New fossil discovery makes my day
The difference between science and other supposed “types” of knowledge that make similar claims about the universe can be illustrated with this cool new discovery: a team of archaeologists working in South Africa have found a fossil of a possible ancestor. The physical attributes of Australopithecus sediba suggests that it may be a direct ancestor rather than an unsuccessful offshoot. This discovery could (and this is the important part here) change our understanding of our own past as a species.
This offers yet another opportunity for science to correct itself, to refine our understanding of the history of life on earth. That’s fucking exciting. That makes my day. It should make all of our days, but it doesn’t. For a significant portion of the American population, this discovery is either irrelevant, unimportant, or a threat. The need for people to feel important and relevant in an uncaring universe has blinded them from a deeper and much more interesting possibility: that our existence, while impressive to ourselves, is the result of the same laws of physics that are universal. If we exist long enough to contemplate the Cosmos, then we cannot be the only ones who have, are, or ever will. How more exciting is this than “Super Ape-in-the-Sky did it”?