Beginning at the beginning, which may very well be an end, we find ourselves. Squeezed into an imperceptibly dense spot, our entire mass is but a fist. Clenched, furiously shaking, and self contained, we are covered by a blanket of darkness. Beyond us, we cannot see what lies ahead. We wonder if anything does. It is blazing hot, wherever we are.
What we are we ourselves aren’t exactly sure. Matter. Antimatter. Stars. Black holes. Planets. Moons. Life. Death. We are all this and more. Labels. Ideas. Conceptions. Names which by themselves mean nothing. Compositions that do not entirely describe us. For besides these, we are everything and nothing. We are the beginning and the ending. We are stagnancy and vivaciousness. We are consistency and incongruity. Simply, we are.
And so, like it has been broadcasted a million times before, in the beginning there was nothing – except of course, there was everything. There was us, whatever we were.
We, however, were not one for compartmentalization. What we are is not necessarily what we can be or what we wish to be. Thus, the clench fist opened like a cocoon revealing a butterfly and all of a sudden, the Big Bang occurred. Nothing separated from everything, everything became anything, anything became something, something became us: humans.
Finally, something fit us perfectly: a fleshy exterior and a meat-bag interior. The other labels didn’t suit us quite right. We weren’t stars for we could not glimmer. We weren’t planets for our gravitational fields were too weak. Instead, organic decaying sacs of skin became us, and we became them.
Flash forward to some 13.7 billion years, and these words find themselves on this page. Keyboard clicks rattle around a wooden frame of a modest house. People jaunt around the tiled flooring, always ensuring that they are busy, busy, busy. The sun shines outside. Generously. Continuously. Without regard for anything else, really. It all seems so perfect, so planned. We must be the center of the Universe, because for all we can conceive, we are.
Who else but us could enjoy the splendor of the earth? Consider flowers. Their saccharine smells and lively colours. Their emerald stalks and promiscuous pollen. It was as if they were made solely for our enjoyment and minute obsessions. And yet, it seems that this is but one intricate part of the world. The entire world – our world – was crafted for our need, whatever it may be. The bees, the trees, the rivers, the oceans, the mountains, the sky, the clouds, the little microbes, the soil, the bugs, the animals, everything that ever was, everything that ever will be, and everything that ever is, is ours. Even the Solar System. Even the Universe.
Especially the Universe.
So goes our anthropocentric dogma whistling its way in our world. Note that it is “our world”, suggesting that as humans, we are the owners of the world simply because we inhabit it. Such thoughts are not novel. They began first with the geocentric model of the world, then the solar-centric model of the Universe, finally to the “the world revolves around me” ideology. In each stage of thought, whether philosophical or scientific, names were given to discoveries and arguments that both proved the theories or went against them. Their names are too abundant, too well known to even bother to list here. For the sake of the argument, here are but a few: the cosmological argument, argument from Intelligent Design, the Irreducible Principle.
It should be granted that such doctrines necessarily require a higher power. Of course they do. For not only are humanity the rulers of the Universe, we also have a higher power, a God, who cares about us. On top of that, He looks like us, He has the same mannerisms, and we shape Him based off what we know at one given time. Our environment affects our Gods, and apparently, our Gods affect our environment.
Avoiding the contentious debate whether there is in fact a God, or a Gods, or anything really, there is an important point in the idea behind God, and thus it was necessary to draw the comparison. This is because – hypothetically at least – God, according to the Roman Catholic Doctrine of which I am most familiar, created everything. From us to little atoms that compose us to huge galaxies that spiral around us, all has an inherent purpose in a designed plan. A set Divine Plan, it should be mentioned.
As such, God creates both theory and practice. There is no difference between the two. Only because there is theory can there be practice and only because of practice, can there be theory. The theory is the Divine Plan and the practice are the inhabitants – humans – who enact it. The two are a Penrose stairs paradox of sorts; both ultimately relying on each other but also entirely different; a steady climb only to climb lower.
The very same could be said of our creation, regardless of God’s existence or not. Whether our creation, which was briefly noted in the introduction, was planned or not is a matter of debate. If it was, then who and/or what planned it? Such questions probably lack answers, although, there are various arguments on both sides of the coin.
Regardless of the answer, it is important to note that everything happened the way it did. Only because the Big Bang occurred did leptons form. Only because leptons formed did atoms congeal. So it continues on. It would seem then that because life does exist, there has to be a series of events that are necessary to create life. This may very well be true, and would be the ultimate theory. It would be the blueprint of life.
It, however, would be nothing without practice. This is similar to God’s plan wherein He may have created a Divine Plan, but in turn He also created the necessary practice to follow it. As such, life can only exist because both theory and practice both rely on one another. Without practice, theory would be fruitless. Without theory, practice would be impossible.
This goes without saying. A building is only a building because it was built to be. Lacking a blueprint, the building would not be constructed. Lacking the workers, the building would also not be constructed. Both are equally weighted. Both are necessary. As such, neither theory nor practice is superior to one another. Both require the other, although being diametrically opposed.
This leads to an important conclusion. If it is true that both require one another, then it should be stressed that work is done equally in both fields. Theoreticians necessarily need experimentalists just as much as experimentalists need theoreticians. If, however, work is not done equally in both fields, then there will be an imbalance of one compared to the other. Consequently, the field with less intensive work will be lessened as compared to the one where more work is stressed.
Such a result has been observed rather recently. Consider that string theory was initially suggested in the early 80’s. While being a near mad-mans theory, it discusses the very essence of creation: very fine strings that unite all. On top of this, it comprises a very many theories which connect the creation of everything, including us. They, however, were neglected in the onset because experimentalism was not nearly as up to date as theoretical work. Thus, the string theory was forced to join the ranks of forgotten theories such as Democritus’ atomism or Copernicus’s heliocentric model of the world until it resurfaced in the early 21st century.
Although twenty years may not seem a significant amount of time, it certainly is when considering the technological front that humanity finds itself in this century. One can only wonder the marvelous discoveries that would extend themselves if this theory were taken seriously on the experimental front in the first place. Currently work is being done to verify the string theory and to note its practical means of use, for example, in understanding the creation of the Universe. Simply said, the work is breathtaking.
Which brings us back to the blueprint of life. If we are to ever uncover the blueprint of life, both experiment and theory must be stressed. We cannot allow ourselves the luxury of complacency and the consequent regression if neither is highlighted. Progress is defined by our accomplishments. Our accomplishments are driven by our pursuit of theory and practice. Only through an equality in both will humanity ever become something greater than themselves. We will become the rulers of the Universe, as opposed to just thinking we are.