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  • Gonzalo Munoz

Between zero and infinity

I recently heard a lesson from Sam Harris, a neuroscience who teaches meditation and gives lessons on the mind. The lesson I read was about a thought I have had before and I thought writing it down might make more sense of what he said and what I had been thinking.

I recall a episode of Malcolm in the middle, a show about a middle-class family with four very troublesome boys. The youngest boy was explaining to how despite how much a ant may pray to him to stop causing havoc at its ant pile or using a magnifying glass to burn it alive, Dewie (the youngest boy) would have no way of hearing its please, and may not even care if it did. This of course could easily compare to our own dilemma of proving or disproving the existence of the divine. However, I took it to a different route, the ant, could never understand some pretty basic concepts of our everyday life, like ,school, college, parents, drugs, jail, poems, etc. It is limited to understanding and will have no way of understanding the limited knowledge we have of the universe. The ant has no idea we exist, a child kicking its ant mound might be interpreted as a force of nature. Here is were my thoughts really get trippy. There is a good potential that items of everyday life are actually forces beyond our comprehension. Similar to Interstellar, the film by director Christopher Nolan. Here we see everyday items falling and tampered with by Mathew McConaughey. Although currently unable to be proven, we could very well be ants, or even mere animals when compared to other beings much greater than we could ever imagine or comprehend. These thoughts were taken from Neil Degrasse Tyson, Think about the smartest chimp, capable of adding 2+2 and 1+1. Now imagine an extraterrestrial being who takes the smartest of us like Physicist Michio Kaku who can compute complex algorithms and explain string and multiverse theory.

To these aliens, this creature is cute, "Wow" they would say "little Timmy who is 2 years old can do the same things Michio Kaku can".


To bring this all together, even if we aren't chimps today, we will be millions of years from now. Similar to how our ancestors were. Now, that said. Imagine what we don't understand. The items we see day to day that will be too complex to understand even for the most intelligent of our primate brethren. We won't be able to see this in our lifetime, even our grandkids lifetime. But it's interesting to think about. How primitive and foolish we really are.

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