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Perspective: Our very important place in the universe

Today, the James Webb Space Telescope is photographing galaxies a million miles away from earth. now sends images from a million miles away.

Soon, in a Chilean observatory, there will emerge a digital camera that can see a golf ball twenty miles away.

Soon we're going to be getting a clearer idea of how vast our universe really is.

That raises a question. Given how enormous our universe is, the Earth would appear to be a sort of ant hill. No bigger than an anthill in an area that's as big as all the planets in the solar system put together.

Doesn't this make us on earth a bit trivial and marginal? But wait a minute. We're the anthill that gets to describe the rest of the universe. Doesn't that make us extremely significant?

It's a perplexity. What do you think?

I’m Tom McBride and that’s my Perspective.

Tom McBride is co-author of the annual Beloit College Mindset List. He is a specialist in Shakespeare. For 42 years he taught at Beloit, where he won an award for excellence in teaching. He also coordinated the Mackey Distinguished Writers' Program and the First Year Initiatives Program.