No Water, No Life

I was thinking that if we describe life as any cellular organism or bacteria, it is absurd to believe that there is no other life in the universe. And if there are planets with water then there should be many with sea life of many kinds.

They have found fossils on Earth, from the Archean period, of animals that for whatever reason, never evolved further. Out there may be all the animals that didn’t make it here.

And if plants evolved and trees on other planets, there is little reason to dismiss the possibility of some humanoids out there. I just hope whatever we find doesn’t mind being killed because that is all we will do with it.

The Philosophy of Antangonism

It is well known that huge advances in technology and sometimes in science occur during wars. Inventiveness takes off because a war brings about a whole different feeling in society. Instead of people vying for personal space they are all pulling in the same direction, and governments eager to remain viable give money to every idea that comes along. In fact it is during war that ideas become the currency.

This is wholly in accord with what we know of nature as evolution favours adaptations in animals that enable them to survive and breed the next generation and eliminates adaptations that leave the animal more vulnerable to attack and disease. This is because nature herself sets us challenges on a daily basis, from the single cell to the complex animal.

There are those who say there is no reason for this and others who look for reasons because we are geared up to find answers to any question that enters our heads. Since evolution in the universe is a continuous process it can hardly be said we have sufficient reasons to create a theory as to why antagonists vie for supremacy in the natural world over and above any immediate considerations of survival.

But since the universe is a complex, single system I wouldn’t mind betting there are such reasons and we will find them out one day.

Digital Evolution

One of the more interesting things about scientific advance is to suppose that evolution on Earth is an expression on how the universe works. If evolution is something that can be charted across all the galaxies, within the galaxies themselves, then when we find something that works, some way in which matter acts and reacts, we are not just discovering a new thing but something important about answering the question, Why should this exist? Its a little like knowing that blood flows to take nutrients around the body without know anything about nutrients but finding out blood flows.

So questions such as Why is there electricity?, become even more interesting than the things you can do with it on Earth. Because it involves us in wondering why there is energy, not simply that it is useful for for us. In fact it will eventually answer the question we all want to answered, Why are there human beings? Because the answer will not be just to do with this planet, but the whole universe. Just like a body evolving so that its constituent parts all progress the whole, so the universe works the same way, and i suggest that because the Earth mirrors the physics of the universe itself.

I don’t have any answers, unless it is that human beings have the potential to save all life that evolves everywhere and transport it at times when planets die to new planets. On a universal scale though that doesn’t seem very important.

Maybe we aren’t.

An Obsession With Knowing

For most of our history on this planet when we haven’t known the reason for something we have made one up. It isn’t that we enjoy lying to ourselves, although myth making is rather fun, but because to have a vacuum in our knowledge frightens us. Not to know is to have no power, not to have the facts is to be unable to control events even with some agreed superstitions like knocking on wood,  and so consistent are we in wanting to know that we remember when the superstitious behaviour worked more than when it didn’t.

The scientific and philosophic advances of knowledge and mind have given us a method we are able to rely upon because we know it is flawed but we can check up on its ability to procure facts for us, and because it gives us concrete answers at times we are able to hold for the first time in our history, a degree of ignorance. This is tremendously important for our intellectual good health because we no longer look to a god or an outside power to guide us, but knowledge itself.

We are finding out that mind is not about self awareness as much as awareness itself. It is not so much about our place in the Universe but that there is a Universe  in which we can exist. Or as a physicist once said, human beings are one way in which the universe can know itself.

From Where I Stand

A nuclear explosion is an horrendous and huge death machine to us, but if you look at what goes on in the stars, to the immense forces at work if we set every nuclear weapon off we could it would look like no more than lighting a match against the night sky.

When we look at the decedence of the human spirit and the violence people have perpetrated upon other people we all instinctively get impressed by numbers and whilst we don’t think too often of the horrors of dungeons and the private hells made at all times in all countries, we do stand aghast at millions being listed as victims. Numbers matter to us but they don’t matter to ethics, because if murder is done to one person that is the end of the universe for that person and our opprobrium and horror and revulsion should be absolute. It rarely is.

We all have lives to live, children to bear, families to love, countries to travel and yet in out societies somewhere, we are nothing more than numbers. Statistics of age, gender,wealth, buying capacity and life span. No human being anywhere for any reason should allow anyone to make them no more than a number. When we allow ourselves to be numbers we limit out civilization, we deprive ourselves of a portion of our humanity and we leave ourselves open to being ignored and abused.

Sometimes you need to see yourself from a distance to understand who you are.

The Small And The Immense

I was struck when I learned about the atom – that most of it is empty space. Electrons and protons circling at a distance a nucleus. And I vividly remember thinking how like the Universe it was: things in orbits, forces in play, unceasing motion and mostly . . . emptiness. I  doubt there are also miniature humans on the odd electron (as in some supposed science fiction magazine) but I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future they find something they didn’t expect.

But it is how the small is an image of the immense that interested me and vice-vera. As if the template were fixed and everything mirrored it. Which has implications for other things. I have often said though we consider ourselves brilliant as a species, we cannot do anything nature doesn’t allow to be done. And our natures are images of her processes. Which implies that somehow, so is our reason.

There are few people who think that ‘nature’ thinks, preferring to believe in some organised brain in a  godhead for that sort of thing, but mirror images are never exact. There may well be reason in the Universe that is neither godly nor human; a reason we reflect but is unlike ours . .  . ours being so small, or ours being so personal or so especially human.

It is a reason though that is broader and wider than ours because it includes all species, all worlds, all ideas and all thoughts whereas we are terribly parochial.

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