Whose planet is this anyway?

“Your planet?”
“Yes, this is our planet.”
“No, It is not.”

– Klaatu and Regina Jackson, The Day the Earth Stood Still, 2008.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

– Genesis 1:26, King James Bible

“It’s not my Goddamn planet. Understand, monkeyboy?”

– John Bigboote, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, 1984.

Once upon a time, the Universe was a miniscule structure. It exploded and expanded, with eddies and vortices of energy and matter flying in all directions. Nearly fourteen billion years later, here we are, nearly nine billion human beings living on a blue dot in the Void. We are one of myriads of species that have evolved on our tiny rock. And in our curious mix of ignorance in sapience, we have concocted mythology to explain how we have come to be. Our existence itself, produced by natural processes is the ‘miracle’ that so many human beings, the vast majority in fact, simply refuse to see.

Why is it that mankind feels the need to be made in the image of some god that we have created? Why is it not enough to marvel in our existence itself, and see the beauty in the process by which the Universe produced us? The society that I have grown up in has always told me that as a human being, I have special status regarding my place among all the animals of the Earth.

I am fortunate in that my circumstances have afforded me the wherewithal to purchase a small sliver of this planet to call my own. This is such a strange concept to me at its most fundamental nature. Only in our fervent primate imaginations is found the idea that we, organisms that are of and from this planet, actually “own” pieces of it, when in fact if anything, it owns us. The biosphere that we inhabit is a complex web of dependencies. All life is connected, but unless the bulk of mankind comes to believe this, setting aside absurd notions that we are the favorite creations of an ethereal godhead, and beginning instead to act as the piece we are in the great puzzle, then we will never achieve our full potential.

“At the precipice, we change”

– Klaatu