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FYI/Rakesh/Ch-1

On the Existence of God

Even before writing this first sentence, I could sense that this topic would get likes and dislikes in an equal amount. Nonetheless, I would like to venture into this topic chiefly because it bugs me. And I would like to distribute this disturbance in my head into the minds of all you good people. As you shall see in a while, this is just the essence of the second law of thermodynamics. Some facts:1. One of the most interesting laws of physics is the second law of thermodynamics. It is a most fundamental rule in nature and it says that energy always creates new disturbances. The natural flow of the universe is from orderliness to disorderliness. You may contain energy in a device, a battery for example, in an orderly fashion (as potential energy difference between the terminals of the battery) but sooner or later, this will be used to power devices and this creates a natural disturbance in the orderliness of the universe(suppose you use the battery to power a bulb, then the light energy and heat energy emitted from the bulb is absorbed by the air molecules surrounding the bulb. This increases their random movement and hence increases the disturbance). This disorderliness is called entropy and it is uni-directional. That means, the overall disturbance in the universe can only increase but it can never decrease. That means, since the Big Bang, there has been a constant increase in the disorderliness of the universe.

Now you may ask the question, By storing energy in a battery, I am restoring some order in the universe. Hows that for an argument?, for which I shall retort by saying that, though, you have created orderliness in the energy contained in the battery, you have created disorderliness -of a magnitude more than the orderliness- during the process of storing that energy in the battery. That is the reason why I have put overall in bold in the previous paragraph. Imagine how much energy is lost in the form of heat during the manufacturing, storage and transportation of that energy in the battery. You have effectively converted orderly energy (of water falling over a cliff and rotating a turbine) into orderly energy (power in the battery) at the expense of a loss of certain amount of energy in the form of heat (because the efficiency of this energy conversion can never be 100%). Therefore, the net effect is that you have increased the disturbance in the universe. All this is a one way process. And no exceptions to this rule were found yet. Do inform me if you do. If you are wondering why I am telling you all this when you could have spent this valuable time thinking about how to impress your colleagues/boss/employees/friends, please remember that without this law, life would not have existed. It is this tendency to evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium that reactions have taken place forming complex molecules and gradually life. Please read on to know a little bit more about these complex molecules. 2. The world belongs, not to us, but to bacteria. We are not even close to being the masters of this planet. That is just our ego talking. We neither have the strength, nor the persistence to tackle the worst that nature has to offer. If nature thinks oh Ive had it with these humans, then we would be wiped off the planet within a blink of an eye (in natures time). But no matter what Nature did since thousands of millions of years, it could not rid itself of bacteria.

To quote Matt Ridley from his famous book Genome, Yet the remarkable truth is that we come from a long line of failures. We are apes, a group that almost went extinct fifteen million years ago in competition with the better designed monkeys. We are primates, a group of mammals that almost went extinct forty five million years ago in competition with the better designed rodents. We are synapsid tetrapods, a group of reptiles that almost went extinct 200 million years ago in competition with the better designed dinosaurs. We are descended from limbed fishes, which almost went extinct 360 million years ago in competition with the better designed ray-finned fishes. We are chordates, a phylum that survived the Cambrian era 500 million years ago by the skin of its teeth in competition with the brilliantly successful arthropods. Our ecological success came against humbling odds.

But bacteria have been around since at least 2 billion years. They are found in the deepest recesses of the earth where there is no oxygen. In the hottest springs where the temperatures are as high as 120 degrees Celsius. They are found all around us. It is approximated that there are at least 400 different species of bacteria in our mouth. There are bacteria in our digestive system without which we could not process food. There are trillions of bacteria on the surface of our skin. There is 10 times more carbon under the earth in the form of microbial life than there is carbon on the surface of the earth. We live in the world of bacteria. They are the reason we are alive. It is their planet. Not ours. They have been around before us and they shall remain to be around long after we are extinct. They are the ultimate beings of nature on earth. Shall we model all our Gods in different forms of bacteria? Not likely.

3. We are an insignificant part of the universe. The universe is approximately 14 billion years old. Humans in the form resembling us, have been around for less than 2 million years. We have not been around for more than 0.0005% of the history of the universe. And yet we presume to be the centre of attention for the whole universe! Let alone being the centre of attention, we are not even at the centre of the universe or even our own galaxy for that matter. It is a chance occurrence that we have evolved into who we are. There is a good probability that there are species on other planetary systems in the universe who are much more highly evolved than humans and also much more ancient. Like the great teacher and nobel laureate Richard Feynman said, I prefer not knowing something to believing in something that is wrong. We dont HAVE to have a purpose in the universe. Infact, I believe that we do not have a purpose. Why should there be a purpose? Different religions believe in different things. God came to earth. He sent a person to EARTH. Its too simple. When you look at whats out there, all this sounds just too simple.

4. Our consciousness has limitations. What is consciousness? That is the fundamental question. A profound observation made by Matt Ridley was that in the beginning there was RNA. The world was a primeval soup of RNA. From them came DNA and from them came proteins. From proteins came microbes. From them came the first aquatic plants and animals and through billions of years of evolution, humans. Think about it for a minute. RNA has been the machine which is running the cycle of life. It has created itself a body. This body has evolved into us. It has undergone such complicated processes that now that basic RNA has created the human body and has become conscious of itself through us. It is really amazing. We are nothing but descendents of this giant and ancient set of molecules. The same set of molecules run in

any living creature on and in earth. These four sets of giant molecules-Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, Thymine/Uracil(thymine in DNA and Uracil instead of thymine in RNA) or A, C, T/U, G-can be found in goat, fish, humans, bacteria and every other living organism. The way these sets of molecules are arranged in each living organism is the ultimate bases for comparison. Charles Darwin said, Man with all his noble qualities still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origins.

If God is described as being omni-potent, if God runs through each and every being, if God is present all around us from the basest animal to the highest creature, then what better fits this God-description than RNA.

5. Our genes are our ultimate horoscopes. We now know where we came from. What are genes? Simply put, there are to the proteins what a recipe is to a cake. What are proteins? Simply put, they are everything in us from hair to tissue to cells. What is DNA? Simply put, they are the replicators of proteins. They are the proteins Xerox machine. What is RNA? Simply put, RNA helps DNA in translating the proteins. Therefore, we are proteins and genes are our recipe. Every information in our body-right from the colour of our hair to the condition of our heart to the quality of our mind-is contained in our genes. Why is this recipe for each organism required? Because an organisms offspring has to survive in approximately the same environment as the organism and to adapt to this environment, the organism has to pass on its survival abilities to its offspring. This is done by the genes. But sometimes during this copying process, some genes might not be copied properly or they might get mixed up and mis-matched which may lead to birth defects. But that is the topic for another day.

The point Im trying to make here is: Genes are our ultimate horoscopes. They determine the quality of our life. Strongly believing in a vague concept of an ultimate being or how the stars are arranged during the time of your birth do not.

My point was not to make your lives unhappy. If a belief keeps you happy, then to hell with science. Keep that belief. Only those who try to push their beliefs by violence and are so hard-headed and insecure that they do not tolerate any other thought process, are the ones that I hope evolution selectively destroys soon. But, alas! Its either the whole species or none at all when it comes to the cycle of extinction and evolution. On a more cheerful note, I hope that soon(in Natures time) there shall come an age in human evolution which shall spawn a new consciousness, where the RNA which is conscious of itself in the form of humans shall evolve to be non-judgemental, Non-complaining, unbiased and becomes one with nature.