So I’ve cracked the meaning of life just for you guys. I’m nice like that.
In the time we live in today, one thing is sure about the nature life: We don’t have the knowledge to fully understand it.
I guess not having that knowledge is the reason why we’re still at the stage of making theories about it. This is usually where religion comes in. Until now, most of us grew up with the over simplification that God made everything. Why? Because why not? To do what? Whatever the fuck he wants. He’s God after all.
That explanation is very convenient. It allows us to not push the question further. But, how about the rest of us? You know, us who are not satisfied by that fantastic explanation with no scientific basis, what are we left with? A whole lot of questions, that’s what. I’m starting to believe that maybe religion was created in order for us to stop asking questions. Having the answer already provided for us allows us to live better without fear of the unknown. Well, I think that’s lazy. I’ll even push it further by saying: it’s not only lazy; it’s actually the reason why we don’t have the knowledge to understand life. I know, I know, it’s a big one to swallow. But think about it. When you assume that you know something, you obviously don’t feel the need to learn about it. So how can we find the nature of life if we assume we already know it? So if you are ready to put down your Bible, or your Quran, or any other religious scientific book that you hold so dear for a second, you are ready to open yourself to the possibility that maybe you were wrong and you’re ready entertain the idea that there is no powerful magical being responsible for life, then let me take you on a journey inside my mind.
Life: The condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.
I don’t know about you, but this definition of life raises a lot of questions to me. The first one being: What makes an object organic or inorganic? Why is there that distinction in the first place? Are those two states of matter completely opposed? Are they even related?
From what we know, is we look at the atomic composition, the human body is composed of 65% Oxygen, 18.5 Carbon, 9.5% Hydrogen, 3.2 Nitrogen, 1.5 Calcium, and a bunch of other element that you can find on the periodic table for less then 3%. Those are the same elements that we can find in a lot of inorganic objects. What is it that makes something alive instead of inorganic? What is a dead organism compared to an inorganic object? Where does this growth come from? How is it triggered? What is the goal of it?
Well obviously, I don’t know. So I’m going to do what everybody else did before me: I’m going to make something up, try to see if it makes sense, and hope someone can prove me wrong so that I can learn something new and make better theory next time.
That simple? Well… yeah!
I think life (as we know it) is just a complicated state of matter that requires a certain number of elements and factors to come to be. That simple? Well… yeah! Why would it have to be more complicated? I mean that type of behavior has been seen before. Take the states of matter that we know for example: we have liquid, solid and gas. The same elements can take different forms depending on one factor: temperature. What I’m doing, is suggesting the possibility that there is a bunch of other state of matter that we don’t know about, depending on very specific factors, and one of these states is life.
This is a theory that already exists. It’s called the RNA world hypothesis, and it goes on the premise that RNA molecules under the right conditions and with ribose, could have created the first organic cells ever created which created which would have been the first form of self replicating life and nucleic acids would have evolved later as memory (I’m not going to get into it much because you have Google, use it). And when these elements are in that specific state they bound and work together with the goal of staying in that state. In order words, the goal of living is to keep on living. Believe me, you don’t really need to have a doctorate to figure that one out. Immortality is the goal of every single living organism. But for now it seems none has been able to reach this goal, so every single living organism has settled for the next best thing: Reproduction.
“Whaaaattt? What the hell does reproduction have to do with immortality?”
Well… Everything! Think about it. Reproduction is the only way to genetically live on after death. When you have children you pass on your genes (and so our genetic memory) to them and you live on (genetically). Of course, this idea defies the common perception of life after death with your consciousness still intact. Yes, calm down it’s ok. I noticed that it was hard for most people to accept that consciousness, as we know it, might not remain after death. It is understandable. The fear of death is part of our will to keep on living. It is only the nature of living to hope for eternal life after death. But is it realistic? I don’t think so. Our memories are stored in the brain, and when we die, the brain dies with it so it only makes sense that our consciousness (as we know it) is also gone in the process. This is usually the point where you’d ask me what I mean by “as we know it” because it’s the second time that I say it. Yes. I believe the way we see perceive consciousness is just one type of consciousness and the only one we know. This way consists of having access to the numerous memory of our lifetime that we can still access in the brain, and the person that we built through time and experience. This is what we all think defines us because this is all we know.
I do believe in the theory of evolution
Most religious people would disagree with me at this point, saying that what the soul is what keeps our consciousness. But since we agreed earlier to leave our baseless beliefs aside, let’s not talk about the soul for now. Calm down, I’m not saying it doesn’t exist; I’m just saying we need to open ourselves to the possibility that it doesn’t in order to make a new theory. But what if there were other types of consciousness? What if real consciousness was at a cellular level? Is it so strange? How can a spermatozoid know what to do when it is released into a vagina? How does it know what to do? I’m mean, I sure as hell wasn’t the one to tell it what to do, I barely know myself and the last time I was inside a vagina, I didn’t know much about anything. So how does this entity that we created have that knowledge? It doesn’t have a brain yet; it doesn’t have eyes to guide it. Is there a soul inside each spermatozoid? Yet it’s a live entity that has a single purpose of reaching an ovule and creating a full human out of it. Wait what??? Out of what??? I can barely bake a cake correctly! This microscopic thing divides into cells and creates a human being out of nothing inside another full grown human being who has no idea what’s really going on down there. Well, what I think is that this cell has a memory itself, and this cell has a consciousness on its own. It is what we call genetic memory. And going from that logic, I think every living cell has a consciousness of its own which only goal is to live on by evolving into different type of full grown living entities that we know today.
So as you may have figured out by now, I do believe in the theory of evolution #TeamDarwin.
The theory of evolution comes from the premise that all living entity has one common ancestor who was the first ever life form on this planet. Where did it come from? No one knows really. The possibilities are endless. I’ve thought about it sometimes, and if I had to take a guess, I’d think it was the union of the right elements, at the right time and under the right conditions that created that state of matter that we know today as life. That state of matter would have complex properties of course, but still one single goal, which is to remain in that state. In other words, the purpose of life is to live and to keep on living as long as possible. And since immortality is not possible yet, cloning one self into another living being (reproduction) is the only solution.
Of course, in order to accept that theory, you also have to accept the theory of evolution and the common ancestor, and since that theory has never been proven beyond a doubt, I’ll tell you why I tend to believe it:
- First of all, because this is a theory made by scientists who have actually spent their life actually researching on the matter. I’m talking about micro molecular biologists who know what they’re talking about here! Granted, God didn’t come down to give them the knowledge directly in their ears but I figured it was the next best thing.
- Second, the circle of life is exactly what it’s called. A circle. Have you ever realized that a living organism cannot survive unless it eats or feeds of another living organism? No living organism can survive solely on non-organic materials. I mean don’t get me wrong, we do eat minerals and water in order to survive but mainly, we eat other living organism like other animals and plants. Maybe because they are composed of the same things we are.
- Third, I do acknowledge the fact that we evolved into different types of species to the point were we barely look alike, but we have to admit certain similarities (Millions of years of evolution and genetic mutations would do that to you). Is it chance that most living creatures all have one head, two eyes, four legs (wings included)? Is it chance that the reproduction process is the same for most living creatures? Even simpler, is it chance that every single living entity tries to live by the same exact process which is cellular multiplication? I mean down to the smallest living entities known to man (bacteria and viruses), the process is always cellular division exactly the same way an ovule and a spermatozoid evolves into a baby. Some are just more complex than others.
Now, all of this is nothing new of course. But this is opening us to a lot of possibilities as far as explaining goes. The first one being that we are not only connected, but we are all part of the same entity. What I mean by that is that we don’t only all come from that one common ancestor, we are all a part of that one common ancestor. Everything that lives, is actually that one common ancestor who divided itself all the way to each and every living thing known to us, creating in the process an entire ecosystem meant to allow life to keep on going. And the funny thing is, it has been doing this on different scales for a very long time and it’s been under our noses the entire time. Look at our body for example: Our body is an ecosystem in itself, composed of individual cells that have the one goal of keeping us alive. Do you think each individual cell in our body knows that it does what it does in order to keep us alive? Do you think the anti-bodies inside us know that their only goal in life defend us against viruses or do you think they just do it because that’s what they were created for? Do you think plants know that they are part of an ecosystem and that without them there would be no life on this planet?
Of course not, they just grow and develop because that’s all they’re meant to do. And this is actually where I stand: All living entity is there to play its part. Every living entity is part of that one entity that I call life, and every entity, even if they think they’re individual beings, has a role to play in the development of life. If you think about it, this is rationalizing a lot of things we would consider as fantastic, even some beliefs. For example, maybe the notion of God making us in his image and being everywhere and inside us might refer to that first living being responsible for life on Earth. Maybe reincarnation is just the simple notion that we are all part of the same being and that on a different plan of consciousness, we have all lived each other’s lives (This would actually explain the impression of “déjà-vu” that we get from time to time). Maybe the impression of fate that we get from time to time is simply the fact that we are exactly where we are supposed to be because we all have a role to play and we play it the way life intended it.
Ok, I see a lot of confused faces now. Where did I lose you? Is it the part about all of us being part of the same entity? Ok then let me give you an example. Let’s take viruses (Shootout to Matrix).
Viruses are microorganisms that get into your body, and replace your cell with their genetic make up in order to take it over. Once it’s done that, it uses the cell properties to make a bunch of copies of itself and then all those copies do exactly the same thing individually. Would you denote a virus as a single cell? Would you not instead see the virus in its entirety, as a whole even though it’s composed of multiple cells that each plays their role? Well the analogy I’m making with living entities including us humans is the same. To our level, we see ourselves as individuals, not realizing that our single goal on this planet is to survive by doing what we are meant to do: Multiply by reproduction. On a side note, sometimes, I like to think as viruses and sicknesses as lives anti-bodies meant to reduce the number of humans (because since we’re assholes and all we do is put this fragile ecosystem at risk, we need to be eliminated when our number grows too much)
Now, I’m not going to act as if our lives didn’t matter.
In my mind we actually play a very important role in this eco system. In Darwin’s theory of evolution, there is also a theory that he calls: “Survival of the fittest”. It is the mechanism that is in part greatly responsible for evolution. Every living thing has in fact a very strong instinct of self-preservation, which as I explained earlier, is the basis of life itself (The goal of life is to keep on living). If this first entity’s goal was to survive no matter what, it would be very smart that every living entity derived from it would have a natural instinct for self-preservation. So like every living entity we would do anything to survive and when you look at the World we live in today, it really shows. Of course it used to be a time when the fittest was the strongest, but we can see today that the human race dominates the World today thanks to knowledge. So if you wonder what separates the human race from the other type of living entity, it’s knowledge. Knowledge is actually what allows the human race to live longer, to live healthier, to live better, to dominate other races without any type of physical superiority and to be 7 billion on this planet today. And as we get more and more knowledge as a race, our body evolves in order to fit this knowledge that we are now able to acquire.
So in fact, we do matter. In the last centuries, we have mastered knowledge of electricity, medicine, science, biology, communication, travel and technology and we seem to only get more knowledge faster as time goes. We understand concepts of space and time, of some of the basic forces that rules this universe and this knowledge keeps on growing exponentially. Unfortunately, with our mind expending, we have also started to grow out of our primal instinct of survival and replaced it by a need for pleasure, comfort and a lazy attitude towards learning, but the potential is still there. The human race is in fact very special. With knowledge, we have the potential to become the only living specie on this planet that’s fully aware of its role in this Universe.
So as I said before, this is obviously not something proven. I’m not even going to act as if it was a belief. It is just something that makes a lot of sense to me, so I made some researches to see if I might be onto something. And to be honest, it doesn’t matter much if I’m right or wrong about this; my goal was never to find the truth. My goal is to think for myself and with luck get you, who are reading this, to sit down and make your own theory. You don’t have to agree of course. To be honest, I would rather you don’t so that at least, we can start a discussion, a debate, an exchange, where in the end, we will both end up with a little bit more knowledge. And I know I’m a little hard on religion sometimes, but it doesn’t come from a bad place. Truth is absolute. It doesn’t fear being put in question, only lies do. So if your religion is true, it should not be afraid to be put in question. So don’t be lazy, use that brain and question everything.
Worst thing that can happen is that you’ll end up being smarter in the end.