After having saved the world and,
After having made love to all the women in the world (metaphorically speaking of course) and,
After having talked about Me so much that my ears were about to fall off,
We were feeling hungry.
So we decided to do something about feeling hungry and get a bite to eat.
Ross had a snazzy restaurant in mind but unfortunately him being from Surrey and therefore not au-fait with London night life on a Friday, he’d neglected to book it. So that when we arrived no amount of Fatman charm could get us a table. The lady at the door was saying no. She wouldn’t budge. She was as stiff as an old witch with metal implants in her legs.
We begged (I begged). We pleaded (I pleaded). We swore (I swore). We then decided we hated all women (I decided I still loved all women) – and so vanquished and crestfallen with our tails between our legs, we gave up.
Well, we gave up at that restaurant. Not gave up eating!
At that point Ross came to the rescue and suggested a brilliant idea. Pizza!
Now, I have nothing against pizza as such. Pizza is cool. Pizza is safe. But only on weekends and only in front of the telly when you are watching Chelsea beat Bayern Munich.
So instead, we headed for a South Korean restaurant for some BimBim Bap. I ordered the spicy beef with rice and Kimchi pancakes. So did Cesar. Ross ordered something that looked like porridge without any flesh (body parts) in it. We drank to our health, and the rest of that meal is a sort of blur!
After the meal we headed back to the lounge at the Rathbone Hotel for part deux. Having had a little bit to drink my mind felt a little cushioned. I was feeling very happy walking through the purple skied dusky summer London evening. I don’t actually remember why I was happy. I just was. Just happy with simple existence I suppose, and happy to be doing something I genuinely enjoy: great conversation over drink.
Conversation that is free, where one can enquire, prod, poke about, rummage, and go up blind alleys of the mind. Like being at the helm of a spaceship in endless Space, without any restrictions on where you can go.
That kind of conversation.
We continued our dilettante evening over another bottle of wine and a cheese platter.
We talked about the Origins of life and the possibility of extra-terrestrial life forms.
Are we alone? Is there intelligent life on other planets? (Sometimes I doubt whether we have intelligent life on this planet!)
I then (being a biochemistry graduate and a bit of a scientist) gave a little lecture on my views on alien life forms:
*** START OF MY LECTURE!***
“Life can adapt to almost any conditions. Life is found deep down in underwater vents where there is no sunlight. Where the temperature is hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit. Life has found a way there…so life is extremely adaptive. Life is found tens of kilometres below the earth in solid rock where it lives off the rock itself. Bacteria have been found floating and living in the outer extremities of the atmosphere on the border with Space.
Life always finds a way…
That is not the question we should be asking. We talk about the icy moon of Jupiter, we talk about it possibly having a liquid ocean of water below the surface, and we wonder whether it harbours life…but, the question to ask is this:
What are the conditions required for life to first EMERGE? It is the ORIGIN of life that we need to think about not it’s eventual adaptation. Once life arises, it will adapt to almost any conditions. For example, I am confident, that life can live and adapt to Mars. But ONLY, if it first emerged there.
So, what are the conditions required for life to emerge? Are these conditions special and unique? How improbable was the emergence of life on earth?
THAT is the question!
THAT is the question! (repeated for affect)
And them there is another follow up question. Once life emerges on a planet, how improbable are the other steps to get it to intelligent life? For example, the first life to emerge on earth was unicellular (single celled – Prokaryotic). Then the Prokarotic cell became a Eukarotic cell, and this too was a major improbable leap. Perhaps as improbable and unlikely as the emergence of life itself. The next step is for Eukarotic cells to gang together and become multicellular. So now you have multicellular life. So life gets bigger and more complex. Then you have life with nerve cells and nervous systems, and finally, you get life with brains so complex they are self aware and conscious. Just like us.
Each of these steps on the Inca trail to our human level of awareness and intelligence could be, and probably is, as improbable and unlikely as the previous step. So that getting to our level of intelligence requires the multiplication of vast improbabilities together. So perhaps, intelligent life i.e like us, was a gigantic mind-bogglingly improbable fluke event. An event of stupendous chance and luck.
In which case, we may very well be…alone in the universe.
Which is all the more reason to look at yourself in the mirror and say:
‘You fucking freak of nature you! You glorious beautiful living and aware thing! You beauty you! Mooowah!’
I don’t mind being alone in the universe.
I am alone in my head, aren’t I?”
***END OF MY LECTURE (oh finally!)***
So after having said all that, I sat back, relaxed and took another puff of my ganja, sorry my spliff, sorry I meant my glass of wine…and cheese.
The evening was now approaching its twilight hour. My mind, our minds, now winding down. The dawn approaching and encroaching upon the night. The world a less of a mystery. Life a beautiful cut diamond. Love, still waiting. And women – still smelling nice.
Time to return to our beds…
…like Gods returning…
To the real world.