Artwork by Rafael AraujoTwitter/rafaela31416

Biological forms,

are they angels or are they not?

their designs and geometries -

are these nature’s best creation

or are they not?

*

Countless questions like these exist,

but what’s most profound to me is

how form and function exist together,

since no form exists without a function,

and no function exists without a cause.

*

It is quite often the case that

“why” questions are hard in biology,

much harder than black holes, quantum gravity,

or some notorious unsolved conjectures in maths -

not because they are harder to address

but because myriad answers can exist

and yet remain incomplete.

Artwork by Rafael AraujoTwitter/rafaela31416

*

For example,

why are two budding lovers attracted to one another?

how do these life forms flex and mold in each other’s ways?

The function is obvious but what drives the attraction?

Does physiological synchrony drive the “gut feeling”

or are concealed feelings crucial behind the chemistry?

The answer can be convoluted, complex; even inaccessible.

*

Consider the case of a white-spotted male pufferfish

which carves complex geometric circles on a seabed

to attract female fish as part of courtship rituals.

How has this genius evolved to its current form -

never would the greatest artist of the sea tell us -

perhaps it’s futile to ask an artist about their art.

*

Many such questions of growth (function) and forms

dazzled D’Arcy Thompson, the pioneer of mathematical biology,

who took diverse life forms - tissues, tusks, trees - and

expressed their beauty in geometry conforming to their forms;

explained their function with physics - just Newtonian physics.

*

And yet we are nowhere near discerning nature’s intelligent design -

perhaps we never will be, because of the confines of our cognition -


READ MORE

Mountain View

So much beautiful time

similar to how we can’t “orchestrate” a feeling for someone,

maybe we can’t “orchestrate” our intelligence.

All we can do is live within our cognitive confines,

and instead of engineering artificial life forms,

just revel in nature’s perfect geometries -

as to why elegant equations exist

atop an abstract arena

no one really knows.