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Biological vs. Technological

Biological vs. Technological

 Hello and good day!

 A monkey climbs out onto the long, strong branch of a mature cacao tree. Perched on the branch, the monkey reaches down and grabs a cacao pod.   With strong arms and sharp claws, the monkey breaks the thick stem that connects a cacao pod to its branch and throws the pod down onto the jungle floor.

 Sitting on the jungle floor in the cool shade of a leaf canopy, the monkey sinks its claws into the thick husk of the cacao pod and tears it open. The monkey scoops cacao seeds from inside the pod with its hand and shoves big handfuls of seeds into its mouth. Monkeys have learned not to bite into the seeds because they are bitter and bad tasting.

 Instead, they suck the sugary, energy and nutrient rich, mucilage off the outside of the seeds before swallowing the seeds whole. After ingesting every seed from the pod, the monkey climbs back up into the tree and picks another pod. The monkey climbs up and down the tree, over and over, until it eats its fill.

Then it goes off to nap.

 When it awakes, there is a rumbling feeling in the monkey's stomach and the monkey leaves a pile of manure on the jungle floor. A light jungle rain comes through and gently sprinkles everything underneath with a life-giving mist.Once the rain runs its course, the hot jungle sun begins shining again in earnest.

 Inside the manure pile, a cacao seed that has passed through the monkey's intestinal track begins to germinate. Small roots dig into thick black soil below. A thin green stem with tiny leaves shoots upwards out of the seed and reaches towards the light giving sun.

 Over the next three years, guided by genetic code, powered by photosynthesis, and nourished by the birds and the bees, our baby plant grows into a majestic tree with long, strong branches that can support the weight of a monkey, and that produce thick, hearty pods, filled with sugary, nutrient dense seeds.

Monkeys eat the seeds and the process repeats, for millions of years.

 I recently listened to an interview with a nanotechnologist who is attempting to build self-replicating robots. He was a brilliant person, and I appreciated his candor. He's been working on his goal for over a decade and his conclusion is that it can't be done.

 According to this expert, humans cannot build anything in the physical world that is completely self-replicating. It is too complex.

 Something like a single celled organism, the most basic living thing that propagates itself, is several orders of magnitude more sophisticated than any self-propagating machine this guy can imagine a human theoretically inventing.

 He had a nice phrase. I don't remember exactly how it went, but it went something like this.

Biology creates life.

 Technology makes life easier.

 He was trying to drive home the point that only natural processes can create the thing that we call life. And life is definitionally self-reproducing in the physical world. For something to be life, it must spawn offspring that inherits its genetics. Technology can supplement natural processes, but it can't replace them.

 Here is something to get your head around.

 The industrial revolution kicked off about 250 years ago. That is somewhere between 3 and 4 human lifespans. This is when people began creating machines to do work previously done by hand. The culmination of that movement so far is the latest technology that we have now.

 And as long as new technology continues to be invented, which it certainly will, those innovations can also be credited back to a paradigm shift that occurred in the middle of the 18th century.

 Most scientists estimate that life appeared on earth 3.7 billion years ago.

Dinosaurs are estimated to have lived on earth for more than 100 million years. They died off more than 50 million years ago.

 For billions of years, biological processes have been creating an incomprehensible variety of life, of which the simplest specimen far surpasses the complexity of what the smartest human beings are able to come up with.

 Of the living organisms on earth, humans are the cock of the walk. We're pretty good at what we do. We've learned how to harness physical laws to carry out impressive feats of engineering.

 We can make chocolate. We can fly 3,000 miles in 6 hours. We can stream videos in a car while driving on the freeway. We have freeways.

 We can ask a computer to write in the style of Shakespeare and it will.

 We make so much food in the United States that the average family can throw away 40% of what they buy, uneaten.

 All impressive accomplishments.

 But none of it is the big show. The big league is nature and biology and the universe and whatever makes it all possible. There was a lot of biology and creation before humans showed up on the scene and there will be a whole bunch more, infinitely more, after humans are no longer around.

 This knowledge makes it possible for every second of everyday to be filled with wonder and gratitude. There are unbelievable miracles everywhere you look. There is never a time when you can't find something within arm's reach that will absolutely blow your mind if you think about it back to its origins.

 Anyhow, I am running out of steam on this one for now.

 Thank you so much for your time today.

 I hope that you have a truly blessed day!