Saturday, January 21, 2017
Life is Unnatural
Life is unnatural. Yes I believe that. The natural state of something is the state in which it would remain if left alone, (think of how gases disseminate, or dust settles). Life is unnatural because--rather than settle out, or disseminate--the things that work together to make something alive defy nature at every turn.
Let me give one brief example. Biological organisms are chock full of molecular structures called 'enzymes' which could be characterized as the 'worker bees' of cellular function: they get things done. Now, there are certain enzymes that do nothing but facilitate chemical reactions. We're not talking about everyday, run-of-the-mill, natural chemical reactions. No, these chemical reactions take place at rates sometimes thousands of times faster and significantly cooler than they would occur 'naturally' (that is, unaided). Normally, increasing the rate would increase the temperature, but enzymes somehow manage to make these reactions occur at faster rates and cooler temps.
So you have these molecular structures, with no minds of their own, working together with other molecular structures, to bring about just the right chemical reaction, at just the right rate, and just the right temperature, to sustain life. Now why would molecules do that? What possible reason would a molecule have to work together with other molecules for anything? It's positively unnatural! Of course it's not just enzymes, there are thousands of molecular complexes throughout the biological realm that are actively working to circumvent nature.
Now if we were to witness unthinking entities doing unnatural things (like say, the brooms in the scene from Fantasia depicted above) we would immediately think "magic"... right? No, actually "magic" would be the last thing a rational person would think. We would suspect trickery or some sort of intelligent intervention to give the appearance of magic. Why? Because unthinking entities don't do things like that on their own. It's just not natural. So why do we give life a pass? Why do we believe life is some sort of magical miracle and not the result of intelligent intervention?
I don't believe in magic. Do you?