“Where do we come from? Where are we going?”
These are the two fundamental questions of the human race.
The origin of life and its fate is a topic of curiosity for both atheists and religious pundits alike. While the atheists put forward the scientific theories of the ‘primordial soup’ and ‘Darwinian evolution’, believers mostly go along the lines of ‘Adam and Eve’, Lord Brahma, etc. etc. You must be wandering why am I ranting about these already known facts, to answer your question I would just say one name Dan Brown.
I’ve always been an overly outspoken atheist, I could never stand those religious zealots, the self-appointed ‘messengers of God’, and those foolish human souls who believe and take shelter under the blessings of the so called ‘Almighty’. I have never understood why people say religion gives them hope, and in certain cases, even a reason to live! I’ve always believed that knowledge acts as the beacon of hope for the mankind, knowing the unknown, and that only by touching and seeing it can we truly believe in it.
I recently finished reading the novel ‘Origin by Dan Brown which essentially dealt with the two questions, “Where do we come from? Where are we going?”
He answered the question of origin of life on this planet by explaining Miller & Urey’s classic ‘Primordial Soup Experiment’, and thus referred that the process of origin of life might as well have been an abiogenesis process following the laws of physics, rather than the laws of biology. I, being a bioscience student, have always found it extremely unsettling and contradictory considering the fact that the entire living community on this planet is thriving based on some mode of reproduction or other, be it vegetative, asexual, or sexual, so naturally, the concept of abioginesis in relation to the origin of life have always been a bit of a shocker to me. But, Mr. Brown beautifully explained the concept of ‘order & chaos’, how the universe creates small packets of orders in order to create a larger wave of disorders, in other words, how large build up of energy eventually leads to the scattering of energy. Change in entropy, as we all know it, is one of the building blocks of this universe, and may as well be one the building blocks of the origin of life within the primordial soup. Thus, Mr. Brown further inferred that life might have well been created on this planet all those billions years ago just as a form to dissipate energy, which eventually led to Darwinian evolution because, as I understand, life always finds a way to continue its flow.
You see, the problem with this sort of explanation is that it throws away all the religious concepts of ‘ Genesis’, it throws away the entire religious community of the world right under the bus, because the theory of the origin of human civilization is the foundation of any religion on this planet. Teaching their followers about the Divine mystical power that orchestrated the entire process of Genesis is essentially the bread and butter of all the religious fraternities across the globe. History is the proof of how science has questioned religion in every step of human evolution, and we know how religion retaliated to that questioning over the past centuries, Socrates, Copernicus, Galileo, the examples are plenty.
Human mind is one of the most precious gifts of nature, its inquisitiveness, its creativity, its compassion have made it possible for the human beings to defend their position at the top of the food chain for the past many millennia. We’ve either successfully learnt to adapt with the change, or sometimes, we’ve become the change ourselves. Our thirst to know the unknown has led us to the most astounding discoveries of mankind, whereas, our fear of the unknown led us to believe in the existence of the Divine. I understand that universe do act in mysterious ways, in ways that are far beyond the reach of science at times, but is that really due to power of God? What is a mystery? A mystery is something that hasn’t been defined by science yet. Science is a progressive concept, which evolves with mankind, it is subjected to change, and a phenomenon which seems like a mystery today, might as well become a perfectly explained scientific incident in the future. There was a time when people used to think that the earth is as flat as a board and once you cross the horizon, you’d fall off the edge of the planet. But, the story is not quite the same now, is it?
Well, people may ask, if everything in this universe is controlled by the laws of science, then who controls the laws?
I’d like to answer that question like Mr. Brown did, ‘Nature’!
When none of us were here, Nature was. Nature is not the Garden of Eden, nor a work of Divine miracle, it was nurtured carefully and meticulously by the elements of this Universe, sun, wind, water, lightning. Everything started with Nature and everything is controlled by Nature, even the laws of science. This Universe is not a cold, lifeless entity, it has its own soul that has nothing to do with Lord Brahma or Jesus or Prophet Muhammad. The Universe just exists, with or without ‘God’.
Life originated in the very lap of Nature and humanity was a gift that Nature gave the Universe all those years ago, humans have survived through the process of natural selection, we’ve perfected ourselves over the past centuries, we became Homo sapiens from Neanderthals. We became humane. Losing our humanity in the hands of some religious deities, or even in the hands of technology, is not only an insult to the entire mankind, but also an insult to the Universe itself.
God didn’t create Adam and Eve, nor did Lord Brahma create human beings from his body parts, it was the forces of Nature that created life, and it was our struggle for existence that has made us the most advanced species on this planet.
So, if you want to believe in something, believe in yourself, believe in mankind and humanity, but above all, believe in Nature.
“Nothing is invented, for it is written in nature first. Originality consists of returning to the origin.” – Antoni Gaudí.