What is the role of humans in nature? What is our place in the cosmos?
Assume we are a product of nature like any other earthly creature. Every animal species participates in nature in its own unique way. Why did nature create humans? Instead of focusing on our individual capabilities, which are legion, ask what can humans do for nature that no other kind of animal can do?
Without our help, life is limited to earth. Nature can only go beyond the earth if humans build space ships to carry her there. We evolved not just to propagate ourselves on earth but to propagate life into space. If there is no other life in this galaxy it is our mission to seed it. If we fail then it remains dead and barren. If there is already other life in this galaxy all the more reason to go into space and meet them instead of waiting for them here on this fragile earth.
Sooner or later life on earth will be destroyed by a random asteroid or other cosmic catastrophe. If the dinosaurs had developed space travel they would be alive today. This is a lesson for us humans. The future of life in this galaxy can only be assured if we take it beyond earth. Nature created us to save all life from oblivion.
Think about the first creatures to leave the ocean and begin life on land. Humans can make a giant evolutionary step like this. The intelligent beings of thousands of worlds could one day remember us as the ones that first brought life to the galaxy. A heroic destiny is within our grasp. The exploration of space is not just for financial or military gain, it is the next major step in the evolution of life. Nature can only take that step with human help.
A huge shrine complete with monuments, trinkets, and guided tours has already been built at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida where tourists can see, touch, and even purchase fragments of the facilities used to launch some of the first space ships. Books, movies, heroes and icons have already been created.
Environmentalists care deeply for nature but they strive only to preserve or restore an imaginary status quo. The human mission answers the question "What should we do with nature?". Saving all life from oblivion should appeal to any environmentalist.
Engineers often disdain nature lovers. Space travel is exciting but until now there has been no long term goal. The human mission answers the question "Why explore space?". Populating the galaxy and saving life itself from extinction should appeal to any engineer.
How can you as an individual advance the human mission? Spread the word. All who believe that life is good can support the human mission to save life from oblivion, bring life to this galaxy, and bring this galaxy to life.
Acknowledgments to Ken Wise for originating this idea.