Part I: Thought Experiment
I wish to conjure up the image of a common object in your mind. The object is a Model 1911A1 Pistol, issued to members of the United States Armed
Forces as a standard issue sidearm in the Second World War.
It is a recoil-operated semi-automatic pistol chambered in the .45ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridge. A full-bore moderately powered cartridge,
with a reputation for being an more than adequate combat and self defense cartridge, the 1911 pistol itself, adequate respectively.
I wish to ask a question, what is a “1911 pistol”? Is it an object, an image? It is comprised of iron, chromium, sodium, carbon. Its particulars
derived from iron mines in South Africa, trees grown in California, the copper from South America. Everything it is, was at one point, somewhere else.
There is nothing new in it's chemical, atomic, or molecular makeup. In fact, it could be argued that the only “New” thing about this pistol is the
fact that it is presented before you, now, as opposed to some other time or place.
It takes no great predilection towards the sciences to understand that no two things are “the same”, it just so happens that you and your
neighbors twin 2007 Toyota Camrys are approximations of an idea that was born into the mind of its designer, and the elements therein are arranged
similarly enough to have them register same to the unreflective mind. The hands that crafted it are not the same, the metals contained in these Camrys
are from different places in the world, the day, date, place, and time where they were both assembled are entirely different.
I hope I am not entering the realm of intellectual voodoo in assuming my own state and place of being as accurate in light of what I have already
said, my only defense against such is the will that places these words to text, no more, no less.
So we have determined that the 1911 as an idea brought to fruition does exist, even if only as an avatar of that idea. However, nothing in it is
unique, not the composition, nor the processes of modification that make it so.
I wish you to imagine a desert planet, the sand of which is iron, chromium, etc. The planet is gripped by an incredible solar wind, heating its
surface and blowing its contents all about, this wind pushing forth heat at precisely the temperature needed to heat these elements to their melting
point, and to blow them away into the cold air on the other side that would leave them in a different shape, heat treated to perfection. It just so
happens that the wind happens to blow this molten metal into the perfect representation of what we perceive to be a 1911A1 pistol.
We know through our own will that these processes we will into action to be possible, we have also observed them occurring in our own environment
without our intervention (though that is an irrelevance), so we have created nothing. The only thing we have done, is move these events and elements
to a single point in space time. Even the moving itself does not necessarily require our will or energy to happen. Gravity being the foremost example
of unwilled movement.
No-one can disagree that existence of iron, and heat, and is a factor greater than zero. What does this really mean? That these things will (pardon
me) magically occur? Not necessarily. What is does mean, is that if EITHER time OR space is infinite, it will occur. I will leave the odds making
regarding the size and scope of our universe as we currently know it to the mathematicians. As well as the odds making on the events I have
presupposed in my exercise.
Part II: Dead Cities
So imagine if you will, the universe has a strange little corner, where it has not manifested life, or man. However, this corner is filled with
buildings and cars and radio towers that produce signals eerily like our own. No-one built these buildings, they merely happened.
If this phenomenon were to present itself within our scope of influence, would it hinder our ability to recognize life, or even the lack of such? If
our greatest test for determining the existence of civilizations is the remnants of what they willed to be. I've always wondered if we would even be
able to recognize or detect life beyond our own planet, if it wouldn't be missed altogether. Perhaps we could never recognize something that developed
without any need or use of our five senses, vice versa as well.
10 to the power of 9 is a great number of years for it to be so lonely out here. Even if we live on an atypical planet, and even if life itself is
Eternity is stifling.
Can anyone help complete my not so immaculate preconceptions?
Just some food for thought.
edit on 1-5-2018 by TurtleSmacker because: (no reason given)