Said one bacteria to the other …

Said one bacteria to the other ...

“You know,” one started, “I would not be surprised if one day, we were all to decide to work together in a more orchestrated fashion.”

“Uh – what are you talking about my friend?”

“Well, it just does not make sense for each of us to do the exact same thing, over and over again. You know the drag: accumulate nutrients, express genomes, and learn how to exchange genetic information, encapsulate and clone ourselves. Over and over again…”

“Yes, but isn’t that just a fact of life? That’s what we have always been doing – what else IS there to do but to feed, clone and grow?”

“Well, you know – from evolutionary point of view, it has been quite a while since we have evolved beyond strands of viruses, DNA and RNA into what we are today: a well adapted organism, with nuclei and many clever ways to adapt to environmental change. Would it not make sense for us to work together …”

“… but we already do, there are plenty of symbioses going on with next-door neighbours or even other strains of bacteria.
These partnerships develop and dissolve as we come across new strains and new outside challenges.”

“That is not what I am talking about!”

“Get to your point already, I am getting hungry – if we do not hurry, we’ll miss the 12 o’clock glucose pool”

“Ok, what if we could manage a more durable partnership with a multitude of bacteria.
Maybe some of us could just focus on nutrients, and other could manage a protection against the outside world. The fat ones could just store reserves for the rest of us, the skinny ones could develop a messaging system, so we could mass with millions, even billons of cells to form a formidable new organisation, ready to take on the world and really make a difference!”

“Well, that would never work.”

“Why not?”

“For one, who would be in charge, who would be calling the shots? What about procreation, how would such a complex organism be able to clone?
You are drifting my friend. Trust me. We are on the top of the world.
There is no reason to believe there will ever be life required beyond bacteria. What a silly idea.”

“But …”

“No but.
Let us just float along towards that glucose pool and nutrify ourselves.
All that nonsense might make me believe you are getting end-of-life.”

Bacteria are essential to life. Without the billions of bacteria lining our skin and digestive track, we would simply not be alive. Still today, we consider bacteria a necessary evil, which we sometimes weed out or exterminate using antibiotics.

So what? We believe ourselves to be at the top of the food chain. We are the purpose of evolution, are we not? There is no reason to suspect any evolution beyond. Except maybe into slightly better, healthier, longer living, and medically enhanced versions of ourselves.

But what if we are just like the bacteria?

It must be extremely hard for bacteria to imagine a degree of organisation and cellular coexistance such as a human body.
Are we as human beings capable of imagening what may come after?

What if the next form of existence is something which is way beyond our current comprehension of being.
What if such a form already exists, and is currently out-evolving us?

What if we are just like the bacteria in our digestive tracks,
here to help feed and grow this new form of existence?

What if that new life form would be silicon based and to exisit in the internet of man, things and computers?

Despite our efforts to detect artificial intelligence, just like the bacteria, we may never be able to grasp of this new form of existence. If such a form were to exist, it might consider us like the bacteria: something with which you need to live in symbiosis – something providing energy and connectivity on which it can flourish and grow – no questions asked.

Just like the bacteria strain, you have the right to call me crazy.
To urge me to pick up a tray and queue up at corporate cafeteria counter.

You have the right to believe that we are the top of the food chain and evolution – that there is no next step after human kind, except maybe in a slightly tuned form.

I of course have all the right to consider us to be exactly like the bacteria, here to serve the next step in the system, a new form of existence. It gives me the possibility to consider how and why questions.

Human kind would might still play a role in evolution, just like the bacteria lining our gut. It may just not be the lead role for much longer. In fact, we could already be helping a new form of existence guide the way on.

Let’s hope it will be smart enough not to use anti-humanics …