The Genius of Invention and The Genius of Evolution

walker

100th post. Yay. Now let’s get on with it.

I often compare evolution to an obsessive compulsive mad scientist—constantly tinkering and experimenting, but never reaching absolute perfection. Each experiment branches off into several others and those several others branch off into even more. People on the science side of the fence will tell you evolution is a mindless natural phenomenon and folks on the religious side will tell you an über intelligent being created all of the relative diversity we see. I don’t quite see it either way. I think we need to reexamine what we think we know about intelligence. Remember we haven’t even scratched the surface of what the gray mass nestled behind our eyes is capable of. I think it is incredibly myopic to think that intelligence is only reserved for brains. My argument is that intelligence can exist outside of an animal’s head. Look at the brilliance of our solar system. Everyone is in their right place and because of this we occupy the only planet capable of such diverse life. Just pop in one of those BBC Blue Planet DVDs—the diversity just in one species alone will floor you. And then let’s not mention the many regional differences. Hell, look at all the damn shades and shapes we come in!

THE MAN-MADE RELATIVITY DESTROYER
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The very machine you are using to view this blog is one amazing contraption. It kicks relativity’s tricky ass in so many ways. We can view still pictures, moving pictures, text, graphics, works of art, crazy meandering blogs by insomniacs (sorry, snuck in a plug there) from all over the world and even outside of it. We can even communicate with each other through it. We can even book plane tickets, hotel rooms in foreign cities, order pizza, battle aliens with buddies who are scattered around the globe. We also have hand-held devices we can take anywhere and because of this we are able to do many of the same things no matter where we are on the planet. Just fascinating. All these little time travel devices everywhere and we take them for granted.

FAST IS SLOW, SLOW IS FAST

I just got in from a moon-staring session and while staring up at our beautiful misunderstood mama who only shows us one side. She doesn’t want us to see all of the bruises she bore for us. This side is brighter than her dual-colored near side. Looks almost nubile from this angle. Anyway, she appears to just sit there in the sky although she is orbiting synchronously with us. This near perfect dance we do is a remarkable feat of universal engineering, but why is it this way? Look at what goes into it. We are spinning around at our widest part, the equator, at about 1,000 miles per hour and we orbit the sun at a speed faster than that. The moon, in order to hide her often misnamed dark-side, spins at about 10 miles per hour. She’s just chugging along. We think she’s moving slow, but it’s that ol’ Tortoise and Hare bit. We have to spin like a whirling dervish so that we each get a turn to see her and she just toddles about and still gets to see every inch of us, but we only see one side of her. Now we orbit the sun at a ridiculously fast speed of 67,000 miles per hour. So a day is when we make one full turn at 1,000 mph and a year is one spin around the massive sun from a distance of 93,000,000 miles away and at a speed of 66,000 miles faster than we move in a day. And to make it even more twisted up the moon just puts along at 10 miles per hour and we only see a fraction of her. And although she appears to be diminutive she helps to regulate the tides, the weather and even our orbit. She’s a hard workin’ woman and just like our mother we wouldn’t even be here without her. We need to go pay her another visit. We’ll make sure to bring flowers and a box of chocolates this time.

Okay, got that? Good, now go outside. Whether it’s day or night the sun or the moon respectively will seem to just sit there in the sky, although we know our orbit creates that dear illusion of rising and setting. You can stare at the moon all night and you will never see her move, but as time elapses she seems to move about the sky. What’s going on? You never took your eyes off of her. We’re moving away from her and we’re moving pretty fast, but we don’t feel it. We feel as if we’re standing still. Although we have all of this craziness going on in our solar system we only acknowledge light and dark. Even when our day/night cycles fluctuate we barely pay attention. We just throw on some cooler clothes and jump in the water or crank up the air conditioner. We don’t even flinch because we expect the change. It’s a pattern in the chaos. We know it’s going to be hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Only in a few places is it is perennially warm or cold— the equator and the two poles respectively. Our sky is pretty boring in comparison to all of the relative diversity right in front of our faces. If our sky showed its true nature we would never take our eyes off of it. Imagine if we could see all of the stars and galaxies. It would be an overwhelming mess. It would be so bright that our sun would become irrelevant. We seldom look up because we know what’s up there so we just busy ourselves taking in all of the constantly evolving relative diversity all around us and even adding to it. We only care to look up when something extraordinary happens.

THE EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY
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Wow, what a beautiful sunset. It becomes even more awe-inspiring when you think about all of the work that went into creating it. Just like a work of art. But this beach is far from complete. It is still evolving. Now we may think it’s a done deal while we marvel at its beauty. That’s just part of the trick. Although we know we occupy a spherical planet that is constantly spinning in a solar system that moves about the different arms of our galaxy and even our galaxy moves through space, but we feel as if we’re standing still on a flat surface. All of this movement fools us into complacency. And even when you know this it changes nothing and that is the staggering genius of our universe.

YOUR EYES ARE DECEIVING YOU
pine_tree

What do you see in the picture above?

It’s a tree wise ass.

Hey, be nice, I’m trying to make a point. Yeah, I know it’s a tree and I’m pretty sure everyone else does as well. Okay, what about the picture below? What do you see?

Cafewall

The lines in the picture are actually parallel. The staggering of the black squares creates the illusion that they are slanted. If you remove the relative diversity of the squares you will see the truth. Damn, I sound like a broken record. If I type relative diversity one more—

Damn it.

SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU SCRATCH YOUR HEAD
We view the earth like the pic below because of our equator and rotational axis.

earth

But why don’t we view it like any of the pictures below?

earths

In space there is no up or down regardless of an axis or bowing-out equator. The very nature of space subverts all of that nonsense. If you ever find yourself in space hovering about you will notice whatever way your positioned is right, but if you close your eyes you lose all sense of direction. So from space the illusion of up and down or left and right is destroyed. If you are flying into space you are pulling away from the relative diversity of earth into a dark infinite void. In order to get back to the up and down, left and right bit you would need to occupy a space that was relatively diverse and had indications of up and down and left and right.

wolf

Notice how you perceive what is up and down in this picture based on the visual cues. The laptops and the three men sitting “right-side up” help to win the relative contrast battle over the woman hanging “upside down.” Truth is gravity has been thrown out of the window. Everything in this pick is either adhered to their respective surfaces or in the case of the astronauts holding onto a surface to prevent floating into space. This is inertia in action like a mutha. If they let go or detach themselves they will float around the shuttle and if you hurled a bowling ball or a feather or even an elephant at them they will weigh nothing just as the astronauts weigh nothing. The air particles are so large in space that we cannot breathe them. In order for a person to breathe in space they would have to be freakin’ massive. Like bigger than a billion galaxies. At that size you could inhale everything and not even notice it. Planets, suns, moons, everything would just flow down your throat undetected and unseen. Now imagine you weighed less than dust and were as small as a dust mite. Check the pic below.

ball stack

Imagine the balls are air particles; you would not be able to breathe those in if you existed inside of them. You would have to occupy the space in between them in order to live. The particles in between would be much smaller. Now these particles don’t stay in place like in the picture, they are swirling all around. They have to so creatures large and small can breathe the right sized air particles. They get larger the higher we go into the atmosphere. The air seems to get thinner because the particles get bigger. Our galaxy and the many other surrounding galaxies occupy a massive air particle—think of it as a giant bubble—and all of the matter that exists inside of it swirls around and get this, this massive particle is expanding. Now here’s where I’m going to lose a lot of you. Something tells me this expansion is occurring inside a star and we are expanding from an infinite radiating core. The trick is finding where that infinite radiant core is. The black holes around us suck in stars and matter and create the radiance you would see if you were hovering outside of the star that houses us. Now we will expand until the star gets too big and then we explode, but get this, the death particles will go onto create more stars so even when our star dies we still live on. Now think about that when you look up in the sky. You don’t have to buy into any of this stuff. It’s just fun to look up into the sky and imagine that we exist inside every star. Also, stars are exploding all of the time. So when you look up there you’re witnessing yourself be born, then die and then be resurrected simultaneously ad infinitum. Hey, it’s cool to sit outside with a glass of chilled wine (the cheap stuff) and think about this as you get lost in the great expanse.

DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME
The Breakfast Club

I didn’t forget about you water. Whereas the air particles high in our atmosphere are massive, the particles that make up water are small and they get smaller the deeper you go. So small and so densely packed together that they can crush us if we do not have the proper protection. As you move closer to the planet’s core the water particles get smaller and more dense. But get this, if you submerge yourself to some ridiculous depth and scoop up a glass of water and then return to the surface the water will be transparent, not black like it seemed in the abyss. Of course this is due to the absence of light at those depths, but where does all that pressure come from and why is there no pressure in the glass of water we retrieved? It’s because of density. The particles are so packed together that the cushion provided by the spaces between the particles are so small due to the incredible density. If you remove a relatively small portion, the particles get room to breathe because they are not cooked up with so many of their buddies.

Oh, and I have to dedicate a few lines to John Hughes. I missed Gen X by a couple of years and I didn’t see his movies when they were supposed to be relevant to me, but I still enjoyed them nonetheless and their buoyant but non-condescending nature put me right back in high school. Thanks for the fun times John.

SPEECHLESS

It is simply fascinating that we have fused universal elements together to make this possible. But we shouldn’t be so quick to pat ourselves on the back because we only did what the universe already knew was possible (these elements in some form or another have always been here), it just needed another fusion of universal elements to actualize it.

HERE, BOX THIS UP TO GO
You ever notice how the moon appears larger the closer it is to the horizon and then appears to shrink as it rises into the sky? It’s actually the same size the entire time. It’s just another one of those illusions I so dearly love.




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