2.b) Theories on the origin of life
The theories about the origin of life are not within the limits of knowledge but rather in the limits of philosophy. The meaning and definition of life is the most difficult and direct concept that can be presented to any common philosopher.
When I considered the explanation for the General Theory of Conditional Evolution of Life (GTCEL) with detail, at first, I thought about not touching on philosophical topics because it was not the principal objective of the book. However, I have changed my mind, in part at least, because the global idea of the evolutionary theory could remain a little up in the air and because, deep down, it is a pleasure and difficult to resist when the script requires it. Also, the philosophy of life and the theories on the origin of life are an exciting topic.
On the topic of the philosophy of life, there are at least two possible complementary approaches or types of theories on the origin of life and its concept: logic and metaphysics or mysticism.
The first approach to the origin of life is the use of logic; the analysis from the dictionary’s definition and its relationship with the human being and living beings –trying to search for the origin of life or what could be the essence of life, or Life in capital letters.
From the point of view of science, it is interesting to recall that the theories on the origin of life and the very definition of life have been changing with its development and, therefore, it is worth putting a little distance from the specific scientific era to arrive to a concept more permanent in time.
The second one is a direct approach to the concept of life from within oneself, where words do not count, where thoughts are so fast that we perceive them only as feelings –those pure feelings that do not need logic because they are coherent in of themselves…
2.b.1 The logical approach and the broad concept of life
The General Dictionary of the Spanish Language provides us with numerous meanings for the word “life” in exact correspondence to its multiple uses. It would be excessive to comment on all of them, for which we will stay with the most relevant:
- An internal fundamental force through which acts the being that possesses it
- The nature that distinguishes plants and animals from other beings and presents itself through metabolism, growth, reproduction and adaptation to the environment
- The union of the soul and body
- Existence of the soul after death
Given that the word being appears in two of the definitions, two of its meanings are noted:
- Essence or nature
- Entity (that exists)
The first definition of life, as the dictionary indicates, is of the philosophical nature and it seems practically perfect. From this point of view, since it cannot be known for certain which beings have that internal force and which beings don’t, it is confined to point out "... the being that possesses it".
In the second, from the scientific viewpoint, the concept is restricted to plants and animals, which are the only beings that man is aware of through his perception, directly as well as through instruments, which possess such force. If science doesn’t have proof, it restricts the concepts; on the contrary, philosophy needs proof to be able to limit them.
This second meaning in the dictionary displays the classic definition of life as "Nature that distinguishes the plants and animals... and adaptation to the environment”, where we once again find the influence of the theory of natural selection. In the end, if we have not done it yet, we will end up being super adapted!
This philosophy of adaptation "as scientific truth" of the evolution of life is truly very convenient for the System; in short, what individuals have to do is to adapt themselves to it, because it does not make any sense trying to change it. Moreover, those other theories on the origin of life and human evolution are described as based in ideologies little less than detestable: racism, xenophobia, etc. Actually, it is difficult to do it any better from the point of view of an established system!
Perhaps it would be more appealing and correct simply to say, "The plants and animals are developed and try to improve". In this development and attempt at improvement, the ideas "... according to the environment..." and that "... to extend the independence in respects to the restrictions of the environment" would be more implicit.
If we thoroughly examine this point, at a first glance it seems that "evolution by adaptation to the environment" and "conditional evolution" –through the environment– are the same. In spite of appearances, the difference is significant. Although they have elements in common, the first stresses on the adaptation for survival and that is the cause of evolution; on the contrary, the second stresses on living and improvement to become independent or limit and surpass the restrictions that the environment imposes. Furthermore, the second also refers to another type of logical conditionings.
On the other hand, I think the concept could be more precise by means of enumeration of the characteristics associated with Life as necessary and sufficient conditions of its existence. These characteristics, according to all of the theories on the origin of life, should be present in the origin of life.
The third and fourth definitions tell us about the concepts related to life in this world: "body and soul", and life from beyond: "Existence of the soul after death", being, therefore, of religious nature. Now then, life is evident in plants and animals but we have not managed to locate it physically in them.
It would be much more admissible for life to have a nature similar to the force, the energy; and, as we know, energy is in different places other than plants and animals. Also, the destruction of the body does not mean the destruction of the energy that it contained!
This last approach to life as energy corresponds to the broad concept of life. As a result, it is an approach of the philosophical nature because it cannot provide proof or evidence; to a certain extent, it shares the religious approach, but its basic support is scientific because, from a strictly logical point of view, it seems to be more probable.
2.b.2. Metaphysical definition of life
The second approach to the concept of life and the theories on the origin of life comes from the philosophy and personal thoughts.
When we ask ourselves “what are we?” we realize that we do not have the appropriate words because the words like “soul”, “spirit”, etc. have external connotations of differing sorts in that they enter the context of metaphysics and philosophy of love. In fact, it would not be an inner mental question if others around you respond. Then, little by little, one loses what he/she is thinking and writing until, finally, words appear naturally; words that are not just words but poetry. Meaning only what one feels in that moment!
Therefore, one begins to digress, to feel the proximity of those with whom one travels in space and time... and try to imagine a Life without those memories, and one realizes that it would not make any sense. A Life without intelligence proves that it would not make any sense. A Life without Love or without hope of Love, then the feeling a lack of logic comes back.
All of them seem like internal conditions, necessary and sufficient for Life. Therefore, any theory on the origin of life should take into account that those elements or characteristics will exist since the beginning.
At the same time, the origin of all the characteristics is out the scientific scope and they remind us of the existence of metaphysics and philosophy of love.
I have included memory because the memory without an internal system that recuperates information is not memory but an archive. I have included intelligence, because it is precisely the internal system, which operates, among others, with concepts stored away in the inner memory. Also, Love because…
...sufficient and necessary characteristics such as the existence of space, of time... In any case, each one of them involves the others, but another always appears. I am referring to the internal freedom, to the Freedom.
Freedom is a common topic in metaphysics but that does not mean that we cannot argue and get closer to the concepts. To be able to exercise Freedom it is necessary to have options, these options must be retained in the memory and one should have a system of decision; eventually, to decide without Love...
Freedom and Love are at a poetic superior level to that of memory and intelligence; Love, being elemental, sounds too poetic for a characterization of life. For this reason, I prefer to summarize the concept, as "The essential nature of Life is Freedom".
Nonetheless, from the point of view of metaphysics and philosophy of love, or even better, from the poetic point of view, one could say about the origin of life, "The first concept included in genetic information is Love".
Finally, why not? Creating a little scientific poetry or pure metaphysics in saying, "we have been talking about the scientific existence of the Soul".