Yes, You ARE the Center of the Universe (in one sense…)

By Tom Yulsman | December 31, 2014 1:14 pm

The New Year is upon us, and for many folks it’s a time for taking stock. So on this final day of 2014, I thought I’d take a step back, waaay back…

My starting point is the video above, which has been making the social media rounds lately. It offers a visually compelling comparison of the sizes of planets and stars, all leading to a central message spelled out in big type at the end:

“No, you are not the center of the universe.”

I also find an implied — and unnecessarily alienating — message in the video: “As a human being, you are an insignificant mote in the unimaginable vastness of the cosmos.”

This is only true if you make an absolute comparison between your own size and, say, the Milky Way galaxy. But another comparison tells a very different story. And that’s the purpose of this post.

I can’t really say whether the creator of the video, someone with the pseudonym “Morn1415“, intended to convey a notion of human insignificance. He or she (I’m guessing the former, since Morn was a Lurian male on Star Trek Deep Space Nine) uploaded it to Youtube in 2009. Since then it has been viewed more than 10.6 million times. And for good reason: It’s beautiful, and it effectively conveys a sense of cosmic scale. But it only goes so far.

I spotted it for the first time a couple of days ago on a friend’s Facebook page. He’s a renown environmental scientist who heads a major scientific institution, and he enjoys a wide audience. So I decided to take on that implied message of human insignificance in a reply on his page — and now here:

This depressing message about humanity and its place in the cosmos is just plain wrong — and I suspect that it has served to alienate countless ordinary folks from science. With this meme being so common, is it any wonder that so many people cling to nonsense like Creationism?

The fact is that there is more to our place in the cosmic scheme of things than, “No, you are not the center of the universe.” Much, much more.

To tackle this issue, let’s first be clear about one salient fact: Saying that we are not at the center of the universe implies that somewhere, some thing is central. But this is false. The universe has no physical center. You can find an excellent explanation of this difficult idea here. Suffice it to say that the Big Bang more than 14 billion years ago wasn’t an explosion of stuff in space. It was an explosion of space itself. As a result, since then every point in space has been expanding away from every other point uniformly, with no center to the expansion.

So it’s true. We are not at the center of the universe. (Yes, I know this contradicts my headline. But stick with me…)

Moreover, as the video demonstrates so effectively, we are infinitesimally small when compared to things like red supergiant stars, galaxies, and galaxy clusters. But there are smaller things than us. Much, much smaller. So where humanity fits in the cosmic scheme of things doesn’t depend simply on how we measure up to the really, really big things. It also depends on how we compare to the really, really tiny things.

To take on this notion, I’ll start with a key observation by renown cosmologist Joel Primack of the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is one of the principal originators and developers of the cold dark matter theory, which is the foundation of the modern picture of structure formation in the universe.


The large-scale distribution of dark matter in the universe as simulated by a supercomputer. Without the existence of dark matter, the observed structure of the universe does not make sense. The cold dark matter theory was first worked out by a number of scientists including Joel Primack of U.C. Santa Cruz. (Source: Springel et al. 2005/The Millennium Simulation Project)

In “The View From the Center of the Universe,” Primack and his co-authore Nancy Ellen Abrams, make this key point:

The size of a human being is at the center of all the possible sizes in the universe. This amazing assertion challenges not only the centuries-old philosophical assumption that humans are insignificantly small compared to the vastness of the universe but also the logical assumption that there is no such thing as a central size. Both assumptions are false, but we have to reconsider the key words of the assertion—center, possible, size, and universe—to reveal the prejudices built into them that constrict and distort our picture of reality. In the modern universe there is a largest and a smallest size, and therefore a middle size.

The largest size is the universe itself. The smallest size is the: the Planck length. And guess what is just about in between those two?

You, me. Us. Homo sapiens.


The Cosmic Uroboros represent the varying scales of the universe, from largest (the serpent’s head) to the smallest (its tail).

In their essays and books, Primack and Abrams use an illustration known as the Cosmic Uroboros to illustrate the vastly different scales of the cosmos — and where we fit in.  The serpent’s head represents the size of the visible universe. Going clockwise around the serpent from head to tail,  you’ll find among a number things the size of a supercluster of galaxies (1025cm), a single galaxy, the solar system (1016cm), the sun (1010cm), a mountain (105cm), humans, an E. coli bacterium (10-5cm), DNA, an atom, a nucleus, and on down through tiny scales of particle physics to the Planck length at the tail of the serpent.

And as you can see, the size of a human being is near the center of all possible sizes.

Primack and Abrams continue:

This turns out to be the only size that conscious beings like us could be. Smaller creatures would not have enough atoms to be sufficiently complex, while larger ones would suffer from slow communication – which would mean that they would effectively be communities rather than individuals, like groups of communicating people, or supercomputers made up of many smaller processors.

These quotes come from chapter 6 of his book, which you can access here.


I even designed the cover. ;-)

The idea that we humans are insignificant nothings, that we’re not at the center of the universe, etc., is wrong for other reasons as well. Astronomer Sandra Faber, Primack’s colleague at U.C. Santa Cruz, and a leading scientist in the field of galaxy formation, had this to say in an interview with me for a book I wrote about the origin and evolution of the universe from the big bang to life (Cosmic Origins—the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots):

One lesson astronomy tells us is that we’re a tiny mote in a hostile void, and help is too far away. We’re on our own, on spaceship Earth. So we have to solve our own problems. More importantly, we’ve been given the gift of time. We have at least a billion years in which our home, if we continue to take care of it, will continue to suffice. What a chance, right? And lastly, people like Joel and I are figuring it all out by sitting on this tiny little planet and collecting photons from space.

So far from feeling dwarfed by the vast reaches and energy of the cosmos, what we really learn is that we are the most remarkable and complicated product of cosmic evolution, and our potential is unlimited. In little localized pockets, the universe is capable of building some beautiful complexity. I’d really like people to understand that fantastic groundwork has been laid — a cosmic experiment has been running for 14 billion years, and it has gotten to an interesting point. How incredibly tragic it would be if we foolishly pulled our own plug.

The “we’re insignificant nothings” meme can easily lead to anguished thinking, and a sense that it does not matter whether we screw things up so badly that we disappear. Yet that meme is is not at all uncommon among scientists. And it is advanced, whether intentionally or not, by videos like the one that got me going on this subject…

So here’s what I think: Pay attention to cosmologists. They know a thing or two about our true place in the universe.


CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, select, Top Posts
  • Buddy199

    Another in a series of extremely unlikely physical characteristics of the universe. On top of the main question of why inanimate matter would bother to organize itself into more complex living forms in the first place, especially such an infinitely complex structure as the human brain – it seems completely counterintuitive from the perspective of thermodynamics. I just don’t buy the idea that the universe is merely the product of the mindless interaction of subatomic particles according to the principles of quantum mechanics. There’s a much deeper game going on here which, when some future Einstein unravels it, will blow our whole concept of the universe, and ourselves as a part of it, wide open.

    • Del Parrish

      Non-local Consciousness. Not sure how it works, it’s origins, or it’s purpose, but I theorize that biological consciousness is a product of it.
      Wiki: Orchestrated Objective Reductionism (Orch OR)

      • Christopher Robin Condry

        You HYPOTHESIZE. It is a very intriguing idea, though.

        • Del Parrish

          Yes, hypothesize. My bad. :) Actually Penrose and Hameroff hypothesize. I’m just addicted to YouTube, TED and Wiki.

    • albertobladerunner

      Inanimate matter does not bother.

  • Larry Bannerman

    PLEASE! “We’re on our own, on spaceship Earth. So we have to solve our own problems. More importantly, we’ve been given the gift of time. ” Well, we are not doing such a good job of it. We are holding down the fast forward button to human extinction. Disregarding all scientific evidence to that fact. And we still have enough ego to question where we fit in the vastness of the universe. Extinction leaves no mark for the universe to find.

    • CrankyMiddleAgedGuy

      What a pessimistic load of ****. There is no evidence that we are heading towards extinction, and if crocodiles can hang around for 200 million years (or whatever), we can do considerably better

      • Larry Bannerman

        Would that you were correct, I would applaud. But I will take science over ego any day.

        • OWilson

          According to the AGW’s we are killing the planet.

          And, all in their particular lifetimes! The science is settled.

          How ethnocentric and egotistical is that?

          • Larry Bannerman

            Heck–Global Warming???!! No my friend–population. We live on a planet designed to support 4 billion people. There are currently 7 billion. It will be 10 billion by 2050. There is not enough growing area on the planet to feed 10 billion people. We are barely making it with 7 and our midwest growing areas are turning into deserts. Global warming will make us relocate and eventually shorten life spans back to pre 1800’s, but that is not ELE. Like I said, we are holding down the fast forward button to extinction and oblivious to the danger. We are too busy.

          • Larry Bannerman


          • OWilson

            Relax., friend

            First, the planet was never “designed” to support x numbers of population.

            Secondly, life spans and agricultural production are increasing every year.

            Thirdly, we’ve heard it all before. Paul Ehrlich’s famously wrong, “The Population Bomb” (1968)

            And finally (ironically) those “growing deserts” are actually greening, thanks to increased C02.

          • Larry Bannerman

            Yawnnnnn– I hereby certify these pictures are not fake or photoshopped. Evidence of our effect on the atmosphere and biosphere and climate are indisputable. Easily ignored or unaccepted—but indisputable.

          • Edosa sunny Agwaze

            i quiet agree with you bro!

        • Edosa sunny Agwaze

          science and technology is what our creators want us to gain more and advance with out waiting much time….knowledge in science…that s the tree of life!

        • Edosa sunny Agwaze

          the truth is that we are approaching an advance mental life form…so we
          are going to migrate to another world (planet) with newly clone humans ,
          like our creators did creating us here on earth…

      • Edosa sunny Agwaze

        the truth is that we are approaching an advance mental life form…so we are going to migrate to another world (planet) with newly clone humans , like our creators did creating us here on earth…

    • Edosa sunny Agwaze

      lovely talk bro!

  • Satya Sunder Ghosh

    The article is a nice piece of analysis. The fact that we humans are about the middle in size that range from planck’s constant to the visible universe is fascinating. Does it conveys some deep meaning.

    What about our 3-dimensional self. Are there some more dimensions to us, considering the 10-dimensional universe we live in. May be we have 2 more dimensions. Interesting, very interesting!!!!!!!!!

    • Waitforit777

      In other words, you find this observation inane, right?

  • Usman Saeed

    Technically then the rest of the vertebrates also shares the same size order of magnitude with us. They are also at the center of the universe, size wise. This doesn’t really push man in the center uniquely if this was the intent of the author here.

    • kevin kershaw

      There has to be something holding back the human mind… Why is it the human mind see things only in 3 dimensions? We can only wind when it carries earthly debris (tornadoes and hurricanes and thr like) yet we can feel. We are taught in elementary school everything comes from the dot (x^0) and progresses to the line (Y=mx+b) then to area and then circles… which then form spirals…. the only aspects we can see and acknowledge are spirals…. would love to see life through the eyes of area…. I know I am not the center of the universe, but through mathematics something tells me there is much more to life than the eye can see

  • David Daniels

    You speak about not alienating people? Try not putting people’s belief in creation down. Now, I am NOT a creationist. I think with a scientific mind. understand due scientific process and regularly educate those infamiliar with the sciences about what they do not understand. It is the way it is related to the person attempting comprehension. If you tell a person that their beliefs are wrong, they are going to shut down on you. If you instead try to interpret the data in a way they can understand, they are much more willing to accept the knowledge. Examine yourself as I do constantly and you will make great strides in understanding. Both physical and social.

    • Waitforit777

      How can you talk about a point in space or time where/when there was no space time? Of course there can be a “big crunch” but can be “outside” of it to observe where it is, silly.

  • David Daniels

    Also, nevermind the fact the the Planck Length is theoretical. it would take a machine the length of our milky way, and would consume 1000 years worth of the entire planets energy to detect. It’s worth mention, that the only way to prove the Planck Length is through String Theory (M Theory) otherwise known as theoretical mathematics.

  • Old Cat Trader

    This discussion is irrelevant … questions about why, when, and how we got here are a waste of time. What will the answers prove? What will they change. If it takes millions of light years for a “picture” of outer space to arrive in our eyes what we see now is ancient news. And the view of what happened before has already past us. Even sunlight is eight minutes and 20 seconds old when it arrives here. Why not spend our brief moment of time enjoying the now.

    • rodmarcia

      It only matters how we got here if the Bible is true, we are beings created by God, and there is a life after death. Then it would change the way we live. And has for millions.

      • Waitforit777

        Boy, are you in for a big disappointment!

        • rodmarcia

          How do you know?

      • rodmarcia

        How do you know?

  • har sukhdeep singh

    Long ago when I was in first year of ug course of engineering I used to say human intellect would finally fail at macro and micro scales. Roughly 5 decades have passed and the picture of this creation has become clarified a bit but it is far more hazier now . Are we made to know the final thing , say in centuries or eons to come ? Do we live by the so much of ignorance we face in the name of God or Science? Perhaps we developed consciousness, as a part of the evolution, to live better by fighting better with odds life has faced since it came into existence. There are better truths to be followed now to make life in its totality and a bit more selfishly for human beings. Agreed, consciousness does give us the basic tool to us, but not that sharp for most of us, to become philosophers and scientists, but that certainly make us greedier, criminals, liars very easy. It is that which is harming us more than anything. May be we are in such times when mankind should start living with the most useful knowledge we already have and accept the nature and live by its systems instead of probing it more and more at the cost of all life. As an example all life has developed through billions of years just by refreshing itself through birth and cleaning itself through death. Why science of medicine is trying to mimic long life just by adding a few decades more to make us live as old, suffering with systemic disorders. Why can’t we develop better system to look after life available to us without putting our ownership tag on that ?
    Mankind has gone astray due to its own intellect and consciousness. Life was neither much different if someone put it as inconsequentially small nor it is going to be great if it is put in the middle of scale as the authors say.
    Putting it more harshly many of the inventions and discoveries(Steam engine,Electricity, new materials, use of energy, easy availability of food,medicines etc etc) enchanted us a lot but nothing has come without its harms.
    Look at the other life . They live a life without all such nonsense. Yes the fact is I also belong to,though at the bottom, the individuals who love to think and invent newness a bit yet the pain of the bad state of affairs in the mankind does make me very sad.No other life form has such a bad state in which its young ones live by begging. Indians do think that children are the God himself. But when God looks at an atheist(me) in such a bad shape my mind revolts yet remain actionless to stick to my safe and comfortable zone.
    We must give a better definition to ever enchanting, perhaps deeply malicious, word ‘progress’ and give course correction accordingly. Thanks.

  • albertobladerunner

    The size of the visible Universe is not the size of the Universe and even less the size of all probabable Universes (Multiverse). However it seems that people who want to think everything that exists was “created” for them will never stop accommodating whichever knowledge we have at whichever moment in our history to conclude they are in fact the center of the “Universe.”

  • RLM

    I think the film proves the opposite of what it intends. In watching it I’ve just conceived of the entire universe using the brain inside my skull. Thus evenly balancing interior with exterior and placing me firmly in the exact center!

  • Dan Lipford

    “…since then [the Big Bang] every point in space has been expanding away from every other point uniformly, with no center to the expansion” clearly means that space could never contract back toward the “then” point, because there never was one.

    If there wasn’t a “where” prior to the start of the expansion, how, then, did the “big bang” begin in/at an infinitesimally small something or the other from which all space and matter expanded.

    Until there’s satisfactory explanation to that conundrum, the concept of change with no original will remain, for me, the intellectual equivalent of drooling down the front of one’s shirt.

  • duelles

    I have never doubted my centricity. Ever!

  • Glaisne

    You have the planets rotating in the wrong direction.

  • Patrick ONeil

    Humans, dogs, bears, hummingbirds, whales…on the scale range we are talking about here (Planck at one end, size of universe on other) the actual difference in sizes between the organisms I mentioned (as well as those I didn’t) are literally insignificant. Thus, it is not HUMANS that are uniquely in the “center” of the size scale, but rather all life on earth…particularly complex life. So, no, humans STILL aren’t unique there. We are merely one of the centroid sized organisms on earth. It is highly probable that any complex life on other planets in the universe are equally “central”.

  • David Kline

    My teacher, Maezumi Roshi, said:
    “You are the center.”
    I replied:
    “Everything is the center of everything.”

    More at:

  • Captain Slog

    I just had a look at the other Comments and WHAT a clash of ego’s!! Some banging on about the bible, others trying to be “scientific.” Some being just downright RUDE!! Its Hilarious!! I just put it how I saw it and what I was aware of. No offence to anyone, but even I can’t believe it. DON’T be rude! Even I feel very insignificant in all of THIS. I just accept it and Wonder about it all.

  • Boothj1985

    The visible universe is not likely the whole thing. There may also be more than one universe. BUT you can only experience your own life so in a sense it’s okay to think you’re the center of reality as long as you don’t take that to mean you have special privileges and ownership over everything. When you were born the universe “started” and when you die it will “end”. Although I do believe there is a continuum of life(some form of reincarnation?), I just don’t claim to know what it is exactly.

  • Waitforit777

    How much did you get paid to write this wordy, trite drivel, Tom Yulsman? Regardless, it was too much for this waste of space-time.

  • beyondEinstein

    Scientist Galileo looking- Earth is can’t center point of the Universe yet-
    I am looking Earth is center point from our location.
    or See Universe Figure-

    See My DEMO Final

  • Don Huntington

    I saw this propounded decades ago in a reel from an old series called “Sermons From Science.” They were made by Moody College and, unlike everything else of a scientific nature I ever saw made by a religious institution, they were marvelously well-done — especially considering they were made in the 1940s. The scientist, in this case, measured size from super galaxies down to sub-atomic particles and discovered an average-size human being was right at the mean.

    It really is a fascinating fact — make of it what you will.

  • Allen Finch

    Every point in the Universe is the center of the Universe. The Universe is something that has always been and forever will be…it can be in many states of matter but goes infinite in every direction. No the Universe is not expanding but the vacuum of space could be if there’s solid, liquid or gaseous matter for it to expand into. I know many people will disagree with this because they can’t comprehend the fact that the Universe has always been and always will be!

  • General Kai

    We humans are in the center? I cannot fully agree with this because we are not the only lifeforms. WHat about the animals? By your Theory they need to be the center too? Life is the Center and not humans. How egoistical to say that we humans alone have the right to be in the Center but not mention other lifeforms. There are things tiny compared to us? Yeah Bacteria, tiny rocks but what is there to proof? Is the Earth the Center or another Planet. Just because we live on Earth, we do not know if something else in this vast Universe is more important than us. Some Humans just do not know thie rplace and try to claim that they understand the whole universe. And? Am i ignborant for saying this? No it is tghe truth we humans have no huge control and influence on the Universe. We are irrelelvant like everything on this Earth. Humans still have no special place even if they are claimed to be the Center of the Universe.

  • General Kai

    I understand it quite but then again your comment sounds like a self proclaimed Hero that has special abilities to see the wolrd. So when you were a kid you realized it is all a lie but kids are inexperienced and always have no idea what they are talking about until they grow adults. When i was a kid i also believed this and that and thought what i know and think is reality until i grew older and realized that i never have been aware of what i was talking about. So you realized no truth whatsoever. You just did the same and became curious when you were young like all of us did when we were young. You just think you are someone who has special mental Powers and can simply force his ideals and beliefs down others throats. Someone that breaks through self proclaimed lies since there will never be a proof you are right or not. This kind of behavior is totally pointless. Especially all the things you do like questioning and experiencing strange things. You are not alone my friend. Me and other people do that all too often and the things you described here are pretty normal random things. You just try to act special like you made a big discoverey but it is simply your instinct in the end.

    Just because it is an ideology. Look there might be a potential it is not there but it is not a slavery besides if everyone would think like you, THEN everyone would have an Ego! You just said on a different comment how everyone here is a bunch of Ego but you are the only one that has a huge ego! EVEN IF WE AR EYES OF OUR OWN; THE BIG THINGS WILL BE BEYOND OUR EXISTENCES! ITS A WANNABE!? Retarded. Look imagine there is a God, it would have no form. It is simply no human and go through you first? Just like me you are nothiung but a tiny atom. Know your pülace like i do and i am not a fanatic. there are thigns i question about religion all day but i am not wirting it off as bullshit. Once more hypocritive. You are a hypocrite because you are a wannabe too. If you are really not a threat to anyone and no wannabe, you should take a more neutral and attitude that causes less attention. People like you are jsut the cause for disturbing the Peace of discussions and arguments. We do not know if there is nothing or something? We have no idea if there is a God or some other higher Power. We just know that we who sturggle with our all day troubles about morality and money issues are nothing to the universe but when it comes to our world we are something. Look before you claim i am fanatic i will tell you my view on Religion is curious and neutral. I accept it when someone does not beleive it but i find the idea wrong of writing it off because it can help a lot of people that had a hard life by simply believing it. You also “believe” that Religion is non existent yet it is what you alone beleive and no fact. Maybe one day it will be proven but not today.

    To have a believe is somethin g good. Why i support the Religion and hope it is true. Because in our Life are Mafias or hi9gh crminals that never get caught or people like Kim Jong Un. If they cannot be punished in this life, they neeed to be punished. This is why i hope Religion is true so the wicked and evil get what they deserve. But that is also possible to be not possible. The true strengh a human should have is tolerance, wisdom and passion because one day they will understand even if it could happen after death and accept we will not know until Death happens. Stop trying to claim your belief is the Fact. No belief on this Earth is a Fact and you just should just stop with that i am not a threat to anyone. You are because you are a cause to start an argument and it is not about religion. it does not matter what you trigger you will get dislike because you force down your thoughts on others.

    This is what i had to say. What annoys me more is the way you wrote the post and how you expressed. It looks more offensive than neutral and i amk not defending Religion. It is offensive in general.

    • Captain Slog

      Religion is CRAP!! Always HAS been!
      I never said I was superior to anyone else, or have “special powers”, or want to “rule the universe”, etc. I don’t care what others may think of me. I don’t WANT to control or manipulate anyone or anything. I am just aware that I have SOME Connection to the Universe that is older than this Solar System, but I can’t prove it.
      God is a LIE!! For crying out loud, USE YOUR BRAINS and EYES and LOOK at the Universe!! THINK, and UN-think all that crap that’s been fed to you. You can even ignore what I said! I’m not forcing you to do anything. I don’t know what I am or where I came from, but right NOW, in THIS Life, I am who I am for yet another Hundred Years or so, and then its ANOTHER Memory Wipe, and then another new Life. To you and everyone else, I am just another person on the Planet, and You wouldn’t know any different. That’s how I like it.
      And as for that Video, impressive as it was, it is WRONG!! I AM the Absolute Centre of this Entire Universe!!

      • General Kai

        I want to ask a question. Do you refer to the fanatics or everyone who beleives in it? I can understand why Religion is not accepted because some people who teach it simply do it wrong. They teach the public only the things that are not allowed just to make it look like something that surpresses but they do not tell someone what makes a good human. Anyway i undertsand your words because i am not one of those extremists that abuse the Religion for their own desires. I have tolerance for everything. There can never be a prove for Religion which is good. It is far better for me to beleive in the unknwon than something we explore. Even if it is crap it helped humans to create rights like that it is forbidden to kill someone else and Justice in the old times. Then there are countless Fantasy Stories with all those myths and without Religion involved, they would not exist. Even if the things would be fake the stories of the Prophets and all the different Religions are still bringing me peace when i read them. It is just that Religion helped me to free myself from my depression and it stopped me from comitting suicide at a special point of my life where i saw only gray. This is why i cannot simply abandon it.

        Well ther eis the question. There are those Religions that beleive there is a second life after death where ture Justice is brought or life is recreated like when i die my soul or let us say my essence or how i call it “my self” moves to a new person that is born iand i ahve no memories of my previous life. Well it can be possible that i was someone else before my birth but since i cannot prove it, in this life i beleive that Death is the beginning.

        Alright. When i take your way of thinking. It is true that YOU are the centre of the universe but so I AM TOO. I am the centre of the universe too. And everyone is existence is too including animals otherwise it makes no sense. And yes i use my brain all the time. I am not a puppet. To be honest there are things i also sometimes find wierd in Religion but the truth is i admit that the existence of God is possibly not true but i “hope it does exist” so we have someone that punishes all the evil criminals in the world. I simply choose this because i like it. The only thing i care for is Justice which the incompetent humans nowadays with their hear tof stone cannot do. I am not a slave to it. I just pray for it to be true because i want to see true Justice without anyone escaping from it. And very often people escape from Justice. Honestly i think the idea of a new life with a memory wipe is possible but it should not be spread around and fed to young people. They will think they can do anything because they expect to be revived. I tolerate your way of thinking but i am against it to be spreaded around in the world because not everyone is like the two of us. Some people will feel powerful and mighty if they expect to get a new life with their memory being wiped and they would stop to work because they think after the memory wipe everything will be fine. This is my opinion.

  • Peter Westberg

    There’s another sense in which all of us individually are or at least appear to be at the center of the universe. I would also add that from our perspective, due to the expansion of the universe, and no matter which direction we look, we’re always exactly the same distance from the edge of the visible universe. Fine and good…now add to that the facts that there is no absolute frame of reference in and no boundaries to the universe, means that such an observation will always be true, no matter where we go, or how far we go. Even if we could instantly teleport to where we see the current edge of the universe to be at, we would *still* appear to be at the center of it all. So in a sense, all of us, individually as observers, are the center of our own universe.



ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


See More


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar