Things that are alive

Just watched “I Am”, the documentary. Well worth watching. Tom Shadyac, the successful director of Ace Ventura and The Nutty Professor has a bicycle accident that ends up acting as his personal wake-up call, and inspires him to make a movie about everything that’s wrong with the world and what to do about it.

Go watch the movie. You can buy it on iTunes.

One story that I really liked was this:

If you’re a really good mechanic, you could take apart a car, piece by piece, and carefully put it back together, and it would still be able to drive just as well as before.

But take any living thing, such as a dog, take it apart, and put it back together, and there will be no life in it anymore. It’ll be dead.

That’s the difference between life and non-life, and we still don’t know (scientifically) what the hell life is, or how to create it (other than to have sex).

I know it’s trivial, but it’s one of the “little” things we tend to forget about when we congratulate ourselves for all that we have managed to learn about the world.

Yes, in one sense, we’ve learned so much. In another sense, our understanding is increbidly, mindboggelingly limited.

We know a lot about mechanics. We know very little about life.

I little humility would be in order.