“My life matters!” yelled the moskito
(Click to watch in a higher resolution. Link.)
(again, click to watch in a higher resolution. Link. Most of it is speculation and you can always quibble about the details, but the main point stands.)
It is estimated that there are more than three times as many neurons in an adult human cerebral cortex alone than there are humans on Earth. The total number of neurons in the human brain is estimated at appr. 14 times the number of humans.
Between 50 and 70 billion cells die each day due to apoptosis in the average human adult (link). There are approximately ten times as many bacterial cells in the human flora of bacteria as there are human cells in the body (link). One might say ‘humans are complex creatures’ or one might say ‘humans are nothing special’. One might also be tempted to say something about the importance of any given individual alive here. Now combine the above with this (click to view in a higher res. – warning, it’s a very big file but you should open it anyway):
Stuff like this (once you start to think about it, you can come up with a lot of similar arguments) is part of the reason why I have great difficulty taking seriously any religious concept ‘explaining the universe’ that even mentions humans. Hell, it’s very hard to take seriously a God(TM) that’d even care about the Milky Way – there are more than 100 billion galaxies out there to choose from, and the Milky Way alone contains 400 billion stars. We don’t matter, a God that would care about what we do is too improbable for us to care about and a God like that raises way more questions than he/she/it answers. To use a God(TM) like that to answer any of the ‘fundamental questions’ is intellectually dishonest, because it’s the same thing as evading the questions entirely and just make up stuff that make us feel important. One of the first thoughts that crosses my mind when thinking about a God that actually cares about humans is ‘stamp collector’. One of the others is, as I’m sure you know, ‘evil bastard’.