It’s alive!!!


Today I'm going to go off on a little tangent based on an interesting thing I caught on the radio earlier this week.

There was a conversation about 'what is the criteria for something to be alive?'. Obviously there were lots of suggestions that something "…should have a soul…" an then "but how do we know if something has a soul" and "do dogs have a soul? Do ants have a soul? What about fish?!" You get the gist. Anyway, the scientist on the program (if only I'd caught his name, I was out driving) suggested that one commonality between living things is that they have moving parts that work together continuously to power themselves through a period of time (he was speaking at a cellular level so yes this includes trees, plants & amoebas).

Humans. Dogs. Ants. Fish.


Why not? No, they don't have a soul – probably…?! – but surely they tick(!) all the other boxes? There is something beautiful and incredible about the way all these little springs & cogs & buttons work together to do something so complex and so perfect. I'm not even just talking about elaborate automatic movements; have you seen a the tiny movement inside a cheap (or not so cheap!) quartz watch? How does something so small keep perfect time for years on end? And how about quartz itself? See previous blog post for my feelings about quartz!

Ah, but watches have to be wound or moved or have batteries to keep going.

That's right, and you had breakfast this morning didn't you? Well that's the same thing. We need food, plants need water and watches need their fuel of choice also.

Have I convinced you yet?! I think I've convinced myself, perhaps I'm just a bit odd (I've been called that and worse). Anyway, it's of no matter really, other than I wanted to get you thinking that next time you strap on that little gadget that has dutifully been keeping you punctual for years, think of it as your little friend.

Here's one of mine. He's something old mixed with something new and I call him Big Red.