That’s a good question and I think I’m not entirely sure.
I think it’s only in the last few years that the discussion on this has really gotten serious. When I started doing science in physics, we used to talk about whether or not we were going to be able to find intelligent life out there, and it was assumed the universe was created for no purpose. It was assumed humans were the only intelligent life forms that had ever existed in the universe, and the universe was created by God. Then it was thought that we would eventually find intelligence out there and the only reason for us to care is because it may help us learn more about our place in the universe.
But now in many respects I think we’ve seen that this assumption is completely wrong, and we’re going to be getting closer and closer to one of the things that we’re all trying to say is: What does it mean to be intelligent? When you say you’re intelligent and you think this is all just just a bunch of random stuff, what is it that you think you have that we don’t have? Because even if science can’t answer some of these questions, it’s the fact that our brains work based on the idea that we have these beliefs about where we came from that explain almost everything we know about the universe.
The way it works is, when we observe any set of objects, whether it’s matter or energy, you don’t see it exactly like a picture in your brain, where you see a perfect shape.
It’s like you see a black and white picture — when you’re looking at a black and white picture, you get a black and white picture in your mind. But when you’re looking at a black and white picture, you get a different picture.
But the way it works, whenever you see a shape, the brain immediately looks to its theory of how that shape might have come about: the idea of evolution, of a big bang… and that’s how the brain thinks. And when scientists study nature, we see a lot of different ways in which we think that a bunch of things we normally see in nature are the result of the evolution, of this big bang, of this big theory of evolution.
And if you try to put that into one picture, you see that it works really well with a lot of the things you see in nature. And that’s because the brain is working to form these very similar images of what these things look like out there, and the only difference is that you don’t think they really are the result of evolution.