poor georgie’s almanack
George Kroloff … Thurs. July 9, 2020
It seems that every civilization, every tribe, every nation, and every family has a creation story. They differ. Something happened on a mountain top. Or in the sky. Or because a stork brought a family a baby.
Creation stories changed over the years as people discovered and communicated new information.
Some scientists are working on creation stories for every “thing” that moves and even for things that appear to be dead, inanimate, and just lie there like a lump. For instance, a tiny grain of sand. Or, the even tinier “things” that somehow merged to build the atoms that constructed the grain of sand. Amazingly, those atoms turn out to have been built just like all other atoms that over time have joined together to make all bigger “things.” Like brains, seas, suns, and the cosmos. Or, as my father said, everything is the same thing but different. All atoms are adaptations of other atoms.
Our Universe, we are told, started about 14 billion Earth-years ago from nothing, and in a millisecond the building blocks for every single thing exploded into being. We call that event The Big Bang. Then, and now, every thing contains information and every thing communicates with everything else, according to some science.
A few weeks ago I was thinking a lot about information and communications, while flat on my back in a hospital. A doctor had tried to simply explain my problem. He said, my nervous system was not communicating, or talking, with other systems under my skin. Especially the systems that control the surge of blood that rushes through my body every time my heart beats. When I stood up, not enough blood flowed uphill to my brain and I collapsed. The small blood vessels didn’t get the message to squeeze tighter and push that lollygagging blood back to the lungs and cranium.
(Apparently, the two systems reconnected and I’m almost normal again.)
I assume my doctor was saying that my body systems, on their own, were making brain-like decisions. These systems are comprised of cells. Whatever makes up cells has taught them to take decisions. A typical decision is whether to attack or absorb a neighboring cell.
When a corps of cancer cells invades a camp of red corpuscles, why do some corpuscles just give up, and others fight like the Spartans and Athenians? I wondered if those brain-like decisions deep in my blood system were made before my brain’s nervous system got a “heads-up” message that my internal Wifi system was down. What messages are being transmitted? Clearly not all of them. How are decisions made, and what determines which messages get passed on? What language are they using to transfer information? To communicate!
That night, laying in a hospital bed I couldn’t sleep. My physical condition was not aided by seeing the hospital staff in full battle-gear walking down the hall to the nearby ward with coronavirus patients. To change my mood, I opened my curious but unscientific mind, and began thinking that lots of big cosmic stuff and funny tiny stuff look and act alike. Others seem to be acting differently. Are they communicating in different languages? Fighting? Just saying “HUH, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?’
I remembered that Albert Einstein famously told us E = Mc(2). The E is shorthand for Energy. The M represents Mass (like a grain of sand). c(2) has to do with the speed of light and I don’t think that is important to the following.
What is important is that Energy and Mass really are two forms of the same thing. That fact is the only substantive thing I can remember from the glorious day a drop-dead-beautiful high-school substitute physics teacher walked into our Junior classroom and turned on our senior hormones. (The physics we studied were spelled physiques.)
Anyway, before the EMTs rushed me to the hospital, I had read an article on a web site that reviewed a complicated academic report in layman’s terms. Several scientists were recounting evidence that all energy contains and conveys information. What information? They don’t know. But, common sense was saying to me that there must be a common language, a Universal Language, because so many things look and act like each other. And affect each other.
During the past few decades, books, scientific papers, and popular websites like TED Talks, have been explaining one version or another of “String Theory.” It is a modern-day creation story about everything in our universe. How the cosmos started and became what it is, and what we are.
The scientists use modern tools like supercomputers and the Hubble Telescope for the big stuff and electron microscopes for the little stuff, like figuring out the makeup of cancer cells. As I understand it, in one way or another, everything in our universe is built the same way from the same kind of strings and are directed by some still-unknown knowledge how to use their stringy tools to build new structures, like a baby.
I once asked the director of a world-class genetics lab how, in a mother’s womb, stem cells knew (or were told by supercells) that they would begin working on building a knee, while others were creating an earlobe. Apparently, there are cells or parts of cells that act like a construction foreman directing which stem cells would build the different parts of a baby. Some things in that woman’s womb were making brain-like decisions during the baby-building project. There probably is a manual or architectural plan for building a baby. We don’t know how to access or read it.
Plans are a kind of language. We wax poetically about the language of the Stars but not much about the language of the sand or a wave at sea … or the hurricane which looking down from the International Space Station looks and often acts suspiciously like a scaled-down version of our Milky Way Galaxy. Interestingly, there are a gazillion other spiral galaxies across the heavens just like ours.
In case I lost you, let me refresh. During an event about 14 billion Earth years ago, out of nothing, there was everything. Everything being all the stuff that became our expanding universe. Things like stars in the sky, stars underfoot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and starfish at the beach. And everything is built by itty-bitty bunches of energy, billions of years old. They have formed a humongous Legos-like set with virtual boxes full of vibrating strings. How they fit together is yet-to-be-answered.
All those strings popped-up when The Big Bang banged. To some scientists, violin strings mimic the strings at the heart of the Big Bang. The strings carry information. When they are twanged by a finger with different energies, different sounds come out. Sounds are energies that contain information. The language we use to translate the violin’s sounds from its strings is called Music.
So, we humans and every thing else everywhere, are bundles of strings (or energy, or information) in different forms. Unfortunately, human evolution allowed us to sense only a very few of the vibrations.
Fortunately, we are learning how to sense more. A few machines have been created to help us hear or see some of what is hidden from us. Like an AM/FM radio or X-Ray device. We don’t know much about a lot of other “things.” For example, a Smithsonian Magazine article claimed that about 100-trillion hard-to-detect neutrinos created by The Big Bang are right now passing through our bodies every second.
Still staring at the hospital’s ceiling I wondered how a single hydrogen electron makes the decision to jump into another orbit around a tiny neutron. What communication/information is being transferred? And why do the electron and neutron want to make a Menagerie de Troi with a couple of oxygen atoms that, in turn, will join a community, like a hippie-commune, and combine to make a raindrop? And why does that raindrop commune of atoms join with similar ones to make what we call a sea? And if the water atoms are communicating information to each other and making waves, how is it that they often appear to be getting along better than we humans? What is the secret of their communication?
Are they related like the Lakota Sioux American Indians and speak the same language? Seems so. But, what happens, such as in my body, when the strings that make up my blood and brain systems lose their electric connection. Is our universe filled with communications and occasional mis-communications?
I concluded, just before finally falling asleep, that the granddaddy of all Nobel Prizes will be for the person or group that discovers a Cosmic Rosetta Stone unlocking the language of the stars. (The Rosetta Stone is a rock on which an ancient Egyptian government had a message carved in three languages. It was the breakthrough tool in figuring out how to read hieroglyphics, one of the languages. Another language was Greek.)
Whoever or whatever provides the funds for the research that helps translate every little and big “thing” will get the biggest-ever bang for their buck.
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https://www.news-medical.net/news/20181029/Scientists-discover-kill-code-in-all-cells-that-can-be-triggered-to-destroy-cancer.aspx. Medical Sciences book review Oct. 29, 2018
Image Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock
brain, cell, internet
dancing violin strings