Topic 3
If our brains could puke....

…. we would have had paradise on earth long ago!

Everybody has surely experienced the following fact once or even frequently - our stomachs protest violently when we have eaten something which doesn't agree with us, either with stomach pains and diarrhoea or with vomiting!

This life-sustaining protective mechanism of our stomachs receives strong additional support from our sensory organs (eyes, nose etc.) in advance. Nature thus prevents us from ingesting substances which are harmful or even poisonous to our bodies. Conservation of the species is, namely, only possible if the body in question does not poison itself, does not eat itself to death as it were, but multiplies dutifully and continuously - this is the only task of all living creatures by the way. More remains to be said about this later, so that today's half-baked human (the naked ape) finally realizes his total insignificance from nature's viewpoint and stops seeing himself as the navel of the universe (the crown of creation), thereby making a fool of himself!

Unfortunately, our brains completely lack this sophisticated capability of our stomach! Just imagine if the human brain could simply spit out idle thoughts the moment they are conceived, or would not even permit them! How much suffering and nonsense would humankind have been spared with a thinking apparatus of this kind? We would have had paradise on earth right from the beginning - despite having been tempted by the apple! No halfwitted idea would ever again have the opportunity to poison us mentally: for thousands of years, humans believed that the earth was as flat as a disc and the centre of the universe; far too many people today still believe in ghosts, gods and demons; there is even speculation on life after death - the poor Egyptian builders of the pyramids dragged all those heavy stones in vain! Unfortunately it is possible to continue at will with examples of the real craziness of our indifferent brains. It is of much greater interest and above all more productive, however, to illustrate the background to this strange behaviour and particularly its immense persistence over thousands of years.

Let us start with the complete human being.

Word has now got around that we humans are very closely related to apes (particularly to chimpanzees and bonobos). About 99% of our genes (components of the blueprint of our whole bodies) are identical ! Our genetic relationship with the dairy cows in the pastures (80 %) and with houseflies (60 %) is not to be sneezed at either!  Life may be rare from the point of view of evolution, but it is nothing spectacular. If the environmental conditions are right, as is, e.g. currently the case on our as yet blue planet, nature seems to be very creative: nature uses a total of (92) naturally occurring building blocks (so-called pure elements: the first element is hydrogen and the 92nd is known as uranium) to produce all known and unknown living creatures on this earth - microbes, plants, fungi and animals, including us humans! The fact that human beings themselves are nothing special is clear to anyone (?) who looks at his own individual building blocks. The following can be found in any relevant medical reference book: the human being consists of - see our Table 1 here.

As can easily be seen from Table 1, the human body gives the impression of being a fairly well-assorted materials store. At a closer look, it becomes apparent that humans are created from merely 47 of a total of 92 elementary materials by nature - 1 more material than half of the total is therefore sufficient to "conjure up" a whole human being! If one further realises that all the components consist of inanimate matter, one is truly fascinated by nature's enormous potential! It becomes clear that nature is not only highly creative but also very economical: please look at the first 6 "main elements" which make up our bodies (O, C, H, N, Ca and P) - they are the cheapest of materials. Ask your doctor or chemist how much these materials cost per kilogramme! 65 kg of oxygen, 18 kg of carbon, 10 kg of hydrogen, 3 kg of nitrogen, then a little bit of calcium and even less phosphorous - with that you have already managed to assemble 98.5 kg of a 100 kg man together (e.g. me!); all that's missing is a pinch of fine "spice", just as in a curry mixture par excellence consisting of 41 different "aromatic substances" - with that your human being is complete! The cook in this case is NATURE and not the Lord God - dammit!

Charles DARWIN established over 150 years ago that all living creatures on this planet have the same origin! Isn't it wonderful and reassuring that we are all somehow related to each other? Seen from this point of view, there can be no reason to regard any other living creature as our enemy! A quote from Alfred ADLER, that keen observer of human nature, would fit in here : "... a lot more grows and flourishes in life through THE FEELING FOR COMMUNITY (often known as SOCIAL INTEREST) than through the battle which humans fight against each other." Alfred ADLER will accompany us time and again...

This beautiful and precious communion of all living creatures on our planet can even be expanded to include the whole universe: we now know that all the elementary building materials apart from hydrogen are produced by the process of nuclear fusion in the suns of the universe, i.e. in our sun too, two hydrogen atoms are constantly compressed under huge pressure and at an enormous temperature to form helium, the next element (no. 2 in the Periodic Table, see below). Not only is the element helium produced during this process, but also the life-giving rays of the sun which we experience as light and heat. All the further elements of the Periodic Table (no. 3 up to and including 92) are generated in a similar manner in the various suns of the universe. The higher the number of the element (e.g. gold = 79), the bigger the sun in question has to be (the more mass it has to have) in order to "produce" it at all. Unfortunately, our sun would be much too small for the production of gold! Under certain conditions it just about manages iron = 26. For gold it would have to be at least nine times bigger, according to astrophysics! Well now, suns don't exist forever. Some day they run out of hydrogen for compressing and then they explode. In so doing they scatter all the elements they have produced up to that point into the universe. These explosive clouds (elements 2 to 92) plus  "permanently existing" hydrogen (element no. 1) then give rise to new "earths" and perhaps also to new "humans"! For our existence this means that EVERYTHING, whether it be animate or inanimate in form, consists of these explosive clouds (known as "stardust")! If that doesn't create a universal feeling for community in the truest sense of the word - even with aliens - then we are truly beyond help!

For a better understanding of this cosmic community let us look at Table 2, which lists all the naturally occurring elements in sequence (beginning with hydrogen, the lightest element, and continuing as far as uranium, the heaviest).

The sequence from 1 to 92 is quite simply the result of the atomic structure of the elements. The term "atom" comes from the Greek word "atomos", meaning "indivisible". Although our understanding of the atom is not quite accurate today, the concept has simply become established in the scientific world. We are indeed capable of breaking down atoms into even smaller subatoms, see e.g. the atomic bomb, where the nucleus of the uranium atom is split apart.

It was only at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century that a better conception of the atom became possible: a massive, positively charged atomic nucleus with a much smaller and lighter negatively charged particle spinning around it. It is structured in the same way as our solar system, with the heavy sun in the middle and the planets orbiting around it.

Now everybody (?) should remember from their schooldays that the electrically positively charged particles in the atomic nucleus are called PROTONS and the electrically negative particles which rotate around the nucleus are called ELECTRONS. The term "proton" also come from the Greek word "protoi" and means "the first". Proton was, namely, the first elementary particle to be discovered! "Prototyp" is another lexical formation from the same Greek origin.

It has emerged that hydrogen is the "simplest" element: an atomic nucleus consisting of one proton and one electron in orbit. The electrical charges (+ and -) cancel each other out and are therefore electrically neutral with regard to the external environment. That is why we do not get an electric shock when we touch an element. And as (+) and (-) charges are attracted to each other, the electron has to rotate around the proton quite quickly so that they don't collide - in the same way as the earth and the other planets of our solar system, so that they don't crash into the sun. Whether the attraction is created by the electrical charge or by so-called gravitation (mutual attraction of otherwise electrically neutral masses) plays no role for our observations here.

It has furthermore been established that elements differ from each other in terms of the number of protons found in their nuclei: i.e. element 2, known as helium, has 2 protons and two electrons for electrical equilibrium. But now a new problem arises: two (+) charged particles in the helium nucleus! They necessarily repel each other - see schooldays! In order to stop this repulsion from occurring, NEUTRONS are available (thus called because they are neutral, i.e. they have no electrical charge, but just exactly the same mass as the protons). This means that two neutrons are required to keep two neighbouring protons stable together in the atomic nucleus. Our helium atom is now complete: 2 protons and 2 neutrons in the atomic nucleus; two electrons in orbit. Here is an indication of the mass of an electron in order to give a better idea of the proportions in an atom: approximately 1840 electrons are needed to obtain the mass of a proton or a neutron!

As already mentioned above, it was possible to differentiate and thus also to classify all the elements which occur in nature by the number of their protons. The well-known (?) "Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements" was developed from this - hello schooldays... "Periodic", because certain characteristics of the elements repeat themselves periodically depending on the number of their protons - see the “main groups" in any Periodic Table.

To clarify our purposes, all the elements which occur naturally in nature are listed in Table 2 according to the number of their protons only. The numbers of the sequence correspond to the "proton numbers" (atomic numbers) in the Periodic System.

It has only been possible to establish the existence of these 92 elements in the entire known universe. The reason for this may be that it is very difficult to keep 92 protons stable within a very small space (in the uranium nucleus) despite the 146 (!) neutrons striving for stability. The element disintegrates of its own accord as it were - this is what is known as radioactivity! This is the reason why it was possible to realise the "mad achievement" of humankind - the atomic bomb - by splitting the uranium nucleus.

So, nature stops producing new elements when it gets as far as uranium because the stability of the new material can no longer be guaranteed. Human beings have, as far as I know, already created the 117th element artificially – one of these elements is plutonium = 94, which is extremely "toxic", i.e. very highly radioactive. "Radiant times" await us "apes"...

But let us return to Table (1) for a moment: only the pure elements which occur in the human body are listed here. This does not mean that the elements build up our bodies independently on their own, but that they enter into chemical bonds with each other and only then form the human body. If two or more atoms (pure elements) combine to form a new material, this is described as a molecule (from the Latin word "mole" for bulky mass, lump), e.g. H and O bind together into the H2O molecule (two atoms of H bind with an O atom; the result is what we call water!). Another well-known molecule is created when sodium (Na atom) and chlorine (Cl atom) combine: NaCl molecule, also known as cooking salt. Molecules can combine with each other or with other atoms to form bigger molecules, thereby facilitating an enormous variety of building materials. Nature thus builds us from the most varied combinations of the 47 pure elements of Table 1 and needs the stated amount per person for this.

Even if we do not know at this point HOW and WHERE the enormously important element, hydrogen, was created, this gap in our knowledge should not send us off in the wrong direction straight away!

Some astrophysicists are contemplating the "theory" (or rather the assumption!) that the "big bang" is the origin of all matter, above all of hydrogen, and in so doing forget to explain WHAT is supposed to have "gone bang" and "WHY"! In their desperation, they cling to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, claiming that the "big bang" can be derived from this. This claim is, however, incorrect! Mathematical equations are enduring and can sometimes be very seductive: by means of various legal "tricks", akin to curve sketching at school, it is possible to tease out a lot of pieces of additional information - whether these "by-results" also correspond to the truth is a completely different question!

Here it is easy to make the mistake of seeing things which one absolutely wants to see but which do not exist in reality - here one is once again a victim of what can be called "brain compulsion", as explained later.

Today's humans must finally accept that they cannot explain everything down to the last detail - so what?! The human being's "eternal" megalomania will keep us occupied for a long time, until we have hopefully moved towards somewhat more humility and above all level-headedness. A handful of the most primitive technical gadgets (cars, airplanes, rockets, industrial plants etc. etc.), the production and use of which constantly place a burden on humans and nature in a highly irresponsible manner (buzzwords: burnout, climate warming), and the pseudo-democracies which are merely acted-out worldwide seem to completely bedazzle this wannabe "God's likeness". The human would probably be much nicer as a "wild boar's likeness" - definitely tastier - and perhaps also considerably smarter? Considering the way humans have behaved up to now, they will not be able to develop any further; they have been treading water for thousands of years and do not even notice it - past epochs are our witnesses to that.

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