I started this post thinking I was going to talk about belief in God. How stupid is that? Not belief, mind you, but talking about it. My philosophy has always been to let people believe what they want as long as it doesn’t interfere with my life or rob me of my rights. Proselytizing annoys me, so why would I use my blog to do that?
So, what was I trying to get to? I looked back at what I had written and found the kernel of truth stuck right in the middle of it. And yes, my first draft was written in cursive with a fountain pen.
My mind works in a very direct, but sometimes obscure way. I have this ability to assimilate trains of thought from many areas and synthesize them into something that makes sense to me. Hang with me. You’ll find this interesting. And you’ll probably need a drink when you’re done. I’m OK with drinking. I’m OK with just about anything. See my two rules above and add respect for others to that list.
It may come as no surprise that this came to me while out on a run. My mind was floating over all the things I had learned about why man is an endurance runner. So much of that capability led to the development of our large brains and from those brains we were able to discover the universe around us. Discovery is a great gift, don’t you think? Not only are we a curious bunch, but we keep poking at the clues we’ve been given, like fossils and the red shift, to keep finding deeper and deeper truth. And, more clues.
Here’s the leap that happened. Yes, I am sure it was right around that time during my run when I was glycogen depleted and my brain was deprived of the fuel for thought, literally. The kernel of truth that hit me is that there are two fundamental and all powerful forces that make our universe what it is. Funny thing is, they are so pervasive and subtle, they are almost impossible to measure accurately. I am talking about Gravity and Evolution.
We all understand gravity. The earth doesn’t suck. It’s gravity that keeps us here. No one argues gravity. Likewise, no one should argue evolution. It is a fact of the universe and has such a preponderance of evidence that it is a foregone conclusion. End of discussion. Really. I mean that.
Think about it. At some intersection of two other universes, which collided in some unimaginable space where an infinite number of universes exist, our little corner of everything was born. That collision dumped a bunch of distillate into what we now call our universe. Just a bunch of matter. Chemicals without purpose.
If I were given that kind of raw opportunity how would I make it into something special. I wouldn’t want to write it like a novel, all outlined and predetermined. The fun would be in applying a couple of simple rules and letting it go off, kind of like writing by the seat of your pants. Start the motion and discover what happens. Well, the mind that started our world kicked in gravity and evolution, swirled them together with all that raw material and sat back making sure that its basic framework wasn’t overly violated.
Why those two forces? Everything we get through our senses is a result of them. Gravity is what started the raw matter to coalesce. As the particles of sludge got closer together they started to create heat and movement and other derivative forces. Some things weren’t real stable and they failed, but some things, like the elements on our periodic table, hung in there.
Some chunks got so gravitational (bad word, but you get idea) that they started to generate light. Light coaxed other chunks to create water and complex molecules and all kinds of cool shit, like coffee. I am sure the guys on The Big Bang Theory are cringing. But it didn’t stop there. It never stops.
The universe is nothing but change. There are specific rules for the change, a lot of those are documented in what we call physics and mathematics and other sciences. Those are our languages to understand the gift we’ve been given. They help feed our curiosity.
And there I was running. Curious as to why I was drawn to the sweating and muscle labor. Paying homage to gravity with every step.
Our bodies are staged to run in gravity and I was discovering just how well we did that. Good running form is about keeping the effect of gravity at bay. Run smooth. Run easy. Land on the forefoot with bent legs and let the awesome mechanics of your body absorb the impact.
“The awesome mechanics of your body”. Yep. There it was. Evolution. We evolved to be distance runners. I won’t go into the evidence that that is true. There is plenty of it. It was running that let us track animals and avoid becoming food. Running is why we can think ahead of what we observe directly. It is how we became theoretical. We owe art, science, religion and language to running. Those are all things that come from big brains and our brains only grew because we evolved as the greatest distance runners on the face of the earth.
There you go. Life is good. Gravity and evolution have made it that way. They are facts and not subject to legislation.
As always, I’d be interested in what you think, although I won’t engage in a discussion on religion. Believe what you want, but respect my rules. Just want to let you know, so you don’t get upset.
Now, where’s that beer?