For my last inquiry question, I wanted to dive back into a subject that has fascinated me for the better part of my life: astronomy. Something has always fascinated me about the ambiguity and the vastness of space, and I am so glad the the outcome of my research has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of our universe.
My thinking, as a result of this research, has been deeply changed as well. Once, I believed that life outside of Earth was something incredibly unlikely due to the very strict conditions that have allowed us to evolve over the years. I was, in some respects, correct - it is the result of very specialized conditions that life is possible on Earth. I was, however, not aware that other life in the universe is not only possible, it is almost a certainty. I believe that this knowledge has allowed me to think in a broader way, and to accept ideas that may seem unconventional. What's more is that during my first research round, I discussed the importance of the atmosphere for survival on Earth. I knew previously that our atmosphere is perfect in just about every way in terms of supporting life; it contains the right kinds and quantities of chemicals, and protects us from harmful UV radiation. However, with the way that humans have been treating the environment over the past few centuries, we don't know how long we can continue to thrive without making some serious steps towards preserving our atmosphere. I believe that from learning this information, I will now take more time and energy to focus on the environment, and to reduce the impact that I make on a daily basis.
This research has also affected my actions, and the decisions that I make. Because of the research that I have done regarding the atmosphere and it's importance to us, I am now confident that I will take more steps towards the preservation of our environment, whether that means reducing my shower time, carpooling, taking the bus or walking instead of getting a ride from my parents, eating less meat, or even doing things as simple as composting, reusing, or recycling my waste. I now have the knowledge required to make change, however insignificant it may seem, and I do not intend on overlooking that.
I also believe that this information could have a tremendous impact on people locally, or globally. Since the dawn of civilization, humans have wondered what other life might exist beyond our own planet, and we are still puzzled and fascinated by this same idea. Our technology is not yet advanced enough to really explore what life might exist outside of our solar system, let alone our galaxy, and the global population seems to have deemed the prospect of alien life as more of fantasy than science. However, if people were to know that the existence of aliens is almost a certainty, I believe that many people's entire perspective on the topic could be changed drastically, and we could have a population of people more willing to ask tough questions, and to look for answers beyond what we find obvious. I also believe that this research could help people become more environmentally conscious; knowing that our planet is located in such a perfect and rare position is a sobering thought when you consider how rapidly our planet is deteriorating; it could be millennia or more before we access the technology to move to another hospitable planet, and even then it likely would pale in comparison the the situation that we have on Earth. We need to take make some serious changes in our lifestyles if we want to protect our planet, and our livelihoods.
I actually ran into very few challenges during this research cycle. Many if not all of my sources were reputable, and I actually thoroughly enjoyed the researching process. I suppose the one challenge that I had was narrowing down my information into more condensed posts; doing the posts every two weeks has made the work load easier to deal with, but it has also thrown me off a bit in terms of the quantity of research that needed to be done. Regardless, I still feel that the posts that I compiled contained all of the information that was vital to the subtopic that I was exploring, and so I'm very happy with the work that I did.
Thank you all for reading this post, and for (hopefully) sticking with me throughout this cycle. I've had a blast learning about this topic, and the other three topics that I've researched this year, and I want to thank you all for your comments and feedback. It means so much to me, and I'm very happy that I have been able to share this Butterfly Effect experience with all of you!