearts of stars which are now dead, cosmic dust that happens to have found its way into our sun and formed the planets of our solar system.

Another television show, Babylon 5, riffed upon this theme, with Delenn's comment "We are star stuff. We are the universe made manifest, trying to figure things out. And sometimes the universe needs a change of perspective."

(I wish there was something profound on this topic from the TV series Primeval, but they had five seasons to come up with something memorable and blew it.)

The question of how we came to exist at all is one that has more or less been answered. But the question of why we exist - why we are here - has yet to be answered.

If we are the universe made manifest, given sentience and a directive to figure itself out, what lessons are we learning? Are we learning the right lessons after all?

If we exist but have no purpose, simply the product of random chance whose evolutionary gift is sentience, can we make a purpose for our lives?

No comments:

Post a Comment

"And if we have unearned luck, now to scape the serpent's tongue, we will make amends ere long. Else the Puck a liar call ..."

So speak.