The meaning of life – By Andrés Moya

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In your last book you say scientists are prone to melancholy.

We are used to thinking about the optimistic or positive component associated to scientific discovery. That version of the positive science who is happy with discovery is real. But, when one places what discovery in science means into context, the unraveling of the laws of nature, one realizes -this is a personal reflection- that, in a certain way, the capacity to understand everything, precisely by resorting to science, leads some scientists who think deeply (the great majority are people who perform their duty without a deep reflection on the reach of their work) to realize we are probably alone. Probably. I was going to say we are unique, but I have no guarantee, although the probability of contacting other intelligent beings is relatively limited. They could exist and that reinforces the idea of melancholy. During a great fraction of the time I devoted to this book, I was under the impression that science leads us to melancholy, because we don’t know the reasons that lead us to know why we’re here. We are a more or less contingent product of the laws of Nature. Just as we exist, we could also not. There’s quite a lot of debate about this. In fact it’s the reason behind a second book that will be published at the end of 2011, which I have titled Naturaleza y futuro del hombre, and where I discuss where we are going to at some length. In Pensar desde la ciencia I raised the question of where we are now and where we may walk to next. Always with science as a nuclear element. Probably our future depends on our capacity to modify our nature and our future depends greatly on science. In this aspect, I’m a fervent advocate of science: I don’t think we have a future without it.

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