Rare Earth
On being Moonstruck

According to immaterialism, intelligence is the most natural thing in the world, and, indeed, it is the only thing in the world.  But according to science, intelligence is the most unnatural thing in the world.

Certainly the scientific evidence supports the scientific conclusion, but this conclusion belies human sensibility.  When science and sensibility are at odds, the modern mind leaps to embrace science, as a greyhound leaps to chase the rabbit.

The mind just does not feel unnatural.  We are at home with, and yet constantly bedazzled by our kaleidoscopic consciousness.  Subjective experience, the greatest mystery left to the recalcitrant objectification on the part of science, sensibly must be at the root of existence.  That is certainly how it seems to the most casual partakers and to the most profound observers of the human scene.

The more that science struggles with the mystery of existence, the more glaring become its improbabilities and its paradoxes.  To avoid having to confront the mind as fundamental to existence, science instead posits an infinity of mindless universes.  This is the only way for objectivists to deal with the exigencies of anthropics.

The latest pratfall comes from the realm of astrobiology.  It turns out that, contrary to Darwinism, the complexity of life is not something that is universally pre-ordained.  It was a very fortuitous chain of physical events that made Earth habitable by anything more complex than mere bacteria.  Figuring prominently in this chain of events was our primordial collision with the Moon and its continuing aftermath.  The details are presented in ‘Rare Earth’ by Ward and Brownlee.

What are we to make of these improbabilities piled atop improbabilities?  We can either be very pessimistic about the prospects for life, or we can question this objectified reality.

The one thing that lends substance to the otherwise incredible depths of space is the thought that they are somehow populated.  The thought that the only life between us and eternity are pockets of bacteria, lends no credence to our starry dreams.  If we have no one with which to share our dream, then why suppose that this is other than just our own dream?  Certainly, the motivation for exploring and colonizing space is reduced to virtually nothing.  Of what value, then, is the rest of the universe?  What is without value is, by almost any reasonable definition, without substance.  We have populated the universe with our imagination, but now science once again disillusions us.  When will we have the courage to question science?

Science, with all its objectivity, can never hope to find subjectivity to be anything short of impossible.  That bumblebee just won’t fly.  If we ever wish to make sense of existence, we will have to find another recourse.  That recourse is simply to follow our deepest sensibilities.  Our deepest sensibility is that we partake of a vital force that is at the foundation of reality.  That vital force has the power to shape reality.  Our reality is of that shape.  It is a construct of that cosmic force.

We have earlier touched upon the inescapable logic of the sky.  I don’t mean the scientific sky, I mean the manifest sky: the sky we directly perceive.  One can feel thereby the nearly overwhelming, balancing logic of the mythopoetic Moon.  Science, for all its begrudging, now has to make obeisance to that pale orb.  The fact that the Moon is a dead ringer in its total eclipsing of the Sun, easily the most awesome spectacle of nature, ought to be a dead giveaway.  It ought to clue us in to that fact that these cosmic dice are loaded.  Has the Goddess not left us her calling card?

When will She come knocking?  Will the vital force be with Her and with us?


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rev. 6/6/00