I believe that most modern individuals know very little concerning our life’s source, the sun and little about the galaxy that the sun travel around and even less about the universe in general. Most scientists agree that from the time the cosmos came into being the Homo Sapiens has risen to a point in history where he/she now has a near total control of the destiny of a very small grain of matter called the earth and the survival of the human race itself.
Our sun a yellow medium-sized star some 93,000,000 miles from Earth is the life source of the Earth itself. According to most physicists, our sun has existed for approximately 4.7 billion years. According to most physicists it is believed that our sun will continue to exist as it is today for an additional 4.7 billion years. Since the Sun, a medium sized star burns its fuel source slowly its lifespan will be approximately 10,000,000,000 years. At the end of this time span the hydrogen that it burns will be mostly consumed and it will become a Red Giant. As a Red Giant it will expand where the forces of gravity with in it cannot stop its expansion. As a Red Giant it will grow to where the rocky planets, including Earth will be destroyed. If the Homo Sapiens has not found a means to evacuate earth before this time the Homo Sapiens species will be totally annihilated.
What I wonder about is it important if the Homo Sapiens species are significant enough to be concerned about. Am I Ira Presslaff who is little more than and probably less than the size of an atom in relationship to the universe that I abide in significant at all to be concerned about. Without a doubt I will not be destroyed because of a Red Giant, however, there have been according to science, at least five great extinctions where most life on the earth has been destroyed as well as most animal life and perhaps plant life.
Just how significant is the life of a being such as myself existing within an inconceivable large cosmos. It has been written that the movement of the wings of a butterfly does affect all else within this large inconceivable universe. I believe this to be true, although this effect would be infinitesimally small.
In 1957 while serving in the United States Army I was sent to Yucca Flats, Nevada to take part in the testing of 14 atomic bombs. My unit would stay in the field waiting for the right conditions for individual atomic bombs to be tested. We were told that it was extremely important that the test could be gone ahead with only if the winds in the area where such that the atomic clouds would be blown away from the soldiers on the ground. Our unit would stay in the field at times waiting on the proper weather conditions to test the bombs. There were times that we were told to evacuate and go back to a base camp and wait for proper weather.
On one occasion, our unit evacuated our test site and move back to a base camp. I can’t remember why, but I was allowed to stay behind at the atomic test site. I was told that I would be there to pull guard duty at the site while all the rest of the unit would be at our base camp. So there I was by myself hundreds of miles from other humans with my only company being a tower with an atomic bomb on it. At this time I was reading a book by B. Russell entitled the history of Western Philosophy. The whole situation that I found myself in as I look back on it was rather surreal. I did find it rather pleasant being there under these unusual conditions having time by myself to do quite a bit of contemplation.
When our unit did come back to the bomb site I was asked by a few of my Army buddies what it was like being at the site by myself and if because of the vastness of the desert that I was on and being alone did I feel insignificant. My answer to this was realizing that this terrible bomb with all its destructive power as well as the vastness of the desert around me that I felt very significant since I like the butterfly was a very small part of an inconceivably large universe and all that went on within it.
The universe is inconceivably large and complex however it is made of many, many small parts, each part being important and significant to itself and to the cosmos in totality.