Monday, 30 April 2012


Miller Moths and Me

Miller Moths have been educating me on similarities with my species. They agree with me that Global Warming is real so they are early this year and in much greater numbers, so we are quite careful in opening doors or windows not to let any in. Yet, it is always a surprise every evening when we turn on the lights to see several flirting with each light source. Blessed with a few different abilities I try to be helpful to critters that are harmless and in need of help, so, with a transparent plastic cup and a postcard I rescue about 50 every night, opening the door briefly and just enough to let them fly off to the street light.

The ingenuity they reveal in getting into the house baffles me; so does the stupidity once they are in. This morning I discovered five desperately trying to get out through a solid glass window in the garage. They were within a foot of the garage door which I opened to let them escape. Their fixation was such that not one deviated to find salvation. They were too high up on the window for my cup routine. I left the door open for them but hours later I found them dead. Was spending hours rescuing such stupid creatures worth the effort?

But then, I saw too many similarities. Their salvation was only a foot away. Perhaps ours is too but we do not recognize it either. Too many of us get into trouble through our own fault and fail to see escape routes. Too many of us also have fixations. Too many who escape go right back to the practices that got them into trouble in the first place. Yes, Miller Moths, we are cousins after all.

So, how far on the evolutionary ladder have we come compared to them? They can fly; we cannot. They are attracted to light; so are we. Their lives are short; ours somewhat longer. I can go on for pages listing things we can do that they cannot, but the difference in intelligence remains insufficient for us, like them, to understand our surroundings. What steps do I need to take to better my condition and how do I amass the gumption to take them?

Our species leads, or at least we think so, all living things in the knowledge we have achieved yet with every advance the Unknown expands to still challenge us. Why? Democritus, 2400 years ago, theorized the existence of atoms, the smallest entity of matter, but it took us until 1897 before we started to know that atoms were made up of electrons and protons and the 1960s before we knew that they were made up of smaller units called quarks and then to learn quarks come in 6 varieties. Far too small for us to see, but we have proven their existence by colliding protons at the speed of light in billion-dollar accelerators. Delving into this we learn about, but cannot understand, the Quantum World, even though we have learned to use it.

Then we have done an amazing job of tracing our origins back to The Big Bang and we can even date it at 13.6 billion years ago. So, what was there before that and what does it mean anyway? How could the collision of two Branes create such enormous amounts of energy? What is Energy? What is Life? What is Death? Even if we knew, would that tell us WHY?

Just while thinking about, and typing, this, I have rescued 9 miller moths who came to see and walk over my screen. They could not understand the words or know I was writing about them, yet I was their unknown Supreme Being, the Rescuer of Moths.

It would be nice if I could count on a Supreme Being to rescue me, but many who are responsible for all this knowledge we are accumulating keep telling me there was never any Supreme Being - just Science.

Really? We are still almost as ignorant as Moths. That is why I am an Agnostic. Who among us knows? I certainly do not and something tells me that you do not know either. But that is no excuse to stop searching for answers.

I am now turning out the lights. You and the Moths will have to wait until tomorrow - my dreams are my own.

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