Journey to the Source of Laughter
Day 1 . Dirt Bubbles, snot and sensing.
You cannot imagine what a black smoker is coughing up! It is hot volcanic gasses and chemicals , spit into the ocean from medium sized warts at the bottom. You do not expect something good to come out and indeed the best stuff are some kind of “dirt bubbles” settling at the bottom or floating around. They have some kind of surface tension, like underwater soap bubbles ,that is very weak but provides a very flexible separation between the inside more chemical soup and the outside rather clean lifeless water. There is the action of temperature change ,the effect of day and night on some dirt bubbles that have drifted to the surface to take a sun bath for a change, the effect of light made their intestinal soup feel funny. The surface tension contained the chemical reactions inside and a membrane was formed ,the bubble got a skin ,but of course not yet a tan in the sun. You cannot call it evolution when a dirt bubble turns to snot say ,a slimy mass of poisonous chemicals. It is harmless anyway because there was nothing to poison in the vast ocean .Ha the endless waves ,some sun some night ,some heat some cold, snot was almost immortal, except that some died the terrible death by having their membrane torn on some sharp rock, but then they returned to two or more tiny dirt bubbles; That way of procreation sucked ! Perhaps there were some lightnings , or some radiation at certain places, radio activity or worse some dark radiation from comets from outer space, snot did not care at all! But now and then something was stirring in the chemical soup inside snot ,the temperature effect ,or something else made the different ingredients behave differently, sometimes separate and sometimes mix again ,a game snot began to like when it had nothing else to do. Yes it became good at it and the membrane got more structure and energy ,it could vibrate and the snot found that thrilling! Particularly if the vibration made it float against the stream, a feeling that persists in young humans even today. At some moment floating aimlessly is boring but what can you do being dead snot! Now here is the first mystery, could the combination of chemicals and energy lead to something we should call living snot or slime? Would the membrane automatically develop a small rudder, a tail, to steer its movement? But if you want to steer you should have some idea where you are or where you go. Hence it is natural(because it actually happened ,that does not mean it is logically necessary!) to develop sensing.
Sensing is not observing, sensing is comparable to what a thermometer does, showing a certain chemical reaction to some outside action in a regular way. Sensing does not include an awareness of the sensed ,it is a purely mechanical thing with some energetic reactions coupled to it. Also the inside movements making the slime move in any direction could purely mechanically result in a thickening of he membrane at the side away from the direction of movement if that movement had a dominating direction. The tail and sensing are still completely mechanical probably ,but what ill wind made slime come alive ?It became cells we know, we accept that automatically, but it was not automatically!
It seems to me a very primitive version of memory is necessary to make an observation out of the first sensing, at the same (!) time a very primitive sense of awareness has to be present. The memory is hard to explain without any awareness but conversely awareness seems to need memory to identify itself as an entity. So I say …at the same time, together, and that defines a living thing; How that happened is a mystery! Later we can think of some belief but when snot became alive it believed nothing.
So at the end of day one we arrive at cells ,one cell beings, with the possibility to sense ,move a little perhaps, have some very primitive awareness of its structure based on chemicals, energy and basic geometry! But they had no sense of humour whatsoever