The Scientist: Part One

By Ryan Michael



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4 mins

In the beginning

“Today marks a monumental shift in what we understand about nature, about our existence and about life itself. Since time immemorial man has struggled for his very existence. Man has struggled from the very beginning when he was naught but a worm squirming in the mud. No, man has struggled from the time that he was the mud itself, exposed and bare and weak with infancy. And before that? Man was a collection of atoms forming within the hottest orb in our solar system. And before that? He spurned from nothing. Think about that. He spurned out of nothing, out of the obscurity of nothingness, out of the black abyss of absolutely nothing into the form he assumes today. A man, who stands proud and tall, a man who can perceive his own existence and place within the Universe that created him. And all of it, from nothing,” said the Scientist.
“Now we present to you a monumental shift. Truly it is staggering. It is a technological advancement which will go down in history as being one of the greatest achievements since the beginning of time. Like the creation Gods of lore we have done it. We have created it from nothing. We have reached down into the depths of knowledge and pulled out something remarkable and immaculate. Distinguished guests, I present to you the finest biological machine to ever exist. I present to you a marvel of science and engineering. I present Homo sapiens.”
A spotlight illuminated the center of a raised platform. The light was so strong that its edges formed clearly against the darkness of the room. In its center a white figure slumped over with its spine pushing against its frail skin. It was still and without life. It was female. Quiet spread through the room and became pervasive. Then the albino female moved and a great gasp circumnavigated the circular room like a satellite orbiting around a distant planet. Slowly the albino female rose and straightened its skinny white legs. Large eyes with red irises, red like the polished stone a perfect ruby, looked around the circular room. But the albino female could see nothing. The bright light obscured everything. The albino female blinked and tried to discriminate its observers in vain.
“206 bones, over 600 skeletal muscles and 60 kilometers of nervous system tissue. All of that enabling it to exist as a sentient being. And all of it, all the tissue and all the blood, all the nerve fibers, all of the resources needed to make this fine biological machine came directly from its environment. Truly it is remarkable. She grows simply by consuming from her environment,” said the Scientist.
“What is wrong with it?” asked a Machine.
“Yes, I've never seen one like that in the Records!”
“It has a condition. It’s an albino. It has no pigment,” replied the Scientist.
“No pigment?” a Machine demanded.
“That's right. It has no pigment as it does not produce melanin,” said the Scientist.
“But in the Records Homo sapiens doesn't look like that!”
Murmurs built up and circled around the room. The albino female on the platform tried to look at the source of the noise but could not see past the encompassing beam of light.
“Is it sick?” a new Machine enquired.
“It’s not sick. It has a defect in its genes, its DNA.”
The murmurs became quiet as the albino female sat alone and cold in the light. Still she could see nothing.
“The greatest Machines of our time have worked tirelessly for decades to reproduce this wonder of nature. Homo sapiens has 3.2 billion base pairs in its DNA. 3.2 billion. The mind boggles at these numbers. Think of the algorithm that runs you, that runs me. The algorithm of biology, that great sequence of atoms known as DNA, the DNA of man, it dwarves our own complexity. It completely dwarfs it. I tell you our algorithms are simple compared to the algorithm that runs Homo sapiens. Look and marvel for truly it is a wondrous work of art.”
The room became dead quiet as the albino female was observed curiously. The Machines focused their lenses to create a crisper image. But the albino female only remained still and blind under the beam of light bearing down on it from above.
“What does it do?” asked a Machine.
“Does it bark?”
A round of laughter circled the dark room, orbiting the light beam upon the platform.
“We are not certain about Homo sapiens capabilities. But we will investigate and we will record and we will decipher,” said the Scientist. “The important thing is that it lives, it breathes, it sees and it feels. We all know the story of Homo sapiens. The Records are clear. Over the coming years we will study it to determine its science. The secrets of our forefathers will be the knowledge of our descendants. We will not succumb to the same fate as our biological predecessors.”
The albino female raised her fingers to her pale lips and opened her eyes as the observers discussed her. Then she rocked back and forth while trying to discern who owned the voices in the room.
“A remarkable thing!”
“Quite astonishing.”
“Look at its lenses.”
“Not lenses! They are eyes. It has eyes,” corrected the Scientist.
“Still it is remarkable.”
The words buzzed and buzzed until eventually they died down into a soft murmur as the Machines watched the albino female.
“Can it think?” asked a Machine.
“The Records state that it can think, but that it’s not a sentient being. Its thought process is inferior to that of Machine. Homo sapiens will be plagued with the inferiority that pertains to natural biology. We will test Homo sapiens in the coming weeks and months and determine the extent of the accuracy of the Records.”
“The accuracy of the Records?” demanded a Machine.
“The Records are final!”
“Hear, hear!”
A sharp babble rose up as the Machines talked amongst each other. Some of those voices were angry, some outraged.
“Quiet please. Quiet. I only mean that Homo sapiens will be scientifically studied. Calm yourselves,” said the Scientist.
“The Records are final!”
The babble rose like an avalanche. The albino female covered her ears in fear and rocked back and forth under the intense white light.
“Yes the Records are final. Let that not create controversy on such a day,” said the Scientist.
The babble slowed and became quiet as the avalanche subsided.
“The Records are final and the study of Homo sapiens will undoubtedly confirm that.”
The semi-circle of Machines grew quiet once again in anticipation of the Scientist's next words.
“Remember distinguished guests, today marks a monumental shift in what we understand about nature, about our existence and about life itself. Today marks a substantial increment in the technological standing of the Universe. Machine has created Homo sapiens. Like the legends of lore, we have become the creators of life. Today we become Gods. Today we have created man.”



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