Struggling with Meaninglessness

searching meaning in meaninglessness

The Structure of Life

with one comment

It was 8.30 PM and while I was waiting for the bus to take me home from my workplace, I saw a huge cockroach on the wall near the bus stop. And then, I saw a lizard moved near the bug and just stared at the gigantic cockroach not doing anything as if knowing the cockroach is too huge to be taken down. Then another lizard did the same – just stared and moved around the cockroach and left. The cockroach is obviously too huge for both of the lizards.

Hence, I was wondering – Why didn’t both of the lizards cooperate and work together to take down the cockroach?

Immediately I imagined, what would lions do if there is a big fat bull standing right in front of them? The lions would have gangbanged and take down the bull together. What would chimpanzees do when they spot a threat? Either they would run away together or would attack the threat together. What would human being do when we face a global crisis? All nations would come together to create a solution for the problem. And this element of cooperation is obviously missing in lizards, and generally reptiles. Why? Why can’t lizards understand the idea of working together?

Because they are not evolved enough … eureka ~

Therefore, this brought me a realization that Evolution works by having a sort of hierarchy in Life, which the rule of thumb is – Life Evolve from Simplicity to Complexity

Origin of Life

I believe Life is a natural force, as natural as the force of gravity and electromagnetism which happens all around the universe. In other words, life is everywhere, governed by the force of Evolution, just like how gravity and light are governed by the law of physics. The degree of how complex life can be is heavily depending on how conducive the environment is. For instance, we can only find microorganism in Mars, perhaps some fishes/sea creatures in Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons (though just a hypothesis) and human being on Earth.

The more essential elements available in a planet such as hydrogen, oxygen, carbon (and others that can be found in periodic table), the more conducive the environment will be. The more conducive the environment is, the more capacity it allows life to evolve. And Earth seems like a nice little place for complex life to flourish.

All life started out being equal … first we have several microorganism around, then over a short period of time, microorganism multiply exponentially. And keep on multiply and multiply. Since resources are scarce, microorganism will thrive on evolving to gain upper hand advantage when competing with other microorganism. Therefore, Evolution is basically a natural way of the nature in maintaining a balance world where resources are scarce. Over time, some microorganism will evolve to be bigger, hence giving itself advantage over other microorganism which did not evolve and remain small. And this struggle will go on and on where microorganism will keep evolving to gain advantage over one another. When the Evolution reaches a complex stage, the microorganism will evolve to have legs. When organism have legs and could walk around, it will create an upper hand advantage over other life form which could not move. Hence, that’s what we categorize as Insect today. Basically, the hierarchy as I see it:

Microorganism –> Insect –> Fish –> Reptiles/Amphibians –> Mammal –> Humanity –> A.I. (Singularity)

To acquire certain trait, a creature need to climb the Evolution ladder, which is totally out of their control because Evolution is a game of probability. It’s a fate. It is out of the creatures hand. In other words, human being is not special. Individuals are not unique. We are all just a bunch of creatures trapped in the game of Evolution ruled by the law of probabilities. In the realm of probabilities, luck and chances play a prominent role in our life. Which means – Life is never Fair. You cannot argue how the cockroach lurking in my room, which will eventually be exterminated by my mum is born luckier than I do. You cannot argue how people born in rural Africa, a place of poverty-stricken, starvation and plagued by disease are luckier than people who are born in the western country where they get to eat hamburgers everyday. You cannot argue how a person with retarded mind living in the mental hospital all life long is luckier than Albert Einstein who is acknowledged as a genius and will be remembered forever by history for his mental ability.

I believe there is a reason why Nature allow imbalance to exist. I have not give much thought on this yet but I think perhaps it is something like the concept of man and woman – Both genders are very different from each other, yet bringing balance to the nature at the same time.

Is Imbalance important to bring balance to the nature?

Psychology of the Creatures

Let’s use back the cockroach vs. lizards as example. Let’s examine the differences between these two creatures’ psychology in the way how they react to potential danger. When I was young, I have this thought that cockroach is afraid of people because it seems that whenever I chase a cockroach, it will run away frantically just like how birds and cats do. Only recently I realized that cockroach actually do not react to human being rather, they react to movements and light. (I was sitting still on the chair and saw a cockroach moving towards me, oblivious of my existence. When I flashed a bright light, it ran away and hid at a dark spot.)

Hence, it brought me a realization that insects do not have the emotion of fear – just like a mosquito biting me without having the awareness that I have the capability to kill it by just a single move. So, it is pretty obvious that insects were evolved and programmed in the mind with simple instructions to explore the environment and survive based on their own inert function without having any emotions.

How about lizards on the other hand? I would say they have emotions because lizards react to people. They run away and hide when human is nearby. Lizards recognize human as threat.  Unlike insects, lizards (and reptiles) have bones and organs which is essential in having a higher level of mind and body. Therefore, lizards is one notch higher than insect. Yes, just one notch because apparently mammals are more complex than reptiles.

Reptile are solitary animals who live and hunt alone. Once reptiles lay the eggs, they leave them alone. Compared that to mammals which generally take care of their youngs and live in groups. A group of zebra staying and running together to confuse the tiger. A pack of dogs using wind and body odor to hunt for prey. Birds using flocking technique to be more efficient in foraging. Monkeys living in a social lifestyle where reciprocity plays a huge role in the relationship between the ‘tribe’. Living in group or socially definitely has an upper hand over solitary lifestyle.

But above all these, we have human being, which is on top of the pyramid, taking charge of the world. This imbalance which I mentioned earlier is what creates diversity. And this diversity is what creates the ecology and food chain. True, it is so much more miserable to be born as a cockroach but it will serve the purpose from ecology point of view – get eaten by bigger animals.

By analyzing the pattern of animal’s behaviours, I hypothesized there’s a correlation between traits of animal behaviours and the level of how evolved the creature is. The more evolved the creature is, the more complex it becomes. The more complex it becomes, the more sophisticated survival techniques it will deploy. And this variety of survival techniques is what created the existing diversity of life that we can find on Earth.

Future of Humanity

At the moment, the pinnacle of Evolution would certainly be human being as we are the only species which have deep consciousness and intelligence. But if you think human being has reach the very peak, then you’re wrong – human’s mind is still rapidly evolving. I truly believe there will come a day when humanity will evolve out of our tribal instincts in the future and become more cohesive in our thoughts and ideas. Among the list:

1. Extreme thoughts such as sectarianism, fundamentalism, and racism will slowly fade away from humanity. (The acceptance of Barack Obama as president)

2. Global scale war among nations will cease. (It has been 65 years since a major war erupted). Human being is starting to value peace more.

3. Humanity will become more and more secular and will slowly disassociate ourselves with God, religion and irrational beliefs. (The rise of secular and free thinking movements)

4. This is a controversial belief of mine – Backward nations, like countries in Africa, will become more and more of a laggard because generally, the mind of the people there is slightly less evolved (in micro scale) compared to people in advanced countries. (The stagnancy of Africa countries)

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By the way, I got this from my all time favourite philosophical movie – The Matrix. Pretty insightful.

I like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species (human being) and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammals on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment. But you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease. A cancer of this planet. You are a plague. And we … are the cure – Agent Smith to Morpheus.

I like the thoughts on natural equilibrium. How did human being destroy the equilibrium? Deforestation, overhunting of animals to extinction, garbage, constructions and development which pollute the world, wastage of resources, etc.

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Written by elan85

December 22, 2008 at 4:27 pm

One Response

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