Saturday, 5 January 2013

Our stupidity blinds us from cosmic horror

Below is a fascinating clip of American astrophysicist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson talking about the position of humans in the universe.

He argues (successfully but possibly as a result of his abundance of charisma more than anything else) that life is the inevitable consequence of the universe's complex chemistry. Furthermore, he explains why he is terrified by how much more advanced we are than chimps despite our DNA being only 1-2% different. The implications of how clever another creature might be with another minor 1-2% difference is truly disturbing. He says, wryly, that the only reason we are not crippled by cosmic dread is because we're too stupid to see how primitive we are.

I saw this video on Lovecraft eZine as Tyson's theories are very in-keeping with the concepts behind Lovecraft's fiction. The author might be proved correct in surmising that alien minds would regard us as nothing more than minute, inconsequential vermin that could be wiped out in an instant if they so choose.

Cthulhu fhtagn!


  1. Every time I learn something new, I get a glimpse at how much I don't know. Though I would counter intelligence should be measured by our potential to learn, not by what we already know.

  2. But then, if they really did regard us as minute, inconsequential vermin, would we be worth the trouble of wiping out in the first place? Why leave the sidewalk when the anthill you want to step on is so far out of the way?

    Then again, they could all share the Supervillain's Fascination with Earth (tm), which is, of course, fine.