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Friday, September 23, 2011

Purpose

When the young Earth cooled, it rained for centuries, filling up the oceans. Thunder and lightning in the Methane, Ammonia atmosphere of the primordial Earth filled its newly formed oceans with all sorts of organic molecules including several Amino acids. Through millions of years of permutations and combinations, one molecule came to be. Ribonucleic acid, or RNA.

RNA had the ability to make copies of itself. And the copies could make copies of themselves and on and on and on. But then the RNA can copy itself only if it has the necessary raw materials around. And the copies would survive only if they were protected from the harshly corrosive oceans of the Earth.

So RNA evolved. It covered itself in a sheath of protein. Cells became the copying machine for RNA. But how can a cell protect itself? Cells learned to move away from danger, unicellular organisms formed. RNA multiplied a little more reliably.

But unicellular organisms are not the best survivors, they are too delicate. Cells clumped together to form multicellular organisms that could sense their environments in many different ways. These were true survivors, soon they would be out of the oceans, away from the corrosive danger of water.

The tree of evolution produced millions of species of plants and animals. Complex sheaths of protein to protect and replicate RNA, safely. But then, species go extinct because of the forces of nature. One comet wiped out the dinosaurs, products of millions of years of evolution. With the dinosaurs went countless trillions of fresh RNA.

In the next round of evolution, cells clumped together to form larger brains. Finally, a brain large enough to work out ways to manipulate nature. Homo Sapiens, the ape with the power to change the planet. This then was the safest RNA replicator ever produced. A magnificent effort by one mindless molecule, RNA, to survive.
But the Earth will not last forever. When the Sun swallows it up in a few billion years, RNA would be gone forever, at least from this part of space. The human brain evolved, producing ever increasingly complex technology to change the planet and its surrounding. Already it has the potential to change the orbit of the Moon, thereby changing the entire Solar System, subtly.

One day, the Universe itself will collapse on itself. All RNA would be gone for ever.

Our purpose then is to stop this from happening, to create a steady state universe that is eternal. Then only will RNA continue to multiply for all time to come.
So, could this be the answer to our nature and purpose? We, humans are the way we are because we are the most efficient RNA multiplier created by nature. Our purpose is to let this multiplication happen through all eternity.

All our values focus on the preservation of life, peace and a happy environment. Because a healthy and happy human body produces more and better RNA than any else.
We should not be annoyed with RNA for creating us as its copying machine. Because RNA does not think.

It is just a molecule.

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