Chance?

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Just wondering after the intellectual loss of Hawking.


Stephen Hawking’s ashes are either in or going to sit in Westminster Abbey right next to Sir Isaac Newton. It’s a real pity intellect can’t be bottled! Hawking didn’t believe in a God, but still, the Abbey is an appropriate place for him because discounting whatever it is that makes religion tick, one of the really good things is that religions build great and lasting edifices, places to store and keep historical treasures.  Both Hawking and Newton are historical treasures as are the rest in the Abbey.

Like Hawking, we all have our beliefs, and it doesn’t necessarily matter if those beliefs aren’t shared by others. Those who haven’t thought about it are likely to follow the belief of their parents or close associates. Of course the real harm from religious belief comes when radicals and the over-righteous decide to force their particular dogma onto others. Hawking saw the logic in chance, which sets him apart from the teachings of most of the mainstream religions. There’s nothing to venerate or to fear if you happen to be a staunch atheist, which presumably is why there are no ancient atheist texts such as the Vedas, Sutra, Bible, Torah, Qur’an or Pali Canon. There’s an implied sense of security and order by following a religion and religious principles, which promote a hope of something beyond death as long as the correct path is followed.  So it’s interesting to speculate if somehow religion hadn’t turned up, how would we have developed as a species?

To understand the logic of chance, maybe you have to be a mathematician because they can work out probabilities through some invented theory or other. So, presumably the chances of the demise of dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago, can be worked out. What law of probability could possibly tell us what would have happened if that meteor hadn’t banged into our planet? Or can it truly we worked out? On the other hand what would happen if the meteor turned up sixty-five million years later? The answer to that can only be opinion, but based on a bit more knowledge.

In a good crop of white clover, there are a bit over sixteen thousand flowers per hectare and to achieve the maximum seed crop of six seeds per flower, a bee has to visit each flower more than once. Therefore twenty thousand bees are needed to adequately pollinate the crop. You would think the chances of a bumper crop happening to be meagre, yet it happens regularly. A lot of intricate little things have to happen in the process, but it’s brilliant that you can walk through that field without single bee bumping into you! A bee senses are far better than we give them credit for. The probability of a bee bumping into you can also be worked out, but the huge parameters make the margin of error too great to be reliable.

An old forestry cronie of mine was hunting rabbits on contract for a farmer. He was doing a good job and the farmer employing him was meeting his responsibilities as a land owner to control the rabbit population. It was a stinking hot day, so my mate sat down in the shade of a huge boulder to have his lunch. That boulder would have been sitting there for thousands of years, perhaps millions. Anyway, the boulder slipped and crushed him to death! A tragic happening indeed, but what are the chances of that happening? And why did it happen to a good person and not some evil bugger? There are enough evil buggers wasting the good oxygen of this planet! Surely a rock, or something heavier could fall on at least one evil bugger!

Two billion years ago by chance, well others might dispute chance, a species of bacteria began to utilise sunlight, and in doing so, split the molecules of water into separate hydrogen and oxygen molecules, the oxygen fizzed up, combining with other gasses to alter the atmosphere in such a way that it allows you, me and those evil buggers to breathe. The hydrogen combined with carbon dioxide to become food for the steadily evolving bacteria, which in the end became plants, and we know what plants do, they have increased the atmospheric oxygen for all and sundry. Without plants there would be no oxygen for any of us to breathe, and it all comes down to a chance mutation. Probably.

Among the rabble I affectionately call my friends, is a Pastor, and I happened to meet him one day in a random place and quite unexpectedly. He told me that nothing happens by chance, and for him the meeting was advantageous.  Our meeting no doubt reinforced his belief, and fair enough, we go with what we know. As a species we have questioning, inquisitive minds yet we have no idea when reason usurped instinct to set us on the path we have followed.

You’ll find no answers here, either, either or, just a welcome to stick to your beliefs and be happy. Question what you don’t understand, and knowledge is a reward. Hawking thought he knew, so he was content.


Submitted: April 08, 2018

© Copyright 2021 moa rider. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Dr. Acula

I like how you evolved this story, no metaphorical pun intended..it's really great writing, and gives many perspectives.

To know is to understand, to understand it accept, to accept is to tolerate, and to tolerate is to find a peace.
I am not sure anyone has an answer, at least the right one for our own individual being..thats up to us to search for and discover.

Anyhow, nicely written, as always, Moa !

Mon, April 9th, 2018 12:49am

Author
Reply

Hey Doc thank you for that. I suppose the message could be 'thinking allowed'. And I quite like not being told what to think. Usianguke

Sun, April 8th, 2018 9:14pm

jaylisbeth

What an insightful essay, Moa. Brava!

Mon, April 9th, 2018 1:56pm

Author
Reply

Thank you Jay. I appreciate your comments. Usianguke

Mon, April 9th, 2018 12:55pm

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