Contemporary cosmology offers us two possible explanations of reality that are useful for developing a strong sense of human purposiveness.
(i) RARE EARTH: the first of these is the Rare Earth Hypothesis, which describes the intricate complexity required of a system in order to produce developed life forms such as those on Earth and concludes that such life-forms must be extremely rare in the Universe, if not completely confined to our planet itself.
(ii) The second is the concept of Cosmological Fine Tuning, which implies that the Universe is deliberately fine-tuned in a way that makes the creation of life possible. In essence these ideas seem contradictory: if the Universe is set up to facilitate the creation of complex life-forms there should be life in abundance all around the Universe, but Rare Earth tells us that is not at all the case. However, if we accept both hypotheses as correct, we get an image of a fine-tuned cosmos that has all the basic necessities for creating complex life-forms, but that the evolution from the original idea is carried out in a random, blind way. It is as if God built a game (the Universe) based on determined rules, physical laws, but the game is a game of chance. In other words, God built a nice casino (the Universe) so It could play dice, but not with the combinations of two or three dice, rather with the combinations of millions of them. Instead of an omnipotent God, we have a blind, quite impotent one.
Yet, if this is what our reality is based on, how can such a paradigm be useful for developing human purpose?
If we take the idea of Fine Tuning and tweak it with the Rare Earth hypothesis, the picture of a determined, planned Universe arises, but one that is set in a chaotic, random manner to produce complex and ultimately intelligent life-forms. This mix of determinism and randomness, mixes into a middle-point reality, sitting between the conflicting axis of theological against scientific outlooks. It could, therefore, be an alluring new paradigm, seducing a compromise between the theological and scientific ideological stances. It is satisfying from a religious point-of-view because it admits the presence of a Creator and points to a teleological outcome, a Creator-willed end in which humanity plays a vital part (hence our purposiveness). If the Universe is designed for the creation of intelligent life, and we are very likely the most developed form of intelligent life in the Universe (Rare Earth Hypothesis), then the development of our progress as Sapiens entities is vital to the completion of that Creator’s will. In fact, these entities are necessary agents for that will to be made possible.
At the same time, the Rare-Earth/Fine-Tuning idea is inspirational for scientific and artistic sectors of humanity: our purpose is to allow our intelligence to evolve in a limitless way, understanding, imagining and creating with the Universe in a constant process of continual becoming. In a God-willed random Universe, the Creator is not omnipotent, and our duty is not to any religious dogmas but to the Work itself: which now is that of developing human potentials to the full.
In this new paradigm, sapiens organisms are the final cause of an evolutionary process, while, at the same time, we are also the beginning of a new transcendental process of transformation: via the sapiens mind itself, and through the space-transforming technologies that the sapiens are able to manufacture.
The amalgamation of Rare Earth and Fine Tuning is deeply imbued with purposiveness and duty. If we are unique, we cannot afford to disappear. We have a duty to protect our world, and protect ourselves. Our ultimate duty is easily appreciated, to the world and to our species, above all other duties. All meaning rests here. The Earth is a unique harbour of life in a Universe that is evolving chaotically around it, and it must be preserved, so that complex life can be preserved.
Our most pressing task, for all of us, is to overcome the problems of human separation. This can only be done through the development of purposiveness as an ideological alternative to all the separating, identity-ideologies that are so embedded in our societies today. Our cosmological reality leads us, therefore, to a moral and political stance, which is a profoundly humanistic one.
We are of vital importance; we are necessary. Our future, and the evolution of the Universe itself may depend on us recognising that necessity and the great purpose it imbues us all with.