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 of “meaning” and your definition of “life.”
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
因此生物上来讲 我们就有了神奇的、偶尔令人苦恼的生命的意义 那就是不断传递
the bizarre and occasionally upsetting meaning of life, biologically…to 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 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 astounding 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 you’re doing here on earth,
but those who didn’t were were substantially more likely to suffer from chronic hiccups…so
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.