SolSeed < Life
- All Life is precious.
- Wisdom teaches that in the mission of preserving, nurturing, and expanding the domain of Life,
- All successful life is
- Interconnected, and
-Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower
Without Life, the energy from Sol simply bounces off the planet. Life literally collects the energy Sol sends to earth, and stores it up for future use. Plants take energy from Sol and convert it into denser, more storable forms. The sugars and fats that our bodies burn are little pools of energy that originally comes from our sun. Ants carrying, eagles flying, people thinking ... none of these would exist if Life wasn't capable of storing up the energy Sol sends.
To define life in unequivocal terms is still a challenge for scientists (see Wikipedia:Life).
For our purposes, Life is the means by which the Universe engages Itself.
Everything, no matter how alive, is composed of atoms, finer particles, waves, strings and other energies. At some level of description, its behaviors are governed by the simple physical laws that order these basic constituents. And yet...
When we think about how and why a person acts, we rarely refer to simple physical laws. Instead we talk about needs, wants, feelings, desires, emotions, goals, relationships, and other organizing principles that are very far removed from the laws of physics. The behavior of a human being is governed by principles that Transcend and Include the foundational laws of Physics, Chemistry, Geology, and Astrophysics. Unlike the rest of the Universe, life-forms obey the Observership of the Universe through the conceptual artifacts of experience and meaning.
Contrast humans with mountains, glaciers, or planets. These simpler things merely follow the order described by the laws of the hard sciences. The atoms, finer particles, waves, strings and other energies in a live human body, while internally following the laws of the hard sciences, follow en masse the conceptual (non-material) order of knowledge and objectives.
The clash of the two orders have resulted in the transformation of the planet Earth. I.e., our observership-driven order of matter (in life-forms) is engaging NON-observership-driven order of matter (in the rest of nature). This engagement has been resulting in the generation and acceleration of a social reality comprising cities, towns, villages, highways, railways, tunnels, bridges, trains, cars, motorcycles, money, malls, supermarkets, department stores, television, telecommunications, the internet, and the like.
Life is the more precious of the two orders because it is the only order that allows the Universe to enjoy the ever greater thrill of engaging with Oneself at ever faster, emerging, and unpredictable levels of complexity - and perpetually keep fulfilling One's Creatorship.
Characteristics of Life
- Maintain internal structure (organization) ... (homeostasis)
- React ... respond to stimulus
Reduction in Entropy
Life is that which causes a reduction in entropy. entropy and life
"Living organisms preserve their internal order by taking from their surroundings free energy, in the form of nutrients or sunlight, and returning to their surroundings an equal amount of energy as heat and entropy." Principles of Biochemistry, 2nd Ed.
Continuum of Life
- Electrons, Neutrons, Protons ...
- Compounds and Molecules
- Amino Acids
- Prions ... protein only replication
- Viruses (Virions)
- Prokaryotes (Bacteria, Archaea) and Eukaryotes (fungi, plants, animals)
- Societies ... ants, termites, bees, humans
- Ecosystems ... Cascadia, Gaia, SolSeed
- How do these simpler constituents organize to form larger more complex orders
Serving Life as a Spiritual Mission
Life is the force that gave birth to humanity through the blind forces of evolution. We belong to it; we are all part of Gaia. Gaia, James Lovelock's name for the body of all Life on Earth, in some ways resembles the gods of other monotheistic religions: She created us, and she can easily destroy us if need be. Love, awe, and fear are all natural emotional responses to Gaia. As such, if the "Church of Science" ever develops a pantheon of empirically verified "gods," Gaia will be a natural candidate.
SolSeed's name is a metaphor, treating humans as potential "seeds" of a planetary superorganism. By allowing Gaia to reproduce through fulfilling TheDestiny, we will be serving Life in the biggest and most important way we can. If Life's purpose is to survive and perpetuate itself, always growing in beauty and complexity, then going to other planets to grow new members of Gaia's "species," which currently has only one member, is of paramount importance.
But it's equally important to support and nurture the biosphere we have rather than exploiting and destroying it. We are all part of the interconnected web of Life that constitutes Gaia, so anything we do to her, we do to ourselves. The general tendency of humans to ignore this principle over the past few centuries is the major reason why, before we can move on to making "new Earths," we may well need to re-terraform this one.
Serving Life also means directly serving each other and joining together as communities, both because our fellow humans are part of Life too, and because meeting the other goals above will need our species to be at its best.