I came across this image on Facebook this evening. The framing of this scenario tees it up for a understatement joke, like a wholly pitiful expletive, but I ended up taking the question very seriously, pondering the speech that a person might give at this sight, at this realization. Here’s what I came up with:
We may very well be the last humans alive. Our species may be finished like so many others on that precious blue marble. But how fitting that the last of us spend our final moments on the frontier of progress in science. That humanity’s purpose, if we had one, of the pursuit of knowledge allowed for this both literal and figurative perspective. We send this message over radio waves into the blackness of space, our voices slowly fading into the aether of cacophonous silence. We were here.
A coworker of mine asked me a question the other day that is simultaneously so simple, yet so difficult to answer succinctly. We’ve talked about some scientific facts, and he expressed his apathy concerning the age of the universe, among some other religiously-controversial topics. He hasn’t done the research to understand how old the universe or Earth is, and doesn’t plan to, because he doesn’t see why it’s important.