Scientists are surprised that the universe hasn't self-destructed
Apocalyptic thinking is back in style. The absurdity of existence, once an edgy thought, is now itself boring and banal. The existence of human consciousness is bizarre, but no less bizarre than the fact that anything whatsoever exists at all. The latter, at the moment, is shocking scientists around the globe, who are currently at work on a problem that feels as theological as it is physical: the tension between matter and anti-matter.
In the simplest terms possible, the problem is this: after the Big Bang, the amount of matter and anti-matter in the universe should have cancelled each other out. The totality of anti-matter, or non-existence, is equal to the totality of matter, or existence. So then, why is there existence, when it is no stronger than the force of non-existence?
It's a damn good question. And in it may lie a real, genuine reason to exist.
Fundamentally, there is some drive in this universe toward life, harmony, order and growth, against the drive toward entropy, chaos, decay and death. Those who have lost hope can only see the truth of entropy and demise. But there is a transcendent order, harmony and upward movement in this universe for the simple reason that we do exist, that there is being.
If everything was absurd and chaotic and falling apart, then our nervous systems, our brains, and the majestic things we create, simply would not exist. They exist because we are more than absurdity, chaos and decay: that much seems self-evident.
A universe of meaningless alone would never produce human brains. That, as a final foundation, seems intensely valid. After all, a Big Bang in a vast void leading to the production of these words online, convincing you to trust in existence instead of anti-matter, is such an intensely transcendent outcome it can hardly be fathomed.
What, in a rational universe, would we expect out of the Big Bang? Not order. Only dust, chaos, and roiling nonsense in the cosmic breeze. Instead, we have novels, music, skyscrapers and online publications that bring you news like this. It doesn't make sense. But that's fine, because it reveals that there is more to the world than absurd chaos. There is genuine stability, complexity, growth, advancement. One cannot ignore one or the other, just the same as you cannot ignore either matter or anti-matter. Both are necessary.
You exist. No matter what, that doesn't change. Even if there is a multiverse, and a million versions of you, your life here still counts, because it's the one you're experiencing. We can't let abstract ideas destroy the validity of our own experience. If we feel and live this life, it was just as real as any other.
There is equal matter and anti-matter out there in the cosmos, and yet we still exist. How? There is some drive in this universe toward existence. And who are we to defy that? We, who have come into existence? Inherit all that has come before.