Why Is Life So Complicated?

Core Selves, Part I: Why Is Life So Complicated? is the latest installment from my online book, Amazing: Truths About Conscious Awareness.

Why Is Life So Complicated?

Someone once said that the proof of a God is that we discuss one at all. We’d never tear such a wild idea out of the blue.

If you make the standard case – that we invented God to fill in the blanks or to explain things in nature that seemed out of control, thunderstorms, for instance – you’d have to explain why we needed an explanation to begin with, but also, why we chose one so strange and beyond us.

I don’t think anyone has ever shown that, as humans, we’re able to make anything up completely from scratch. We discover, extrapolate and describe. It’s a matter of what, not if.

More to think about, related pages:

  • Being there, September 11 Attacks
  • One Night, Fear Taught Me Not To Be Afraid
  • What Is Reality

It may be fraught with narcissistic error when we imagine a God with a striking resemblance to us and not so much to other species, but that’s not the same as coming up with an It out of nowhere.

If we create a careless or artless God, does that make the subject a flop? If we get hooked on a book full of contradictions, manipulation and misleadingly shorthand histories, the Bible for example, does that make our hero a fake?

Subjecting a discovery to the shortcomings of its explorer works out as unfair to God, limiting the supreme being to what little we know.

Got it?

Einstein: God's Thoughts
Einstein: God’s Thoughts

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Simply put, there is a God, but our ideas about It suck. Our clumsy scrambling around with definitions makes bad image-building for the divinity.

Evolutionary theory tells us that thriving is the primary driver in nature. Our bodies get taller because nature discovers advantages in height, and birds fly because being off the ground gets them a fast exit from dangerous territory.

This makes sense, but it’s unsatisfactory for two reasons. First, the bird evolving into flight can’t know individually that it’s doing the right thing by its relatives in millennia to come, which removes that motivation without needing to explain why he’d care about a future he couldn’t participate in.

It also skips an obvious question: whatever made survival so popular?

If we take survival as a desire for granted, that’s a problem. We have no reason to do it. None.

It we take the events that favored survival to be happy accidents, making what we see around us the results of random fitness, we can’t explain the attractive persistence of frailty and vulnerability in nature.

The plants and animals we get from random selection should simpler and hardier after all this time, like rocks, that have had enough time to dispense with soft spots. Why defy entropy by complicating beyond bacteria?

Proof of evolution over millions of years doesn’t really give us a cause, fuel for the machine.

Evolution might be what God got when he married his tool shed with creativity. God might’ve gotten bored with singe-celled acrobats stirred the pot with motivations more exciting than simple survival.

After all, nature innovated with birds, bears and flowers under the same conditions, didn’t it? Why? And why isn’t it all simpler, more blunt and less subject to failure?

Evolution of Life
Evolution of Life

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Sure, evolution likes longer, sexier lives, but we fight to keep going, even after babies aren’t going to mess up our vacation plans. Unthreatened, we talk about our love of life and adopt strategies to hold off death.

Did we get that from evolution? We seem to share it with every living thing. Did our lust for life come from nothing? Where’s the survival advantage in love among the ruins?

Trying to understand emotions and spirituality gums up the works as much as it lubricate them. Why would nature install a muddy complexity in an otherwise efficient mechanism?

Kurt Vonnegut told us that, if there’s a God, He’s got a lot of explaining to do. The same would go for nature.

David Stone, Writer

You can find an index to all of the chapters for this book here.