Astrobiology (general)

Life In The Cosmos: Paradox Of Silence And Self-Awareness

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
July 18, 2023
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Life In The Cosmos: Paradox Of Silence And Self-Awareness
A photo of the Earth taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover on 31 January 2014 from the surface of Mars. No stars are seen in this photo because the Earth is shining brighter than any star in the Martian night sky. Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech, Malin Space Science Systems and Texas A&M University. Image source:

As humanity embarks on an age of exploration, the question of whether we are alone in the universe remains unanswered. This comprehensive review reflects on the paradoxical nature of our existence in a seemingly lifeless cosmos, delving into the silence we encounter and the depths of our self-awareness.

We embark on a journey that encompasses the search for life within our solar system, the mysteries of exoplanets, and the absence of technologically detectable life. Traditional definitions of life are challenged, especially in the context of artificial intelligence, as we strive to understand the complexities of existence.

Contemplating our significance and insignificance in the vast cosmos, we grapple with the profound responsibility that accompanies being the only known life forms. Through introspection and contemplation, we capture the essence of our epoch — an era defined by cosmic loneliness yet magnificent self-awareness.

Jonathan H. Jiang, Avery M. Minion, Stuart F. Taylor

Subjects: Popular Physics (physics.pop-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:2307.05507 [physics.pop-ph] (or arXiv:2307.05507v1 [physics.pop-ph] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Jonathan Jiang
[v1] Sun, 2 Jul 2023 01:42:14 UTC (1,299 KB)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻