We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out—and we have only just begun.
“Matter tells space how to curve; space tells matter how to move.”
The most accurate measurements to date reveal dark energy as the most prominent thing in town, currently responsible for 68 percent of all the mass-energy in the universe; dark matter comprises 27 percent, with regular matter comprising a mere 5 percent.
In a trillion or so years, anyone alive in our own galaxy may know nothing of other galaxies. Our observable universe will merely comprise a system of nearby, long-lived stars within the Milky Way. And beyond this starry night will lie an endless void—darkness in the face of the deep.
From that day on, I began to think of people not as the masters of space and time but as participants in a great cosmic chain of being, with a direct genetic link across species both living and extinct, extending back nearly four billion years to the earliest single-celled organisms on Earth.
Yet emerging theories of modern cosmology, as well as the continually reaffirmed improbability that anything is unique, require that we remain open to the latest assault on our plea for distinctiveness: the multiverse.