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  • [Intro]

  • Hello and welcome to SciShow. Our goal here is to excitedly and enthusiastically share

  • the marvelous peculiarity of the world and give people the opportunity to know more about

  • themselves and their universe.

  • Recently, we were talking to some people at Google about this goal and they were like,

  • What if, like, we gave you the most asked questions in the world?”

  • That seemed like a really good idea to us, so they did that. And then after filtering

  • out the ones about Kim Kardashian, we were left with a list of ten of the most googled

  • scientific questions ever. This is the World's Most Asked Questions.

  • Answering questions is what science is all about, and we love it. So let’s start out

  • with the first one: What is the meaning of life?

  • Yeah, it doesn’t necessarily sound like a question for SciShow, but it kinda depends

  • on your definition ofmeaningand your definition oflife.”

  • The person asking is probably wondering what the purpose of THEIR life is...which I’m

  • not going to weigh in on. And probably, Google isn't the place to look for that answer.

  • But the purpose of life itself? That's actually a question that science has come a good long

  • way to understanding.

  • The biggest idea in understanding the history of life on earth, and probably everywhere,

  • if there is life elsewhere, is evolution.

  • Once upon a time, one thing made a copy of itself...creating a kind of immortality for

  • that thing. Though, of course, not really, because the thing died. But the instructions

  • for making it were passed on.

  • Because the second thing had the instructions, it was able to make more of the things in

  • the image of the first thing. The things themselves kept dying, but the instructions lived on...and

  • there we have the bizarre and occasionally upsetting meaning of life,

  • pass on the instructions for creating more life.

  • Those instructions, these days, are DNA, or, for some simple organisms, RNA -- molecules

  • that contain segments that code for different proteins, and those proteins do the majority

  • of the constructing of the actual organism.

  • In a weird way, the life of an individual organism is just a system for keeping the

  • genes goin'.

  • Genes that don’t contribute to that task, or especially if they interfere with it, won’t

  • get passed because the organism will die before it has a chance to do any breeding.

  • And there we have the primary mechanism of evolution.

  • So, yeah, in a somewhat gritty sense, the biological meaning of life is to live long

  • enough to pass your genes on to the next generation. So, basically...don’t die...and have sex.

  • But simultaneously, there is a much more pleasant way of saying that. The meaning of life is

  • to create life. To perpetuate life. To sustain and grow this marvelous and astouding complexity

  • that is unique in the known universe.

  • As for the meaning of your own life...that’s up to you to figure out.

  • Leading up to this project, we did a little SciShow viewer survey where we asked you,

  • our viewers, a bunch of questions, including whether you felt like you knew roughly what

  • you were doing here on earth. In other words, whether you had some idea of the meaning of

  • your life. And the results of our very unscientific analysis of this survey were fascinating.

  • A full two thirds of you feel like you know roughly what youre doing here on earth,

  • but those who didn’t were were substantially more likely to suffer from chronic

  • either knowing your place in the world decreases your likelihood of getting hiccups...or getting

  • hiccups increases the chance that you will feel aimless. Or possibly there’s some completely

  • different effect going on, or our completely non-scientific survey is not actually very

  • good at predicting things.

  • People who had some idea of their purpose were also more likely to have beards, be religious,

  • and have fallen in love.

  • And people who didn’t feel like they knew what their purpose was were 26% more likely

  • to hold violet as their favorite color of the rainbow. So that’s just WEIRD!

  • Of all the fascinating questions in the world, what question do you most want answered? Let

  • us know on Facebook or Twitter or in the comments down below, and we will answer the best questions

  • in a new video at the end of the month. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #WMAQ and stay tuned

  • for more questions answered here on SciShow.


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B1 US life meaning scishow organism purpose survey

World's Most Asked Questions: What is the Meaning of Life?

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    羅紹桀 posted on 2015/09/28
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