We are extraordinary creatures. Formed from chemicals that can only be created by the unimaginable pressures and temperatures at the heart of dying stars, endowed with the power to detect our world in various ways that have been developing for hundreds of millions of years. The perceptive powers of our senses are limited compared with large numbers of animals, and we do not have at all some senses that other animals have, and yet these powers, though not the greatest among life forms, are extraordinary enough. That a bunch of chemicals can combine, reproduce, be aware of themselves and process information about the world around them is in fact so remarkable that we cannot even begin to understand it. Science accepts that some things just are.
Yet we can describe how the world works from what we can perceive. We can conceive means to make things easier to understand, we can imagine models that allows us to perceive things with the mind that are beyond the perception of our bodily senses, we can probe the invisibly small and interpret the unimaginably distant, and we can grasp how this affects us, and our place within it.
When I say we, I mean a small number in the most extreme cases, and a larger number who have a more general understanding. I once clung by my fingertips to the coattails of this last group, but it doesn't matter one way or the other. The fact that I share a species with such people is quite something.
We are extraordinary. Why do so many of us choose to be not even ordinary?