Archive for May 7, 2010

THE RIGHT TO LIFE QUESTION

Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on May 7, 2010 by secretchan

As we know, the force of life is directed at survival, not of an individual species, but of life in particular, in and of itself.

Although it has no impulse to retain any particular form which we may call a species, there are some living creatures with an imposing history of natural survival.

The oldest living animal species on earth that we have discovered at the moment is the horseshoe crab, which has at least been around for 445 million years in a minimally changed condition. That has to be a great success story, because the great Tyrannosaurus rex lived for only about three million years and is of course now extinct. This seems to suggest that the biggest is not always the best.

Actually, the horseshoe crab is not a crab at all. Evolution-wise is related to spiders, ticks, and scorpions. In fact, their direct descent may have been the sea scorpion, which existed once more than 510 million years ago. A fish, the Coelacanth, is a youngster compared to them, with a mere a 410 million years’ record.

So how has the horseshoe crab managed to succeed? It is most likely because they have an excellently evolved immune system.

When a foreign invader, for example, a bacteria, enters the blood, the immune system goes to work. Using a substance called Limulus Amebocyte Lysate, it detects its presence and clots that particular blood sample.

That seems to point clearly to the fact that nature, without any superior external guidance, can mange to restore the system and preserve its life and thus the life force of all horseshoe crabs, as long as we do not eliminate them with the folly of our actions.

A question that arises which I do not pretend to answer is, “Are we humans reducing the true life force potential of the human creature by artificial external interruption of the biological processes.

“Should we be allowing the least fit to die in terms of biological, not social survival”?

Of course the pharmaceutical world would collapse, doctors would collect unemployment benefits or turn to the profession of law, and I can hear the horrified cries of religions and “right to life” (human of course) organizations at even the mention of the topic.

We are, after all, no better than fruit flies in a bottle reproducing and reproducing and will do so until the upper limit is reached. But while the fruit fly always continues with reduced numbers to continue life in his bottle, we will undoubtedly break the glass of our world in the vain hope that he human creature will go on and on as the great survivor.

I’m willing to bet on the horseshoe crab and the Coelacanth.

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