From Mother Nature…

… to Nothing?

My recent piece about ‘man vs mother nature’ provoked a lot of interest. It also revealed a universal belief that Mother Nature is destined to win.

The discussion provokes me to reopen a question that has tantalized me since childhood: Where did Mother Nature come from?

In talking about space and time, many scientists assert that TIME did not exist until THE BIG BANG. (Others doubt time exists at all, except in people’s minds.) Before then was … nothing.

OK, so the raw material of a vast universe (itself ever expanding into other “nothing”) sprang from nowhere, from nothing. It wasn’t, nothing was, until it suddenly was. When I was a kid there was an expression – “let’s make something out of nothing.”  We rarely got around to finding what the something was, much less the nothing.

Obviously, we are constrained by language. We simply do not have the words to describe those things we really do not know or understand. But, we could anytime have found/created such words, if we either needed them or had any real idea of what it was we wanted to say.

Now, as we creep forward through this pandemic, we’re compelled to speculate about who/what Mother Nature is and how powerful she can be. We might finally have reached the point where the need to get a grip on where SHE came from is key to our survival.

Admittedly, much of this subject is about a state of mind as abstract as a belief in a God. Yet, despite that abstraction, God has been a very important part of keeping humanity in tow to behave the way Mother Nature wants.

And however philosophical the questions may seem, they contain real challenges for science, too.

So, my current conclusion AGAIN is that the question of what came before something, which is effectively nothing, pushes us back to what we incontrovertibly know: a simple belief in LIFE itself and, with it, an obligation to cast our glance always forward, building a better future instead of mourning a flawed past.

After all, if Mother Nature had wanted us to look backward, she would have put eyes in the back of our heads, too.

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