The List

The first question that I might ask about this picture is where? Is it Mars, or someplace beyond Betelgeuse? It can’t be our own hunk of rock, can it?
The next question might be when? If it is our own Earth, is that a picture from the past primordial time Before Life? Or is that in a hundred years? After Life. Could that happen so soon?
Some may ask Why? If it is in our future, why would we allow it to happen?
Because: if I said, “Yes that is in our near future”, what would you do about it?
Explain away.
Hide it.
Ignore it.
Get angry at the messenger.
Have an argument with the cat.
Back to “normal”.
So, that is why we will stumble down the parabolic slope toward that picture.
At this point it is looking, quite simply, inevitable.
Explain away.
Hide it.
Ignore it.
Get angry at the messenger.
The picture does not show it but there will be life left on our rock. Life like what is on Mars. Tenacious little clumps of organic molecules that may, on what will be left of Earth, take another billion so years to become complex once again. Complex as in single-cell slithery things.
What happened on Earth over the past 4 billion years is a gobsmackingly unlikely situation. No, there are not “billions and billions of stars with millions and millions of planets out there, many of which are home to ET. The facts in that sentence drive to a conclusion that is unsupported by anything more than belief.
Sorry. Not a scientific conclusion. Not by a long shot.
What happened on our Earth probably could never happen anywhere else. We invented money.
Leading up to that mistaken pinnacle of achievement were an impossible series of big and tiny events that just chanced, eventually, on “sentience”.  H. sapiens is at the zenith of that absolutely unlikely plethora of events. That’s us.
The problem is, we have come to believe our own press. When we turn our thoughts to ourselves (when does that not happen?) we call ourselves rational beings.
Well, Rational Person, have you created yourself into “the perfect body-mind entity” whose interpersonal relationships are absolutely beyond reproach? And do you, every day, create some wondrous artifact or hypothesis?
No. And we adroitly rationalize that away by saying, But nobody’s perfect.
Of course, nobody’s perfect! That imperfection factor is the essence of life: always changing; fractally different; mutating into this (whoops – that didn’t work), or that (what the hell was that?), or something completely different… Endlessly
We know that life is always working, randomly, toward … “improvement”? Well – toward something! Surely! There must be some vector. A direction and a velocity. Science tells us that everything has that property of a vector. Doesn’t it? Simple question: Why should it? Is there a string connecting one random change to the next? A string that carries some super-sentient purpose?
Perhaps, but the random walk is usually toward entropy. That means chaos. Where every little thing falls apart into the smallest pieces and they eventually stop jiggling. Complete and utter death of the universe.
So. Might I respectfully ask: Why the hell are we helping entropy to happen faster by doing things to kill off life as we know it?!      ?
Perhaps, as one US Congressman said recently, about the lockdown versus the economy: But there is something more important than life and fighting the virus! There’s the ECONOMY!

Thank God we invented money! At least that trumpabolic supremity will survive until the end of time!

Please help by suggesting peer-reviewed articles to support each item, or comment to correct an item, or add items (this is a long-term project)

The List

  1. At the instant of the Big Bang in this universe, having energy that conformed to certain laws
  2. Us being in the distant arm of a spiral galaxy that has no currently rowdy neighbours (at this time – one suggestion is spiral galaxies are the result of galactic collisions)
  3. Having a complete mix of elements in the original cloud of our proto-sun out here on the distant arm (perhaps because of that distance, where heavier elements accumulated after the collision?)
  4. Having just the right amount of matter in the maelstrom that coalesced into a stable sun of a sufficient size and ultimately stable life cycle
  5. Having adequate amounts of heterogeneous material in the regions around the sun to enable the bits of mass to coalesce into rocky planets:
  6. Having the mix of elements that formed into our rock include a large volume of water
  7. Being smashed by another rock of about ¼ Earth mass early in the solar system formation to have eventually produced a large satellite
  8. The collision being of such force, and no more, that it burned off much of the volatile elements from the surfaces:
  9. That mass hit our rock at just the right angle to produce a particular angle of perturbation of spin around our rock’s axis
  10. That colliding mass, whose debris later coalesced into a satellite, now the Moon, established at a distance that was sufficient to become a long-term stationary orbit, and which directly affects our rock, now the Earth, such that the flexing of the surface and mantle due to tidal forces produces a heating of the mantle which largely counteracts loss of infrared energy into space
  11. Life from organic compounds
  12. Single-celled life
  13. Mitochondrial invasion of cells producing energy factories
  14. Oxygen formation at just the right density

3 thoughts on “The List

  1. This is like looking forward to my own death. No euphemisms thank you. It’s coming and there’s no stopping its advance.I’ll go gracefully. Life has been a blast.
    Will the moguls to the south of us do the same? Where will they stash their valuables after they’ve destroyed our world?


  2. The only thing remaining for me, once I quit this brief stay, will be some form of spirit matter. Having no idea of what that will be, we live in hope of some form of hereafter. Some of us cling to beliefs nurtured in childhood. Others speculate. I can only offer the following from “Crescent Beach Reflections”:
    “Nolite Timere”
    This story has many beginnings.
    It’s the ending that’s elusive.

    An old man shakes off his city clothes –
    Trilby hat in brown plaid,
    knee length Burberry,
    gray silk cravat,
    blue dress shirt with fraying cuffs,
    black braided belt, silver buckle,
    alligator moc toe shoes flecked with mud,
    stained white over-the-calf socks, garters,
    form-fitting riding breeches,
    and tattered long-johns.
    He drops a boar skin wallet, Gucci watch,
    Sony Ericsson cell phone
    and an assorted set of keys on a ring
    into a large bin labeled “recycling”.
    Then, from a long rack, he selects
    a rough woolen robe.
    Thus garbed, and with cold bare feet,
    he walks into the night.

    Once upon a lifetime,
    eons ago, and far into the future,
    as suns blaze then sink into silent black holes.
    As other universes sizzle into being,
    a monk, servant to a timeless Father God
    or Mother Goddess,
    lives alone on a great arid plain.

    One long and dusty day,
    when the biting winds chew at his blistered nose
    and bluebottle flies sting his festering cheeks,
    the monk feels his end draw near
    and journeys out into the desert.
    He sits in the cooling sand.
    He gazes at the immensity of stars.
    In these times, they sparkle brilliantly,
    even in the noon day sun.
    The swirling galaxies swarm in the purple sky
    as if some astronomical charwoman
    has shaken out her dust mop in the great wind.

    I know this is true.
    I am that lonely monk.
    I am old and my joints ache, even in the dry air.
    I lift my withered arms high up;
    the stars envelop me.
    I float like a wafted dry leaf,
    up inside the Milky Way.
    Down mega light years below,
    I see the planet Earth.
    Faster and faster,
    it spins like a moth around its flickering candle star.
    Soon it’s a speck of sand
    amid a trillion other worlds.

    I watch the Earth I had known evaporate.
    It is a dewdrop in the morning sun.
    My hand is full of spinning orbs of brilliant light.
    Meteors pierce my naked thigh.
    Yet I feel no fear.

    Long ago, my robe of wool and hemp
    had floated from my limbs.

    Suddenly, I feel a light too bright to bear.
    At its centre is a spinning, pulsating sphere.
    Sometimes the circle is a great triangle.
    Other times, it’s a tiny baby.
    From the light comes a great wind,
    blowing in steadily increasing circles.

    I float inside an enormous, living heart.
    I hear the steady rhythm.
    “Badoom! Badoom! Badoom!”
    A timeless voice calls out to me.
    At first, it’s loud. Then it’s soft.
    Next it’s a whisper, like a breeze in tall pines.
    Then I hear an echoing tongue.
    I don’t recognize that Voice.
    Yet I embrace its invading message:
    “Ego sum, nolite timere.”

    It is I. Fear not.


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