There is a new series about the cosmos called ‘Genius’ presented by Stephen Hawking on the PBS broadcasting channel. In Episode 3, the question ‘Why are we here?’ is posed, and answered in the best possible way that science can offer to date. Hint : per our current understanding of quantum mechanics, it is likely that we do not actually live in a universe, but rather in a multiverse : the hypothetical set of finite and infinite possible universes, including the universe in which we live.
[Spoiler alert! Stop reading here if you want to watch the full episode to see how the answer unfolds].
Here are Stephen Hawking’s concluding remarks from the episode, and the answer to the question. ‘ .. although each of us is a product of the universe, the universe we live in, is personal to us’. The universe splits into all possible universes, all the time. We may be tiny and feeble compared to the majesty of the cosmos, but in a very real way it exists just for you. The universe you see is the one that gave rise to you, out of all the possible universes, and that is why you are here. So no matter how bad things get, I always say, don’t look down at your feet, but look up at the stars.