Sunday, April 11, 2010

BEDA 10: Failure and Symbiosis

Oh no! Only ten days into the BEDA project and I have failed!
It occurred to me on my way to work yesterday that I had failed to write a blog and wouldn't be home until well after midnight, meaning that my first failure to BEDA had been irreparably sealed.
To make up for it, I'm going to write two today. In this first blog of today, I want to talk about something I've been thinking about a lot lately.

I sort of marvel at the symbiosis of the world. There is this perfect balance and harmony in nature that almost makes me understand why people believe that there must have been some higher power or conscious design when everything began. I say almost because, you know, despite the beauty of nature, the logic of evolution is unbeatable.
Anyways, specifically what I've been thinking about lately is that despite our big brains and all the things that come with them, we're still creatures that live on this planet and are subject to most of the usual rules just like all the other animals. We're just really, really smart animals. Even though we are capable of driving big machines that can go over one hundred miles an hour almost every day of our lives, we still have hardwired instincts just like everything else, and it's these instincts that make the world work. Like this: we are hardwired to be disgusted by feces.
And for good reason! We have to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it's bad for us. Everything about it is unappealing to our senses, so even without any instruction we know immediately from day one that this is something to avoid.
Conversely, flies and plants love that stuff. It's really good for them. We produce it for them and they consume it. Gross, right? But true.
So I was thinking. We take nutrients, absorb what we need, and discard the rest in a form that is disgusting to us but useful to other life forms.
Well, that's sort of what trees do, too. They take in nutrients, absorb what they need to grow, and use the rest to produce fruit that animals love to eat.
The question is, if a tree had the capacity to be disgusted, would a tree be disgusted by it's own fruit?

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