Q. Why do we have to age and pass away?
A. Because nature is constantly rolling the genetic dice. There has to be room to roll the dice. There must be room for the outcome to play out. If we had no aging, but just sudden death to clear space, it would be a constant mess.The process must be graduated to conserve resources and for reasons of species capability of processing death. Aging has sociobiological value; it helps us psychologically, and of course many elderly people have valuable wisdom, and are able to help care for grandchildren which enhances social stability. Social stability makes the species more likely to survive to reproduce…so that nature can throw keep rolling the genetic dice.
Q. Why does nature roll the genetic dice?
A. Some would say the arising of the constant rolling of the DNA dice is just a roll of the dice itself; just an accident. It seems unlikely some creator god came up with it. But that doesn’t mean there’s no agenda behind it.
Q. Whose agenda? Is it nature’s agenda? What is that agenda?
A. Can an accident have an agenda? Why not? What if that particular process of randomization, which we are unable to distinguish from an accident, was itself programmed in some sense. Even if nature arises by accident, it may have some self-awareness. It’s not inconceivable that this putative self-awareness immanent in nature chooses, over time, to very gradually guide the genetic agenda. Its agenda, at least one part of it, seems to be ongoing biological evolution itself.
Q. But what is biological evolution’s agenda? Where is it going? Isn’t it totally random?
A. If biological evolution has, or is part of an agenda, it may be something we cannot comprehend from here…The general consensus among scientists seems to be that evolution is entirely random. It is notable however that for the million-plus years humanity, in several forms, has been evolving, there is some form of recognizable progress. Though we remain animalistic in many ways, we are far more intelligent and capable than earlier stages of evolution.
Some would say that is suspicious. I myself think it is. However, that progress is of relatively short duration; is within a fairly narrow span of evolutionary development, in comparison to the billions of years before it…
People worry about how long the human race will last, whether we’ll eradicate ourselves, or be destroyed by an asteroid. It’s theorized that most civilized races (or quasi civilized, as in our case) don’t survive the point where they lose control of their technology; where they fail to control weaponry, or fail to deal with self destructive environmental tendencies. We may survive, or we may not. But thinking that the point of existence, our justification as a species, is somewhere off in the future, might well be surrender to illusion; it might be captivation by a mirage.
It’s more likely that we exist so that *something* can experience what we experience, through us: our ancient ancestors hunting, mating, engaging in simple ecstatic dances; moments of triumph and despair; our art, our music, our moments of intimacy and companionship. The thing that created us so that it would not be alone…the thing that looks into its own eyes when we gaze into one another’s eyes…
It is satisfied, whatever we do. It’s simply here, through us, for the adventure; for the self discovery. It is the universe discovering itself from within.