Bare Bones Biology 197 – Law of Life

Our basic human goal is to build a sustainable, reasonably comfortable future, within a healthy Biosystem, for the welfare of the seventh generation of humans yet to come.

Or at least that had better be our basic human goal, because if we continue playing around with our Trekky toys, we will end up – well, who knows.

If your goal is to help generate a sustainable, reasonably comfortable future, within a healthy Biosystem, for the seventh generation of humans yet to come, then you have something worthwhile to work for, and that is a blessing in itself.

111006-SantaFe-ASC_3474sNow please do not tell me you plan to accomplish that goal by telling the Biosystem how it must behave in order to be healthy. Right? Look around you. That’s what almost everyone is doing – trying to conquer the Biosystem, fold it up in a little package, roll it into a tiny little ball that we can put into our pocket, and let it out twice a day like the family cow, to give us what we cannot give ourselves – earth, air, fire and water.

That will not work.

What is the point of wasting our lives trying to do something that won’t work?

I have always thought the awfulest fate would be to spend one’s life struggling valiantly in the name of some false human God, such as winning or sinning or “follow the leader,” and then in the end realize that you had, talents and skills that could have been used to benefit others but you were too busy trying to be King of the Anthill.

But of course, humans are not omniscient, and so humans keep trying and failing to make a “better” future for our grandchildren. I think mostly the reasons for the failure are not lack of good will, or even selfishness, but mostly we don’t understand that we are part of a system, or several interconnected systems that are not human, and that these systems do not function according to how we believe they should function. So we get upset and throw tantrums rather than figure out how they actually DO function so we can get with the program.

Of course, all of the systems on earth do function according to very strict natural laws that make life possible on earth, and it would be the easiest thing in the world for us to learn about the laws of nature first, and then use our ingenuity to accommodate our cultures to the rule of natural law – rather than trying to squeeze nature into our unique human value systems.

Nature is not human and does not operate according to human value systems.

Nature operates according to the laws of nature: Gravity, thermodynamics, Evolution. We cannot accomplish our goal of sustainability by trying to change the ways in which nature functions.

And all around me heads nod – “of course – everyone knows that” – and then everyone goes on with the business of trying to make the Biosystem operate according to our human values. Wait. All but one. I hear one person over there asking the right question.
“How does the Biosystem function?”

And the answer is that Life on Earth, the Biosystem, operates, or functions, according to the natural Law of Evolution, and we cannot change that fact.

Now go and watch Neill deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos, quick, while it is still free, the second show, and remember:

1. evolution is NOT primarily survival of the fittest individual, and we will make no progress until we can get that soundbite out of our heads; primarily evolution is about the emergence of novel systems.

2. COSMOS is not an advanced course in evolution, but it is also not wrong, not a game, not an opinion, and it makes no difference whether or not you understand or agree with it.

You cannot possibly contribute to the welfare of humans on earth by arguing about whether or not well established facts are real. The best you can do that way is waste your own life. The real winners will be those who use real facts to benefit the Life system of which we all are part.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS FM radio, 89.1, Bryan, Texas.

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