Square Science

We are an alien experiment

 

Why we live, why we die?

This twin-turbo question naturally leads to another, marvelously immortalized in the Breakfast Club:

Who are you?

Let’s shed a spark of confidence in the understanding of abstract matter such as the purpose of life, or What does it mean to be alive?

All matter, including the one we are made of, seems to favor similar patterns, whose similarity becomes apparent when both are scaled up or down. For example, Our solar system is a macro version of an atom system. Our veins look like the branches of T-storm lightning, which, of course, has a lot to do with stuff tends to take the path of least resistance. How about veins hit by lightning. No seriously, the result is skin that looks like veins AND lightning:

A lightning-made tattoo.. of lightning. Or is that a tree branch?

The Fibonacci sequence rules the plant world, probably all living organisms too. Complex systems with different size and purpose, have a similar structure. The visual resemblance between seemingly disconnected domains is just the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes, there are similarities in function and purpose too. What about the universal pattern that led to our own existence? What did our DNA code scale up or down to?

The evolution of species is a process of gradual adaptation to the environment through selective mutation. Consider the huge biodiversity on our planet. God’s magic wand sprung a multitude of what previously were wild guesses written on pieces of paper and thrown in a hat, to be picked up randomly. Molecules collided with each other for a long time, something major was bound to happen. Today, a small rock has embedded in itself the very code of the unique carbon-based scheme that is going on here on Earth right now.

Locked in our DNA is the history of our evolution. Part of our genetic code was prone to change forever and irreversibly. A selected fraction of our own essence was programmed to accept an experimental change that’s saved in the code. And so, we have the inborn ability to adapt to change. So lucky.

One of the most intriguing by-products of life, and one that took the longest to develop evolutionary speaking, happens to be the human brain. During the last few tens of thousands of years, our brain bloated dramatically.

From the perspective of our full development process as species, this took literally no time to complete. Chronologically, the increase in the size of our brain seems as if nature fast-forwarded time. What should have taken millions of years, happened in just a few thousands? This is the equivalent of a wild boar going to sleep, only to wake up as Ed Witten.

ai-humansOvernight!

We live in high times, and that’s not a weird reference to the magazine. We build artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to learn from the environment and write what they learn as even more advanced algorithms. It seems there is a good chance that we will be outsmarted by our own shed tools. And we are the ones who enable them to, one day, take over the world, and maybe also take over us.

We created AI to make it easy for us. And so did aliens, when they made us.

This is where the pattern breaks.

Our present capitalistic reality hinders the optimal rate of technological advancements and science. We are on a path where we still advance, but slowly. Machines will eventually take over their creators, whether we get there slowly or quickly. Our own creator hints for clues about the inevitability of that scenario. The creator has its destiny embedded in the nature of its own creator. Very subtle clues, but lingering around the block for eons.

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