MathJax example

On the absurdity of not knowing...

I remember there was an excerpt in “The Selfish Gene”, about how life could’ve possibly started. How a certain reaction in a certain environment, with ammonia, CO2, water, UV-rays could’ve possibly resulted in a chemical reaction resulting in an entity that had an affinity to its own type. No one understands completely. But it churns out a natural query in one’s mind, the thought process being, how can something so complex such as a living being stem out from such simplicity. There is no affirmation to how life exactly started, if not magically, but there has been development on the latter front. Cell by Cell: The relevant research work was mentioned as Breakthrough of the Year 2018 (find the attachment). In summary, if this layman understood anything at all, the curious ones were able to separate and trace the cell development of multiple cells, and then chronologically arranging them in space-time, understand when a particular cell acquires a specialized trajectory (like go on to developing a specific organ). What was easier for the mind to grasp and deeply satisfying was this time-lapse of a salamander growing from a single cell:

Okay then, how are these complex living beings conscious, if there is any such thing. No one understands completely. It’s unsettling to not understand what makes us aware of ourselves and the world. But there are certain studies that bring natural selection into play. Thinking about a living thing or a self as an entity that sustains itself and produces more of its kinds, this requires the self to obtain energy and this is where awareness of surroundings would be handy, to move the self to new food. The following video is about a very simple animal called Trychoplax Adhaerens (T-rex as they like to call it) which has some cells but no neural system, organs, muscles. Micro-organisms wouldn’t need much complexity for the function of acquiring energy. In case of T-rex, it moves pretty randomly in its surrounding bumping into food. It slows down if it senses food chemically and speeds up in its absence. A “conscious” motive to acquire energy by T-rex.

Moving in a particular directional towards food would involve something that would enable the self to traverse around in its environment, perception through senses. Still this would only work when the food is within sensory range. In the absence of food, to find it, an inner representation of food would be the development natural selection would bring in, memory. The capacity to remember things in their absence (food or prey) lends to some anticipation of events in future, a sense of time. Language to relay all this information would then be the next logical development by nature. So, if consciousness is thought about as awareness of oneself and the environment, its origin would be a result of millions of years of development for survival benefits.

But what is the origin of the environment where life begun? No one understands completely. I remember how surprised I was some years ago when I realized for the first time that there was no actual picture of black-holes, only artist’s illustrations. The proof of their existence was the rapid speed of the clustering stars observed around the center of another galaxy, the calculations pointing out to their existence. But now it’s here.