"The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits." G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lucid Sententia XVI

Living systems are some of the most complex forms of being that that have emerged in our universe. In the mandane vastness of space and vacuum punctured occasionally with slightly more sophisticated collections of matter such as stars and galaxies, living beings as far as we know, stand apart in the sheer self sustaining complexity.

Being surrounded by life we have grown to take its complexity for granted; from swatting a mosquito, through slaughtering animals whose flesh we feed on, to finally killing of humans we deprive the universe of its most sophisticated creations.


Zegarnek said...

The universe introduced death as a self regulating instrument necessary for the crucial balance life-death.

First para I agree (more or less), The second is bit emotive though... I always appreciated the extreme complexity of living system (the 'miracle' of the mechanics of a mosquito) but it stings other systems (including humans), introduces a disease and we suffer or die. So killing is a part of the natural sustenance but death is introduced early, so there is a chance for early new life, therefore evolution acts faster.

Mariusz Popieluch said...

Sure - all good points. However the fact mentioned in the post remains.

Zegarnek said...

The 'fact' is in continuous existence since the first bacteria devoured another and found that: "It was good"; I therefore cannot see the value of the point, as in stating it in a repetitive manner, as being of any benefit.

Are there any external, subversive mind states that entered your reality, like vegetarianism, affecting your thought? If so I refer again to a persona (Professor Peter Singer), your 'colleague in faith' for a second review.

Mariusz Popieluch said...

I think that you may be overinterpreting my post. It is probably influenced by quite opposite factors to what you refer as subversive.

I have expressed a reflection which is not a value judgement i.e. whether we should or should not kill - seeing that as part of the content is something that you as a reader bring in to it.

The Lucid Sententia is precisely an expression of a moment of clarity outside any box; subversive, conventional, politically correct or what have you.

I've got Peter Singer's "The end of poverty" on my bookshelf, but haven't read it yet.

mark said...

Interesting post.

I'm intrigued by these comments, though.

Particularly: Zenon: "The universe introduced death as a self regulating instrument necessary for the crucial balance life-death."

I don't see how this can be true or meaningful, even as a metaphor.

The universe manifestly doesn't introduce anything for any reason. The universe couldn't care less about a 'life death balance' for the plain reason that the universe isn't the type of thing that has any cares at all.

Moreover, even if it were true, I do not think you could infer anything normative from the natural facts.

Anonymous said...

The first 'statement' and all the comments here are made form our, arrogant point of view of god-like humans, being the only 'entities' in the universe having mind and usurping that we know so much. There could be systems much more complex which treat in a way we treat bacteria.

Life-death are just different forms of energy being expressed in very complex systems. Once life emerged (sex and non-sex multiplication) death was necessary to follow. I guess the ratio 'life/death' is ~1.

If you prefer to use another way to explain the existence of death like: "Death just popped out of nowhere" I agree, it did.

What I understand by 'balance' (life-death)is a chemistry and a physics.

Reason. Well what can I say? I do not know that much about the universe... so I am just guessing.

Natural facts. There is still so few known facts - I hope.

One fact - if we take the 'personal' cells' count criterion 90% of 'our' cells' count are bacteria ( I am no longer surprised by the anecdote that we _all_ use only 10% of our brain).