How we came to be …

September 22, 2006 at 12:23 pm 1 comment

Welcome.And congratulations.I am glad you could make it.Getting here wasn’t easy , I know.In fact , I suspect it was a little tougher thanyou realise !

To begin with , for you to be here now trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and curiously obliging manner tocreate you.It’s an arrangement so specialized and particular that ithas never been tried before and will only exist this once.For the next many years ( I hope ! ) these tiny particles will uncomplainingly engage in all the billions of deft , co-operative efforts necessary to keep you intact and let you experience the supremely agreeable but generally under-appreciated state known as existence.

Why atoms take this trouble is a bit of a puzzle – being you is not agratifying experience at the atomic level.For all their devoted attention , your atoms don’t actually care about you – indeed they don’t even know that you are there.They don’t even know that they are there ! Yet , somehow for the period of your existence , they will answer to a single rigid impulse : to keep you you.

The bad news is that atoms are fickle and their time of devotion is fleeting – fleeting indeed.Even a long human life adds up to onlyabout 650,000 hours.And when that modest milestone flashes into view ,your atoms will close you down and go off to be other things.And that’s it for you.The average speicies on Earth lasts for only about 4 million years ,so if you wish to be around for billions of years , you must be asfickle as the atoms you are made of.You must be prepared to change everything about yourself – shape , size , colour , everything – and to do so repeatedly. So , at various periods over the last 3.8 billionyears , you have abhorred oxygen and then doted on it , grown fins and limbs , laid eggs , been sleek , been furry and a million things more.The tiniest deviation from any of these evolutionary imperitives and you might now be licking algae from cave walls or disgorging air through a blow-hole in the top of your head before diving 60 feet for a mouthful of delicious sandworms !

Not only have you been lucky enough to be attached since time immemorial to a favoured evolutionary line , but you have also been extremely – make that miracuosly – fortunate in your personal ancestory.Consider the fact that for the past 3.8 billion years , a period of time older than some of the earth’s mountains , valleys andoceans , every one of your ancestors on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate , healthy enough to reproduce and sufficientlyblessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so.Not oneof your ancestors was squashed , devoured , drowned , starved ,untimely wounded or otherwise deflected from its life’s quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner atthe right moment to perpetuate the only possible sequence ofheriditary combinations that could result – eventually , astoundingly and all too briefly – in YOU !

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Barath  |  September 22, 2006 at 7:37 pm

    well wuld u look at tht… finally, finally .. i got an answer to tht question!
    amazin first post! i cant believe you wrote all tht urself!! *wink

    Reply

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