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Hillary G's picture

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

My subject, as well as this thread's topic (Life, the Universe, and Everything) are both references to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. That, incidentally, is my favorite book, and my Common App essay that got me into this school was about how I relate to it. The reason I bring this up is that the book is about some people traveling through the infinity of space, constantly throwing one comment after another about all those theories that come about when the universe is brought up. If the universe is so big, what difference do we make? Why are we here? What is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything? Are we all just some cosmic joke? Or perhaps simply a freak accident of nature?

Well, humanity asked the same question in the novel and built a super computer whose sole purpose was to discover that answer. It did, in fact, find an answer. It said, "42." When humanity got all pissed off about it, the computer told them that it was, indeed, the right answer--they had simply not asked the right question. 

My point with all this is that we keep trying to find this all-encompassing "answer" to satisfy this human "yearning" for the truth. To this I say: what the hell difference does it make? Yes, the universe is huge. Infinite. Expanding far beyond our comprehension. I think this is important to learn about and awesome to think about (which is why I love this class), but at the end of the day, what does it really matter? I still wake up, go to class, do homework, hang out with friends, and work toward my future goals. I will always question the "truth" about the universe, but there's no reason to spend my life searching for it. The fact that existence is beyond my world doesn't make me feel any differently about the importance of making my own life a positive experience. 

I don't think the vastness of the universe makes us insignificant. I don't think it proves that a God exists. I think we were just a freak accident that billions of years later led to the evolution of human beings, and now we live every day in our own little worlds doing what we do. And I'm perfectly okay with that. 


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