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Pondering the Mystery of Life

My Beautiful Moon - An Admiration of Fantasy

Looking up at the dark night sky this evening, I have always wondered why I fall in love with the moon every time it appears in the grim Prussian-blue sky. Perhaps it is because on this side of the globe, the moon almost always appears when the weather is calm. Perhaps it is because the otherwise pitch-black country is now lit with a dream-like dim light that always lures the small nocturnal animals out of their warm burrows. Perhaps it is because of the surreal look of the heavens as the grey clouds resemble scattered balls of cotton dipped in dark ink.

Whatever the reason, I feel slightly hypnotized by the lunar sphere that is so bright, so much that the sparsely-populated clouds gather in its path, as if attempting to be cleansed of their dark ink-like look. The moon looks both cold and warm at the same time; all the same, it exhibits a graceful climb in the dome of the sky, claiming its dominance over all the mystery of the night. The wind won’t blow tonight, and the trees on the ground will have a chance to rest, to bathe in the soft feathery light of the silver ball up there.

Stars shy away from the moon like deer scampering from a wild cat. The triumphant moon smiles down on the silent, motionless grass as the crickets hop out of their hiding places. Tonight, the magnetism of the moon will attract human festivals and also some romantic lovers who need a breath of fresh air; it will also attract the waters in the oceans and seduce them into abandoning the beach. The waters will churn and swell and attempt to rise in order to kiss Miss Moon but she will make haste and disappear to the west. But before she does, the wolf will climb on a boulder and howl a long cry of greetings. When the moon is gone, the stars will tiptoe back to resume their familiar, cunning beckoning. Once more, a breeze will come out of nowhere and soon accelerate into a chilling wind, scaring the clouds out of their slumber. The owl will issue its call, lamenting the exit of the moon.

As the night grows darker, the sky seems to gain more depth. The star-field gains a three-dimensional look, looking deeper and deeper than ever. An occasional asteroid shoots past with a proud white-hot streak and disappears. The stars continue their insistent beckoning. I wonder for how many years they’ve been doing that, and what mysteries they shelter in that enchanting vast space.

Did They Create Themselves?

Interestingly, I am not alone in my baffled observation; the astronomers have been doing it for centuries. In their research, 1) they’ve established that each star is a sun, and each sun is most likely being orbited by planets. While billions of stars make up a galaxy, 2) and so many of these galaxies travel in an ever-expanding universe, one can’t help wondering what the very meaning of life is. One wonders why the rest of our huge Solar System planets are bare, barren and empty while our tiny earth is bursting with life, and everything needed to sustain that life is available on earth. One wonders why Earth is “placed” in the perfect spot (known as habitable zone), why life is one mysterious self-sustaining phenomenon.

My mind spins with questions: why did these things “create” themselves? How did DNA manufacture itself? If matter—especially organic—occurred by itself, how did it end up being so seemingly ‘intelligent’ as to know how and where to stay, how to behave and how to co-relate? Why is the eco-system so perfect? How did living things invent the word “love”, which seems to bind them all together in one complex web of interdependence? Parents and siblings love and care for one another, thus sustaining life, while they do so unconsciously and by reflex.

The layman will have only one answer to all these questions: it doesn’t make sense.

A Layperson's Perspective

Stuff creating itself doesn’t make sense, and since I am a layman, I will make the same proclamation. If stuff created itself, then my poor body would have the ability to heal itself without need for a doctor. My body would understand itself inside out; it would adjust and modify itself into whatever it pleases. I know these arguments will appear lame and preposterous to a scientist but the more we consider the layman’s perspective of these things, the more interesting it appears. The layperson refuses to accept that all this perfection—that fits into place like pieces of a jigsaw—fashioned itself into existence.

Far from that, the human being has for ages had a deep desire to belong. Humans have for long craved for an extra-terrestrial deity to own them and govern over them. 3) While that doesn’t prove existence of such a deity, one is however attracted by the notion of intelligent design in respect to nature. For the layperson, ‘Intelligent design’ is the phrase that best explains all the questions, especially if the said layperson is not an atheist. Note that atheism and any religion whatsoever are built on belief, and believing in something doesn’t necessarily guarantee its authenticity or existence.

That said, a general layperson will examine things with an open mind and so doing will point to a surprising direction: nature seems to have been designed with an incredible accuracy; every piece of the jigsaw carefully put into place.

Organic life seems to have been pre-programmed a long time ago by an entity who knew exactly what they were doing. This entity must have manufactured the central core of biological life—the DNA—and put into it all the information needed to produce a living being. If this theory is correct, then that would explain why we have no control over our bodies and why we don’t know our fate. It would explain why we have brains so complex to study, why geniuses and savants seem to know things they haven’t been taught (I know there is a kind of a scientific explanation to that but hey, we are lay people, aren’t we?)

One staggering fact is that there are indeed so many worlds out there in the stars which may hold the answers that we crave for. However, I won’t pretend to acknowledge that science will give us the answers any time soon; not while they mention to us the words “light year”, and make us realize that the stars are obviously out of our reach.

Science in Society | Astronomy


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