Tag Archives: life

Purpose of Life

Cartoon showing that there is no purpose to life

“What is the purpose of life” is obviously not a stupid question. It’s a very good question.

The purpose of life is more life.

All life is purely trying to create more copies of itself. The purpose of every living organism on this planet (yourself included) is to create as many copies of it’s genes as possible.

That is all.

That’s not what you meant right? What is the deeper purpose of life? What is the meaning of life?

That question is actually a lot like “What is the square root of a tomato?”

It doesn’t make sense.

There is no deeper purpose of life. Life just is. It is a bleak realization, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

I was recently reading the preface to Richard Dawkins’s Unweaving the Rainbow which contains this excellent quote:

Gone is all purpose; all that is left is direction. This is the bleakness we have to accept as we peer deeply and dispassionately into the heart of the Universe.

One-organism ecosystem in SA mine

Wired has this article on “the world’s loneliest species” which was discovered living deep (3km down) in a South African mine. This is the first ecosystem ever discovered that is comprised of only a single species. That makes it “the tidiest package of life found yet” with everything necessary for maintaining life packed into a single genome.


Creating life – mankind will do it

Those who thought that only God could create life are in for a nasty surprise. Wired has this article about a team of scientists who are close to creating life from scratch. The scientists are able to build protocells using fatty molecules (for the cell membrane) and inserting bits of nucleic acids containing ‘source code’ for replication.

These guys aren’t able to get the cells to replicate properly on their own yet – only certain DNA sequences get replicated. But they are close to creating a new form of life.