Yes, There Is Life On Earth
By R. D. Flavin

12-5-2014

It's a Dawkins and Hawking's stare
At the guy with the oiled hair
And her foster-dad is yelling “Get out!”
But his gal-pal is pleading “Please, no!”

And her online postings can't be found
As her smart-phone has gotten hacked
With clouds raining data for crooks
Yet she still looks at the shaking ground

     I've never been a big fan of the biblical ex nihilo (Latin “out of nothing”) creation story, nor the alien-seeding theories popular among sci-fi fans and Scientologists, and while I remain somewhat amused (read: interested) in the introduction of hydrocarbons from space via meteorites (aka panspermia; see: Melikishvili [Melikov] & Krzhizanovsky 1896; Hoyle & Wickramasinghe 1962; Wing & Bada 1991-1992; Napier 2007), I've always felt the boiling bio-soup segue into the Darwinian evolution model fits best. Yes, there is life on Earth and, IMO, it arose as a miraculous singularity of creation and as a means for the Universe to experience itself. It's just a hunch, of course, but one I'm comfortable with.

     Now, conversely, this is NOT to claim that I deny the possibility of life emerging independently on other worlds – it's the Occam's Razor thing. Life elsewhere in the Universe isn't necessary to acknowledge and appreciate the biological diversity unique to Mom Terra. I mean, it'd be cool if other life was out there someplace, only it's not required to attest to OUR life on Earth. Besides, guessing whether life elsewhere (aliens) are sentient and relatively peaceful or caught up with the whole kill-or-be-killed thing ...is damned near beyond reasonable speculation per house rules.

Though she feels like a media-whore
Having sold herself many times before
Typing vitriolic rants to be cool
Wondering what timely trend comes next

Street punks stealing from the big stores
Damn, those looters move fast
A Burning Man event outside your door


Antikythera remains assemblage.

     As a sad matter of fact, though current Earth species are going extinct at an alarming rate, we still discover previously unknown terrestrial life-forms from time to time. It comes as no great surprise that the famous Antikythera mechanism (more astronomical calculator than “computer”) is a hundred years older than previously thought (Carman & Evans 2014). The Persians and the Medes got around... Unless one goes whack and subscribes to the Prometheus “Builder” scenario in which a single force or G*d, or a pantheon of supra or extraterrestrial deities, are replaced by a race of engineers, some who manufactured suns, planets, moons, and such, while others concerned themselves with creating life-forms whenever and wherever they could. It makes me pine for the simplicity of Darwin (or even Xenophanes).  There's James the Great (The "Bro'''), James the Lesser, and James Cameron the film-maker...  Fact and fiction often become a coin-toss...

We've got Ferguson going down in flames
With the police beating and macing the innocents
Damn, I doubt she even cares
As the cameras click away
Is there life on Earth?

The water-boarding is said to have stopped
And the terrorists have their beards cropped
Yet Guantanamo is still the place
Old problems are sent to die


Evidence of trepenation from the Neolithic.

     Is there life on Earth? Yes, but of what source and character. Anthropologists have long proposed we 'became' human because we took care of our young, old, injured, and disabled.  Yeah, various species do similar things, but humans do it better (at least during Democratic administrations...).  We suppose that fad fashion and fascism change with the passing of time, though both will likely co-exist as long as Homo sapiens sapiens are around. We can only hope to do better.

Hear the politicians complain and whine
Drunk on power and saying “All's fine!”
Bombing a city, a village or town
As some bleed and others frown

Though she feels like a media-whore
Having sold herself many times before
Typing vitriolic rants to be cool
Wondering what timely trend comes next

     I'm always drawn back to ”This did not annoy Amanda for it had long been her theory that human beings were invented by water as a device for transporting itself from one place to another.” Yeah, Another Roadside Atraction with its Jesus mummy remains a hoot (Robbins 1972), but one man's fantasy is another's sacred scripture. Sure, we can ALL be “Heroes,” maybe just for a day, but hopefully for millenniums to come.

Street punks looting all the big stores
Damn, those looters move fast
A Burning Man event outside your door

We've got Ferguson going down in flames
With the police macing the innocents
Damn, I doubt she even cares
As the cameras click away
Is there life on Earth?


A parody of Bowie's “Is There Life On Mars,” inspired by this season's American Horror Story: Freak Show, and Elsa Mars (played by Jessica Lange) singing the Bowie song again and again.

Bibliography:

Carman, Christian C. and James Evans. 2014. "On the epoch of the Antikythera mechanism and its eclipse predictor". Archive for History of Exact Sciences. 68, 6: 693–774.

Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe,N. C. 1962. “On graphite particles as interstellar grain.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 124: 417-433.

Melikishvili [Melikov], Petr Grigorʹevich and L. V. Krzhizhanovsky. 1896. Zhurnal Russkogo Fiziko-Khimicheskogo Obshchestva (Journal of the Russian Physical Chemistry Society). 28, 7: S-Pb.

Napier, W.M. 2007. "Pollination of exoplanets by nebulae." International Journal of Astrobiology. 6, 3: 223–228.

Robbins, Tom.  1972.  Another Roadside Attraction.  New York: Ballentine Books.

Wing, Michael R. and Jeffrey L. Bada. 1991-1992. “The origin of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in meteorites.” Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere. 21, 5-6:375-383.

There's life and then there's living,
Rick

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