Created by Jeremy Sherman on 13 Nov 2007 | Tagged as:
Organisms aren’t quite like rocks. Sure, we have things in common with them–we’re made of chemicals and conform to the laws of physics. Still, there are decided differences:We’ve got functional parts.We have preferences and pursue ends.We sense and respond to our environment.We reproduce.We use information.Things matter to us. We’re comprised of integrated interdependent intricate parts that would neither form nor come together by chance alone and yet are highly tuned to fulfill a variety of purposes.Our strongest intuitions tell us that since our intricate parts would neither form nor come together by chance alone, there must have been an engineer who designed them and put them together to serve purposes.In other words, how did we come into being? A more capable being built us to fulfill purposes.That’s a scientifically unsatisfying answer. But then so is the answer that we came together by chance alone.By current best estimates the universe is roughly 14 billion years old. In the regions explored so far we have found no signs of life before roughly 3.5 billion years ago. For billions of years, just physics and chemistry and then life. How did the living world–organisms for which things matter–emerge from mere matter?From physics and chemistry to life and consciousness–How? No really, how? With no smoke and mirrors, no abstractions, no mysterious forces, no promising but as yet unrealized principles, no invisible hands wanting us to emerge, no sneaking the rabbit into the hat so as to impress when you pull it out, HOW?If researchers did finally uncover a scientific explanation for the process. That would shift a great many debates.