Monday, July 23, 2018

Perfect X Perfect X Perfect = Unbelievably Improbable

We have just finished our lunch and I’ve walked the scraps (Our one big meal of the day is primarily a salad of pasta, vegetables, and fruit) out to the compost pile on the other side of the well-house. It’s raining. A light rain falling straight down in near windless conditions which is unusual for our part of Texas, both the light-steady rain and calm conditions.

From the partial shelter of a massive cedar tree I’m watching this rejuvenating rain fall across the pond and the hillside opposite and thinking how perfect this is. The small, evenly spaced drops gently falling at just the right rate to nourish the plants and recharge the ground without excess to run off. (This is called a female-rain in some cultures.)

And that gets me to thinking just how perfect this really is.

How small the window of converging conditions that allow water to exist in liquid form, yet close enough to gaseous that it can be lifted into the incredibly thin layer of atmosphere blanketing our planet where, with exactly the right combination of conditions, it can be gathered up and redistributed again as a liquid. How our planet, the perfect size and density and rotation speed, has been formed from just the perfect mix of elements at just the perfect distance from a star that is the perfect composition and size to provide the perfect amount of light and energy.

Add to this ever-dwindling probability of convergent perfection, the rise of a lifeform, me, that can not only observe the phenomenon of rain but communicate that experience to others beyond my audible, visual, and olfactory range, (pretty much the communication limits of all other life-forms on this planet) and the fact that I can stand here under a tree contemplating the implications of being able to watch the rain fall at all is totally mind-blowing. (Using the Drake Equation some scientists, including the late Carl Sagan, speculate that within our galaxy of billions upon billions of stars, at this particular point in time we are the only intelligent life-form in existence that is able to communicate across long distances.)

Absolutely mind blowing!

Or maybe it’s all as simple as I’m just too dumb to come in out of the rain. . .

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