Anyone find it mind boggling that there are so many species on Earth? Estimates:
7.7 species of animals
298,000 species of plants
400,000 species of insects
43,271 species of fungi cataloged of an estimated 611,000 fungi on Earth
36,400 species of protozoa (single-cell organisms with animal-like behavior, eg. movement, of which 8,118 have been described and cataloged)
27,500 species of chromista (including, eg. brown algae, diatoms, water moulds, of which 13,033 have been described and cataloged)
a spoonful of soil contains around 10,000 different species of bacteria
15,000 new species cataloged on a yearly basis.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 180459.htm
As we discover new planets in other solar systems by the hundreds or thousands a year now, when you think of the possibility of discovering life, it's a no brainer but our planet alone has a bazillion species. Once the conditions for life are created, it seems life explodes in diversity. There are most likely at least a trillion planets, give or take a trillion trillion planets. More planets than stars most likely.
I find more articles recently discussing the possibility that universes are as plentiful as stars. It's easy to imagine a multiverse. Our universe may be what amounts to the size of an atom in some unimaginable larger "thing". Sense of scale is incomprehensible. Shrink yourself down to the size of an electron and the size of an atom is on scale with the size of the solar system to us.
Most people don't realize how far away the Moon is from Earth until they see it to scale. We tend to limit scale to our sense of gravity on our planet.
Life isn't a miracle. There are most likely more planets than stars, there are probably more species of life than planets. Earth has 10+ million species. There would only have to be one species of life on every 10 millionth planet in the universe for my prediction to come true. But knowing how life explodes in diversity, I doubt it would (or could) be just one organism discovered on the same planet, satellite, etc.
Having recently watched a special on deep sea life, that 2.2 million is probably way off the mark on the low end. There are some absolutely "alien" life forms living in the deep seas and sea floor.Eight million, seven hundred thousand species (give or take 1.3 million).
That is a new, estimated total number of species on Earth -- the most precise calculation ever offered -- with 6.5 million species found on land and 2.2 million (about 25 percent of the total) dwelling in the ocean depths.
I tend to think that life has no meaning. I would like for it to have meaning but faith will play no part. A human living and dying holds as much significance in the grand scheme of things as a single celled organism. With this in mind, finding something to keep your sanity is important in preserving your will to live and for the species to survive. My sanity check is the pursuit of knowledge. Ultimately, it's just an extension of the basic instinct to survive. Learning about "life, the universe, and everything", helps provide the tools to preserve the human race.
Ponder this from time to time and then go back to your daily routines. Think about it. Every human that's died up to the last person that died seconds ago means jack shit except for what knowledge they may have discovered and contributed to in the preservation/extension of the human species. What's the end goal? Maybe it's to die content that you fulfilled whatever goal you set out to accomplish in your lifetime...like have a family, not suffer too much before dying, etc. What's the long term goal? Colonize the stars? And then what?
There are two primary things you need to decide. What you feel is important to do during your lifetime and if you feel like contributing to the human race by adding to the knowledge base. Self preservation, species preservation, and just what in the hell keeps your sanity while you live? For most I would imagine it would be not thinking about the bigger picture. The easy way out is religion.