Monday, October 18, 2010

Pen Meets Paper Oct.18'10

Opinion by Helge Nome
Ask yourself: If you were riding along inside a red blood cell, for example, inside the vein of a person, moving through the heart, lungs, etc., around and around the loop, would you have a sense of the person as such? Hardly. Yet we know that such a person exists, because without him or her there wouldn’t be any blood cell to hang out in.
So where is this leading? Imagine that you could look into the universe from outside and magnify any detail of your choosing. As you zoom in, galaxies whiz by and you set course for a promising one up ahead. As you enter, it dissolves into myriads of little light points spread out in the darkness around you. Coming closer to one of those light points, your sensors pick up a kind of fuzziness around it with some illuminated specs seemingly embedded. From a distance the whole arrangement looks remarkably like a single cell of some kind moving through the cosmic fluid around it. You also notice that the center of this cell is quite lively and appears to energize the rest of the cell.
What is the purpose of this cell? Where is it going? It is certainly moving along at a brisk pace, in relation to its surroundings, just like the red blood cell did, whose purpose in life we understand quite well. And its little heart is pulsating away, like the busy bee it is, keeping the cell alive, as do all the other cells we come across on our journey through the cosmic fluid. Do these cells somehow keep a great living and breathing being alive?
Do the red blood cells and the cosmic cells we call “solar systems” have purpose and intelligence? We understand the purpose of red blood cells, as seen from the perspective of the person they are a part of, but are they intelligent as well? Or are they just inanimate objects chemically designed to carry oxygen from point A to point B in our bodies? Is our “solar system” (note the objectifying term used) imbued with some kind of intelligence serving a greater purpose. Or is it, as the name we have given it suggests, just a conglomeration of objects spinning around in empty space?
As can be surmised from the above, this article asks a lot more questions than it pretends to answer.


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