A Purpose for Life from the Commonalities of Life

At one point in my life I realized I was agnostic but acknowledged I would still like some sort of guideline on how to live my life. In a sense of the word, a religion. However, I don't call it that.

I decided to look at commonalities of all biology and life on Earth and see if I could imagine a purpose from it. Being that I believe evolution, to me, ALL life on this planet is related. So we are all one. Much to the dismay of many humans. But what do we all have in common? Could I extract a purpose from those details? Is there an archetypical life? Could we visualize a would be agenda?

Well, we all survive by all means possible, we all care for the herd in some way, we all have some sort of symbiotic relationship with other life, we adapt to new surrounding, we evolve, we spread our seed, grow, learn, repeat...

It seems like the small picture here is each individual lives it's life as long and best as it can. It is taught to fear things so that it might live a longer life. The bigger picture is that the life on the planet spreads and survives and adapts to new surroundings even if it has to evolve into a new creature in order to do so.

So what is the purpose? It seems to me biological life's purpose is to spread it's seed as far and wide as possible. Yes, even off of this planet. Our imagination is our limitation. The sky certainly is not the limit. Not anymore. We human's like to think of ourselves as different from other creatures but when we do in fact leave this world. We will simply be the vehicle for life to break new ground. As it always has.

If that is our purpose what can we do to achieve it? Well, we can work to support space exploration. We can encourage people to be optimistic and excited about human innovation. We can ourselves do something to promote humans being imaginative and thinking outside of the box. Evolution results from mutations... let's live and advance the same way. Try everything and think outside the box...

I just wanted to share my thoughts on the matter. Thought this would be a good place to do so.

Views: 116

Comment by archaeopteryx on November 29, 2012 at 4:25am

Well said, Dale.

Comment by Sagacious Hawk on November 29, 2012 at 7:18am

@ Arch

Great video! I bookmarked it for future reference.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on November 29, 2012 at 12:06pm

I was about to synopsize The Selfish Gene but then found this article which does a much better job. My younger brother has a signed first edition!! It is well worth reading. I read it after I discovered Dawkins the Atheist rather than Dawkins evolutionary biologist. He has a powerful intellect and his ideas are very well thought out. Many people, mainly unscientific theists, dismiss him because his delivery sounds overly dogmatic. That could be because he is right. Rather than counter what he says they just use ad hominem attacks with no refutation of his points. Having said that he goes out of his way at times to emphasise both the strengths and weaknesses of his arguments and define the meaning of the words used in the premise of them. The Selfish Gene attempts to explain a very esoteric subject and does so both for the scientific community and the lay person. After 36 years, a long time in modern science circles there is little to it that has not stood the test of time. The best part is that it is “a dangerous idea” and that can only be good.

Whatever gives meaning to our lives is what gives it purpose. Each of us can decide that for ourselves. Of course that is relative to the amount of freedom we enjoy. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness was once a dangerous idea too for some. Once that is in place it is easier to seek a meaning and purpose. We have only started to understand DNA and our gene code. When our technology advances further we will oust some control from our genes and start to become their masters. Our dangerous ideas aid our Evolution.

BTW that site I linked seems to have other good articles on it.

Comment by archaeopteryx on November 29, 2012 at 7:43pm

RE: "we can work to support space exploration" - space exploration consumes only a low, single-digit percentage of our annual national budget, and I will not even attempt to list all of the industries that it has spawned. Can anyone born after 1970 tell me what a "vacuum tube" is, and why they went the way of the dodo?

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention, and the Space industry definitely pays for itself. On a slightly-related note, one of the stupidest things our government has done (besides follow W into Iraq), was to cover over the giant Super-Collider, that was begun, half finished, then abandoned in Texas. Frankly, I suspect the then, "Moral Majority" had a great deal of influence in bring that about (in addition, admittedly, to cost overruns), as they're terrified that science will prove their sky fairy had nothing to do with the birth of the universe.

Comment by Ed on November 30, 2012 at 12:38am

Don't get me wrong I appreciate space exploration and the knowledge we gain from it. But if we have to cut spending on programs I am more inclined to reduce the budget of NASA and other non-essential endeavors than say the Medicare money the little ole lady down the street relies on to keep her going. It's about priorities and I feel social programs trumps space research. Sorry.

@ arch

Neal's little video is on the money. 

Comment by archaeopteryx on November 30, 2012 at 7:42am

Tyson is cool in everything I've ever seen him do.

I did some further checking on the NASA budget - I was WAY over in my guesstimate:

NASA's FY 2011 budget of $18.4 billion represents about 0.5% of the $3.4 trillion
United States federal budget during the year.

1/2 of 1 percent! If the Government can't find a way to pull the money for that little old lady's needs out of it's war chest, then the Washington accountants who can't, should be replaced with ones who can - there's a savings right there! NASA's contributions to the scientific community, past, present and future, are simply too significant to be discontinued. Already, we're replacing NASA with private space companies, who have to do everything NASA did, to launch a vehicle, but have to make a profit besides - which of those do you think likely to cost the taxpayers more?

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