The Magic in the Machine

We know a lot of things about the first few milliseconds after the big bang when the elements were created and and galaxies were  formed and flung across the nothingness. The galaxies are still moving and all of them are flying away from all the other other galaxies, expanding the universe.

Tiny things like planets came later and they were on fire. They  cooled down eventually and some of these wandering globs of what is called matter solidified.

Then something inexplicable happened. It came to be called “life ” and seemed to be be different from every thing else. While the rest of creation is still changing it is not evolving  like organic life evolves. That is where life and death come in. For all living matter life is a process of organization and death is a process of dissolution.

Keep in mind that I used the word “creation” but that does not imply that there was a creator. That argument comes much later in the story and we won’t tackle it here.

Scientists  have done a good job of charting  the chemistry of these organizations and dissolutions but,and this is the important part, they still don’t know where life comes from.  They have reproduced the same chemistry found in living matter but have not produced life.  the chemical elements do not burst into the flame of life no matter what we do.

After all these attempts we find that life can come only from life itself. The problem comes clear. How did the seeds of life get to this planet?

Astronomer  Fred Hoyle coined the term “Big Bang”  as a term of derision. He believed that the  universe was in an unchanging steady state. Advances in astronomical science proved him wrong,  Hoyle however advanced an  answer to the question “Where did life come from?”  He believed that it came from space in the form of viruses carried by  the ice in the millions of comets that orbit our solar system.

It is true that these bits of stardust rain down on us perpetually but  current thought dismisses this answer for a number of technical reasons.

Even if his answer were correct Hoyle would have missed the point. The question would now become  “Where do these particles get their payload of life.” There is no end to that descending chain of thought

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