Sunday, December 20, 2009

No really. Your thoughts don't guide, control or create the Universe

There are people out there who think that astronomical objects control or create their destiny and/or personalities. There are people out there who think their thoughts shape the Universe. There are people out there who think that what they experience is created (not 'percieved' or 'interpreted', 'created') by their thoughts. There are people out there who think that their thoughts somehow guide or control what happens in the Universe. There are even people who think that the Universe will align with their thoughts and desires and give them what they want. There are people out there who treat the Universe like it is some sort of sentient being that pays attention to them. There are people out there that think a combination or variation of all of these things. Most of them can be found believing in any form of astrology, The Secret or the Law of Attraction, or all of them, or something resembling any of them.

They're all idiots. Well alright. I'll concede that some of them might just be nuts. Fine, I might even concede that some of them might just be really uninformed. Maybe even just guilty of lacking imagination.

The Universe doesn't care about you, me, them or anyone else. The Universe is completely indifferent to all existence. It wasn't put here for us. It existed before us and it will exist after us. Get over it. We are not special. The current world population of about 6.7ish billion people registers with the Universe on a lesser scale than a gnat fart registers with a major hurricane. Really.

If the Universe was put here just for us, don't you think more of it would be a little less, well, unfriendly? For crying out loud - in what amounts (to all intents and purposes) to basically all of it we wouldn't be able to even breathe!

Just to ram this point home I'm going to embed two videos that every believer in The Secret or Law of Attraction should be made to watch until it sinks in. The Universe doesn't respond to your whims.It doesn't align to your wishes. It doesn't care about you. You, as the video says, are not the centre of the Universe.

The Known Universe - nod to Pharyngula for pointing this one out

Star Size Comparison

Still not getting it? Well try some simple facts then:

The Universe is about 150 billion light years in width. Source: Universe Today
The Universe is about 13.7 billion years old. Source: Universe Today
The Earth is not the centre of the Universe, it isn't even the centre of the galaxy it sits in. Source: Universe Today
We don't know the exact number of galaxies in the Universe, but astronomers estimate it is over one hundred billion. Source: Universe Today
The Hubble Ultra Deep Field image covers less than one tenth of one millionth of the sky, but still includes about 10,000 galaxies in it. Source: Universe Today
There are about 2,500 stars visible to the naked eye. Source: Universe Today
Astronomers estimate there are between 200 and 400 billion stars in just our galaxy, the Milky Way. Source: Universe Today

Our star is very average, and so is our galaxy. Nothing special about any of it, in astronomical terms. Our planet may or may not be exceptional in supporting life (I hesitate to describe it as intelligent, although dolphins are very smart). Taking our solar system as an average system of 9 planets (or 8, depending on who you listen to), in our galaxy alone there could be between 1,800,000,000,000 and 3,600,000,000,000 planets, very approximately.

Still think the Universe is listening to you?

You are just one average person amongst 6.7ish billion average people, on a probably average planet, orbiting an average star, which is part of an average star system, which is part of an average galaxy, which is part of a very big universe.

The Universe really isn't paying you any attention, and it is supremely breathtaking arrogance to think otherwise.

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