Years ago, I read a short story about creation. Not the “big story of creation”, but the on-going everyday variety. At least I think it was a short story, because the basic concept was far too simple to expand it into a novel.
The issue was about running out of atoms. The universe, and of course the world, had expanded to its limits, and had simply run out of atoms.
It remains an interesting idea. What would happen if the basic building block of creation was of short supply?
The story surmised that the “creator” would adapt a “recycle” plan, taking ecology to a cosmic level. But how would this manifest?
Bluntly, the creator, and his minions, would take apart unnecessary items, and use those atoms to create new “necessary” items. Nothing is lost, it just gets reused!
Now, the problem only occurs when the previous unnecessary items become necessary again. Not a real issue though, just break down some other item, and use their atoms. To a certain extent this is what happens with the life/death cycle on Earth. At a cosmic level it would be the same.
The story tells us that for several billion years everything was fine, except that life on Earth was growing and changing far too much. Pluto was a dead planet, no change, a carbon free environment soon to be labeled a non-planet. Earth on the other hand was exploding and using up tremendous amounts of atoms in the creations that were visible.
And that was the key. Visible and verifiable. What were things that were unseen and unverifiable? They were simply… memories.
What if you were to go to Yellowstone Park to watch Old Faithful erupt? It would be great, the steam, the great plume of water gushing, against a background of Wyoming pines… All this totally available as raw atoms once you left, because it then becomes just a memory. Memories do not need atoms.
Think about all the places that you have been only once, never to return! All those atoms are available for the new future places. All was well with creation for another several billion years.
But Earth did not slow down, even if Pluto did. So the story brings us to the present. All the atoms are busy being torn down in unnecessary places, only to be built in the necessary ones. And being ego-centric, we, humans, as creatures of merit, are completely involved in this ecology.
The problem of not enough atoms has grown to such an extent that there is only enough to build the world that we see. We look out and observe the world with our eyes. As we turn our heads, the world we no longer see is torn apart in order to create the world that we are going to see. Very egocentric. Basically, the existence is only the 180 degrees that we see.
But think about this as a possibility. If we turn our heads slowly, there is plenty of time for atom reassignment. If we jerk our heads quickly there is chance that we can see the universe building within our vision. And the deal is… that it is just getting worse.
There was a time when only a few quick individuals could see what was happening. As more and more creations come about, as more babies are born, as more smart phones are made, as more everything is created, they need more and more atoms.
Now, even the slowest among us can glimpse the destruction and creation, as we spin around, like dervishes.