Friday, March 7, 2014

It was all decided before it began

The size of your prefrontal cortex, the physical space the bones in your skull allow your brain to occupy, the spacing of your eyes, the fullness of your lips, the proportionality of the sum of the parts that constitute you...Everything that makes you smart, attractive, and likable have nothing to do with anything but cells and how they combined to become you. It's not all bad, you're not a sea cucumber nor a virus, but neither was the elephant man, yet he was destined to become a conversation piece owned by Michael Jackson, who was destined to become a cautionary tale for both obsessive parents and the negligent parents of prepubescent boys.
Thousands of years into "Man," "Mankind," or the currently accepted "Humankind," and we are exactly where we were when written history began. Everyone is trying to figure out what it's all about and how there's more available to us somewhere, presumably somewhere in the sky. The sky may just be a randomly chosen place for the heavens, because it is not here nor is it "below," which is clearly a bad location for heaven. I digress, which is something I do remarkably well. So, thousands of years later and we are all still convinced that this all has something to do with us and our "eternal souls."
Enter a cell, with interesting spirals of information so eager to spread their knowledge that they duplicate themselves over and over, but each time the newest cell has a slightly different purpose than the previous one. Two becomes four and eight and millions, and as the prefrontal cortex develops, it knows. It knows that it is not the biggest and not the smallest, but it is just big enough to understand that it will always be just less than it would like, and there's nothing that can be done about it. If all goes well, the mass of cells may someday be represented in, wait for it...Heaven! "Yeah" goes the medulla oblongata, always unaware of the prefrontal cortex's genetic limitations and happy to keep the heart pumping. Somehow all of these billions of cells in all of these billions of people were created by a creative force that has a plan for each of us, a force that also saw fit to apply this tremendous power and all-seeingness to have a guy carve some rules in a stone for us to follow... If he had waited until now to lay down the law, a quad core processor would have held some really in-depth rules and really clear cut paths to heaven that wouldn't need an entire sector of society that doesn't pay taxes to interpret them for us every Sunday.
So, a mass of cells that was always going to be whatever they are sets out into the world and slowly discovers that they are limited by God. Well that's not a good plan at all, shouldn't the cells have unlimited capacity if they live correctly? Well no, because the damned prefrontal cortex was always only going to be what it is, and if your not Einstein, it's not enough. So, if you dangle your baby over a balcony for the world to see, or you limp around awkwardly because your cells performed poorly, that's always who you were going to be, and if you had been born thousands of years ago, nothing would be different. Cheers!