In this 1997 article written for The International Community of Physics by physicist Charles Townes, we are introduced to the precise properties of the universe. Through a short discussion of the bases for the anthropic principle, Townes hopes to show the reader the uniqueness of humanity’s existence. He stresses that many scientists are uncomfortable with the evidence pointing to this uniqueness, but until we have the technology to actually go to other galaxies and universes, we must assume that humanity has a larger role to play in evolution.
Townes also stresses that as we discover the secrets of the universe, more mysteries will be revealed, and it is possible that such as journey will never end. What used to be an externally imposed evolution has become internalized by the human being – we have gained the power to decide on the next stage of evolution in the natural world, as well in ourselves.
Implications for AI
Thanks to our technologies, we, humans, are now in charge. And having been tasked with this important role, we must ask ourselves important questions: what will be our goals for the future? What instincts and purposes will we allow to dominate our world? Why are we here, and where are we going?
There is no doubt that as our technology gets better, we will find solutions to some of the current mysteries of our age [see 5 Cosmic Mysteries Scientists Have Yet To Solve]. What is crucial, but unclear, about humanity’s future are our values, our real desires, and our ability to act together harmoniously with each other and the universe.
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