science works better when you realise the atoms are living, evolving, metabolising, organising, purposeful, thinking, feeling, creative entities too.
turtles all the way…er…in.
Stephen Hawking's 1988 book A Brief History of Time starts:
A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!"
i’ve listened to the scientists and this is my reply;
respectfully i must advise, we don’t see eye to eye.
my animistic atoms making predetermined shapes,
mechanically intending everything from stars to apes,
just flout the simple sanity of your established science
and seem to treat the ‘evidence’ with cavalier defiance.
you say that planet earth is really not a living being;
it doesn’t grow or reproduce, to go what you’re seeing.
but eggs and pupae, they don’t grow, nor do they reproduce
and who knows what this earth will do when we’re
no further use?
it goes beyond the evidence to say: ‘it is alive’,
but just as much to say: ‘it’s not’, however you contrive.
astronomers with bated breath observe that stars evolve.
they explicate the physics in equations that they solve.
the time-scale is enormous, so we shouldn’t judge too soon –
it won’t be long before our genes ‘inseminate’ the moon!
we don’t know how the planets form – we’ve only made a guess
but why assume that they are lacking sexual prowess?
some scientists talk of termite mounds, made by, but not, biota
suggesting earth’s inanimate: i’m not fazed one iota.
our bones are inorganic things, secreted by our cells,
just like a beetle’s carapace, or nautiluses’ shells.
our sial, like a carapace, protects the inner flows
that roil so metabolically; and life upon it grows!
another speaks of darwin, in defence of whom she says
all creatures are accounted for, all qualities and traits.
that gives me pause until i see that yes! she’s partly right -
continuum from gene to plant, a very brave insight!
if sentimental purpose crafts the atoms in a star
it's working in our genes as well? that isn’t so bizarre!
my viewpoint’s still post-modern (not yet moved to what comes next)
but I still maintain that matter should be seen in terms of ‘text’
with networks just like world-wide-webs jam-packed with brawling memes
(or, since my term’s more general, perhaps we’ll call them ‘emes’,
a healthy little suffix that can serve us as a word)
a ‘textrichness’, articulate? that isn’t so absurd.
genes craft all traits of plants and beasts and do so from within.
but processes are just as smart within an atom’s skin.
so each big bang, when first it starts to outwardly explode
is explicating latent text according to a code.
and now that’s said, it looks to me so simple and so plain -
i s’pose it does to you, too, so there's no more to explain.
to sum up, with a metaphor: a gene is hawking’s turtle
comprised of inner turtles (now, look deep - try not to hurtle
precipitately inward) with each subatomic one
comprised of other inner ones, and when all’s said and done
this turtle soup inside a gene can ‘quark’ ad infinitum.
it’s turtles, going in
! come on! they’re there! why fight ’em?