Recently, the Templeton Foundation asked Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Does the universe have a purpose?” Here is his answer, as illustrated by Minute Physics.
For those of you who don’t feel like watching the video, his answer is basically, “Probably not.”
Now I could engage in some character assassination here. For example, when Dr. Tyson made a guest appearance on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me! he got all his questions wrong, so how smart can he really be? Also, this is the [expletive deleted] who decided Pluto’s not a planet. But I won’t go there. In fact, I have a lot of admiration and respect for Dr. Tyson; I just disagree with him about this one issue. And also Pluto.
I happen to be a religious man. I go to church (almost) every Sunday. My prayers and meditation have brought me a greater sense of peace in my life, but I can’t say they’ve enlightened me as to the purpose of the universe. And yet whenever I stand outside gazing up at the stars, I know the universe is big and complicated and beautiful beyond words, and I feel it deep in my thumping heart, in the strength of my bones, in the very chemistry of my body that there is a purpose. That all this couldn’t be for nothing.
The real question to me is not, “Does the universe have a purpose?” but, “What is that purpose?” That I do not know. Science can’t give me that answer, and I’m not sure religion can either. I expect I’ll live my entire life never finding the answer, yet I remain convinced the answer does exist.
How about you? Do you think the universe has a purpose? What do you think it might be?