“The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.” – Michael Denton
I always wonder about the original life force that started life on our planet. How did it come about? Why did it happen so? Was it amidst a spectacle of chaos in the eruption of a volcano? Was it in a majestic and brilliant stroke of lightning into a primordial soup? Or was it in dark, windless silence? But maybe life did not originate here at all; perhaps life forms in distress on other planets just shot out capsules of their DNA or microorganisms out in space, and one landed on Earth, and ta-da! Imagine going to another planet and meeting not ‘aliens,’ but…family! We greet again, after so many years, old, old cousin! Okay, that was mawkish. I’m getting ahead of myself here!
How did this planet develop ‘sensitivity’ and ‘intelligence’? Well, at that point in time, those words did not exist because no one spoke them (duh), but did their essence exist? Is intelligence noumenal? And here, we can consider anything that is alive and responsive as ‘intelligent.’ And vulnerable. My God, how vulnerable must you be to venture into this experience that we know as ‘life’! Vulnerable, yet resilient… I mean, look at us now! By ‘us,’ I mean all life forms. Most of us, anyway…Our Last Universal Common Ancestor, or Luca, lived around four billion years ago. It was a single-celled organism. The first mother. Our mother. I beseech thee for thy secrets, O Luca!
“Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed.”
— Charles Darwin
You may recall from high-school physics that the first derivative of position is velocity, the second is acceleration and the third jerk. The list continues: the next ones are… snap, crackle and pop! Glorious! Whenever you find yourself being too serious, remember that you won’t make it. That is either depressing, or most liberating! Slap the ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’ Dance your way through to death. When the Reaper comes to bring you a mouthful of the elixir of death, mock him by gleefully taking it! For all the colours and flavours and melodies of life are born of the darkness of the womb, of the numbness after gloom, of the quietness of the tomb.
One thing is for sure: there is no lack of theatricality in this Whomping Willow, this gobbledygook, this snicker-snack, this hippity-hop that is life…You steer away from mud and clean your room to restore order and kill bees and prefer flat walls and grounds…but lo! Nature comes wiggling and waggling right back at you! The mud sprouts flowers! Bazinga! The winds come and leave everything strewn – like the kids! The bees fruitify the gorgeous-looking into the delicious-tasting! Whoop de-doo! And it is not all sweet; the earthquakes will sweep you away without notice! A-ha! Curiouser and curiouser does the physicist ever get, and look what he finds and imagines: Big Bangs, and strings, warped spacetime continuums and twistors, accelerating expansions and dead-alive cats, black-holes and dice players!
I guess we can always douse ourselves in the spirit of Lewis Carroll and revel in the nonsensicalicious-ness that constitutes existence…“‘T was brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.” Or in Edward Lear’s nonsense poem The Owl and the Pussycat…
“They dined on mince, and slices of quince
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.”
Oure first moth’r shalt not bewray h’r secrets…Alrighty then, to her I raiseth mine own hat, raiseth mine own glass and sayeth, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Watch: The surrealistic music video of Up & Up by Coldplay – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPNTC7uZYrI
Listen: The funny sound of two colliding black holes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExReXpYdHns