Stephen Hawking’s Machine of Life, part of the Genius Series on PBS. The question of life and its origins is one of the most closely examined issues in history. Are we alone in the universe? How likely is it that life exists anywhere, or at all? How is it explained? What is the prime motivation for life to exist? How does simple life evolve into more complex life forms? What is the relationship between the physical phenomenon of life and consciousness, e.g., God?
Stephen Hawking’s treatment of this subject is clear, precise and accessible to non-scientists. It stimulates thought on levels of consciousness that transcend the physical experience and scientific scrutiny. It exposes the patterns and tendencies of nature that produce, sustain and evolve life.
The treatment is described mainly in terms of experiments performed by innocent participants who do not know ahead of time what’s going on, but who discover along with us some simple and profound truths.
A fair conclusion to be drawn from the experiments is that their is a strong tendency for life to form when conditions are favorable. Only the right ingredients, some range of temperate climate, however localized, and some form of activation energy are enough to allow life to form. The blueprint is in the ingredients themselves, and not a preconfigured process that operates on them. Once organic molecules are formed from elements, and then animo acids and proteins, a unique DNA configuration may become organized and begin producing life. The “machine” is in the ingredients themselves, which possess the chemical, physical and energetic tendencies for the formation life, and is not an external agent operating on those ingredients.
Another experiment illustrates how life evolves into more complex forms by virtue of the suitablility of some life forms to survive long enough to propagate: survival of the fittest.
Seeing this reminds me of Ek Ong Kar. “One God, One Creation”. This model of cosmology and theology has the Creator of all Creation remaining within and inextricably part of creation in its most subtle levels of matter, energy and consciousness. The macroscopic physical being is fundamentally comprised of tissues, cells, DNA, proteins, amino acids, organic molecules, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen and other trace elements and the tendency in consciousness to exist and to keep on reinventing and replicating itself using semi-undifferentiated energy that is absorbed from the environment. What created the universe continues to recreate the universe and its life forms.
Stephen Hawking’s Machine of Life on PBS