The Meaning of Life - via how would you spend your last days on earth?

The question is: if you had 90 days left to live, what would you do? The answer to this question is telling of a person's priorities in life and what they consider innately good, an ends in itself rather than a means to some goal to be achieved in the future. If you had 90 days left, would you stay at work? Start to learn Spanish? Start exercising more? I doubt it, because these are all means to a ends, not ends in themselves. The means are meaningless when they are divorced from their ends - in this case, through random death in 90 days. So what are the meaningful things in life? What are the things we would devote our last 90 days to? What things give our life meaning, or - what is the meaning of life?

Back to the original question, what would you do if you had 90 days to live - A couple years ago I could not have answered this question without great deliberation. But then my daughter was born and now without a second thought I would reply that I would spend the time with her. I do not think it coincidental that any parent would respond the same. Similarly, ask any parent what their proudest achievement was and the most accomplished person would reply that it was their children, the only thing that is unconditionally good and worthy of love.

If this is true and children are the only unconditionally good thing in human life, what does this portend for any examination of a singular meaning of life? I would argue that the meaning of life is self-evident and is imbued in every human being by nature. The meaning of life is to propagate and then put forth every effort to make the life of your children the best it can be. In the theoretical context of evolution this makes perfect sense, and this is something that every parent already knows - from the moment your first child is born you know that your life is no longer your own, but belongs to them.

Basically, the question "what would you do if you only had 90 days to live" is not a question of what you would do but about what you value in life, and as humans we all ultimately value the same thing - family and more particularly our offspring. So I would contend that this is the meaning of human life.

How to make a black hole

Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.

  • There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
  • CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
  • Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
  • Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less