Sunday, May 13, 2012

Abstract Science

I've been standing at our front door watching the rain outside and watching the birds alight on the front porch rails. Their bodies are so exquisite. I could see the chest of a mocking bird expand and collapse, expand and collapse, rhythmically, as his head twitched back and forth and as he called out, I assume, to the other birds flying nearby. To think that that bird is alive, breathing, and yet so entirely different from my own species...It has wings where I have arms. Little twig legs where I have muscle and ligaments and joints that comprise my own flesh-covered legs. Though truthfully, I don't know what a bird's legs are made of aside from bone. One moment...

Apparently, a bird's leg consists of the femur (the upper leg) which connects at the knee to the tibiotarsus (the shin) and the fibula (the side of the lower leg). That's all Wikipedia gave me.

But the thought, the very thought, that we are surrounded by thousands of other species on this planet - I can hardly express how incredible I think that is! As humans, we seem to have the notion that we are gods, lording over the other creatures on the earth simply because we can do calculus and paint murals. But we share this planet with so many other living things. I love to sit by my window and watch the rabbits this time of year. They're everywhere, always running through our driveway and along the fence row. I love to watch how they move, how they bound from one spot to another. How they clean themselves with their paws and how they sniff around the grass. It's not that their actions are extraordinary, but they are different from mine, so I take interest in observing them.

Why must rain fall toward the Earth? The science of it makes sense - water molecules gather in the atmosphere and gravity causes them to fall "down". But why is science so concrete? Not that it can be changed. But what if the water molecules gathered nearer to the ground and were then expelled into the atmosphere by a great force? What if the leaves on the trees, rather than blooming from the limbs when the Spring came, imploded into the tree and caused the entire entity to burst into fireworks of color and each leaflet that fell like confetti was the seed that sprouted a new tree? What if droplets of rain stacked into walls of water rather than splattering on impact with the ground? We should be able to make music with raindrops if each one, dependent on its unique volume and shape, creates a different tone when it strikes earth. I imagine we only can't hear it.

Yes, I enjoy observing nature. I am part of nature. I was birthed from nature. Cannot everyone see that? We're not separate from the things around us. We are intricately connected to them. I wonder if atoms know how important they are. How relevant and abundant. When they vibrate in a solid, can they feel each other? When they bombard one another in the air, do they beg pardon for their impact? Let us abstract science and question it. Science is not the god of our universe. It is only the name we've given to the forces and patterns around us. Where does form and matter originate that it takes command from an authority? Is this God? If so, what were his reasons and motivations for organizing those laws and principles of motion? He could have chosen anything. Humans might have flown through time portals and thought the idea of linear movement absurd and almost incomprehensible. What if the day comes when science does change? What if one day we do fly through time portals? What if one day the rain falls up? Will everyone shout, "God"?

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