Saturday, July 24, 2010

Of Oceans and Eggs

I recently read an article, Scientists find surprises in deep Atlantic Ocean, that details a recent marine expedition within the mid-Atlantic Ridge, in which they discovered what may be ten new species of marine life, including some coral that could be up to a thousand years old.

It never ceases to amaze me. It is the complexity of life that exists that leads me to believe in the Divine. I've always been someone who sees patterns and connections. While I am a proponent of evolution, such great diversity, I have difficulty believing happened solely by chance.

At the same time, it adds to the sadness I feel towards what we are doing to this planet. We are destroying it without understanding it. Humanity's immature capability to pillage and not take responsibility for our actions has always been one of our biggest downfalls. Yet it seems people are finally slowly beginning to realize. The environmental movement, or "green movement" seems to be more popular now than it ever was. Most fads I greatly question - at least this is a semi-productive one. The question is whether it will last long enough to make a real difference. I have no concern for the planet Earth. I have no doubt that no matter what we do to the Earth, after we have driven ourselves into extinction, it will bounce back. She's survived asteroids, meteors, complete geological makeovers, volcanoes..... dear Gaia will be fine. But we as humans should want to continue to be part of that process. Species either evolve(perhaps eventually into new species), or go extinct. Which will it be for us?

And for a final deep philosophical question, which came first: the chicken or the egg? Well, it seems scientists have officially answered it - the chicken. Guess all of our philosophers will have to come up with something new to ponder about. 


Dan said...

Interesting post. I agree with your assessment about people needing to conserve things, this is all we have for now. But I offer an alternative take. I believe in preserving nature not because it is some beautiful, holy thing. Certainly there are some beautiful creatures and scenes. I take pride in being a conservationist.

However, nature is just as dark, cruel, and brutal as it is beautiful. To me, there is no beauty in bacteria ravaging a person's body. There is no beauty in a lion slaughtering a calf for food. To me, humanity has been a burden on the earth, but also a beacon of hope for the Earth with our medical technology and knowledge. Dear Gaia will be gone in a few million years. Eventually our sun will supernova, rendering this planet to a chunk of rock. Then eventually the sun will die, creating a blackhole sucking in the planets of this solar system.

The question, to me, is can humnanity overcome its flaws and move on to different homes. I think they can. Technology and knowledge have progressed so much the last 300 years, I can only imagine where it will be in a few thousand. Here is one example of a place where humanity, when it finally grows up, could move prior to the destruction of our solar system:

The problem humanity faces is what held it back the last 2000 years: the Abrahamic faiths. I've read so much while researching my "why I left Christianity" paper I've yet to publish. The burning of the Greek schools of philosophy, medicine, and science coincided with the beginning of the Dark Ages, a period of superstition, cruelty, and 1% literacy rates. Don't get me wrong, I am not an anti-theist or atheist, I just am very suspicious of organized religion, especially the Big Three. When humanity can overcome that ignorance, then we can take better care of this Earth and learn to progress to the point where we can move to places like Gliese 581 when this place is no longer an option.

Chadly said...

I agree that by that time, the human species might very well be able to travel to other habitable planets, including Gliese 581. The concern I would then have would be: Will we have learned from our arrogance by then, so that we don't do the same thing to that planet that we've done to this one? Will we be able to live in harmony with the planet's already-existing life forms and ecology? I gotta admit, I don't have much hope for that one.

Angel said...

ROFL. Chad, man, that news broadcast made me laugh. I think he sounded so serious he was about to bust something major in his face trying not to smile on his last line.

*head desk* You have to have a chicken to have an egg. I don't understand why they would have to build a computer system to figure this out. It's kinda silly, honestly. The only thing I can think of would be to supposedly settle the debate between creationists and Darwinism. From how I look at the conclusion to this test it was a stalemate. The chicken could have dropped from the sky or it could have evolved. It's really kinda ironic, when you think about it! lol The poor creationists and evolutionist are looking at each other like, "well... crap. Now what do we do?!!"

I think only religious extremism would stop us from moving on from our violent ways. Fundamentalism. Fundamentalists are a fringe movement; don't let their loud bluster fool you. Most religious people today are moderate. We're not all strapping C4 to our jackets or passing out creationist pamphlets at public schools. Most religious people I know cringe in complete embarrassment when they hear stuff like this.

There are fundamentalist atheists too, and they've been guilty for equal atrocity in history. Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin.. to name a few.

My point is that extremism of any kind is to be feared. There is no excuse for violence.

I think that the humans who really wanted to get off Earth would find a way, religious fundamentalism or not. We are intelligent and adaptive.

Take this for example:

I think it's finally happening, Chad.