My wife and I were reading ‘Whales Weep Not!’ by D.H. Lawrence this morning and it contains the following lines.
“And bull-whales gather their women and whale-calves in a ring
When danger threatens, on the surface of the ceaseless flood”
Now I realise that evolutionary purists are of the opinion that we all came from a single globule and that my great grandfather 200 times removed was a lung fish but this still made me reflect just a little. You see as far as I am aware there is no known link between buffalos and whales. Indeed, I believe that there is very little evidence of a link between birds and whales or even shrimp and other flying insects. Just recently, in fact last week, scientists showed that sperm grouped or separated due to varying viscosity in seminal fluid, noting that sperm are unable to think. Which makes me ever more thoughtful.
You see if sperm evolved from fish, having been released in their millions seeking abundant eggs, why didn’t we evolve an internal system more akin to kangaroos than the one we have? But I digress, let’s get back to circles. You see it appears that across nature we have an innate ability to form circles for defensive purposes. When I used to dive I observed fish balls, definitely circular and certainly defensive. As the poem outlines sea mammals, which are not fish, also form circles for defensive purposes. Cattle form circles in herds, Murmurations form circles and some pretty amazing shapes to boot and of course, humans circled the wagons. There must be something inbuilt, deep within all life on earth that lays out that forming circles is a good way to form a defence from attack. Coming back to the sperm, grouping can’t simply be from the early sea as there is no real need to worry about viscosity when you are ejected into an ocean.
In the wondrous complexity of life, that so many intelligent people claim is an accident, my simple question is where did the circles come from?