The earth formed about four and a half billion years ago. Life began about four billion years ago as soon as the earth was cool enough to support it. Simple cells formed first. These were pre-life chemicals  and they allowed a complex stew of chemicals to accumulate and interact for millions of years in a primitive ocean.

Soon membrane-forming reactions isolated some of these chemicals into simple units. Once this combination was isolated it had all the requirement for life. Isolation protected them from the environment and also created their identity. Their purpose was to survive and avoid destruction and gain more matter so they could replicate. Successful life formed when these cells learned new knowledge.

For the next three and half billion years. cells multiplied, diversified, grew complex and learned to exploit new energy sources. Finally, life’s own activities changed Earth’s atmosphere in to an oxygen-rich environment and cellular organisms took off.

A half-billion years after this life began and our species evolved. We have the same purpose: we must survive, acquire matter, reproduce,and gain knowledge.

It is our common humanism that defines our morality. We must value our existence before we value others. We have a duty to our mates, friends and family. We share life with the closest to us. Beyond friends and family we have duties to state and country. All this culminates with our common humanity.

The truth is we are still evolving.

Forgive me Gary Wood, biologist, editor of the Mountain Monthly newspaper. He still writes  an Everyday Philosophy column. I edited and shortened his response to Tom Flynn’s Secular human is is…Please, all of you try to find  the February/March edition of FREE INQUIRY.  Christopher Hitchens has an article on Condoms and the Pope. Worth the read.

Be thankful we live in a blue state. Hawaii is the best state in the Union. We CAN become a beacon of sanity and reason to the rest of our messed up country.


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