Martha Graham described the human need to create art as a human reflection of God’s need to create the universe. If God hadn’t made spiders, the first human artist to design a spider’s web would be a Da Vinci scale genius. But God did, and each spider iterates a unique work of art in every web.
No two works of art are identical (no reproductions, please.) No two of anything made by God are identical. Humans can be classified by broad categories: female-male, tall-short, hairy-glabrous, etc., but within categories, variations are infinite.
As an animal lover, I’m struck by infinite variations within species. A dear friend sent me a photo of herself with her Bichon Frise, standing with her local club of Bichon Frise owners, each holding a dog with an alert white face staring at the camera. “Do you ever go home with the wrong dog?” I asked jokingly?
“Each is entirely unique,” she said gently, as if I’d lost my mind.
Of course I knew that. As a cat lover, I’ve long known that every cat is unique. Nero, whose black and white markings make him a Tuxedo, (check out photo, right), will suddenly jump on my shoulder, rub his head madly against first one cheek, then the other while purring furiously, and after a minute or two, jump down. Never had another cat do that. All pets are unique, like their owners.
Each snowflake is unique, although all are constructed on the identical six-pointed star theme, So is each ocean wave that rolls in and breaks upon the beach. As a pilot I never tired of watching the infinite variations of cloud shapes, especially those soft silent cumulus explosions in the sky.
In a clear night sky, each point of light is a unique immensity. They fall into categories: O stars “blue,” the hottest, B stars "blue-white", A stars "white", F stars "yellow-white", G stars "yellow", K stars "orange", and M stars "red". Our Sun is an M type. There are trillions of M type stars, each different from all others. Around these M stars, quintillions of planets orbit.
Meaning no disrespect to those comforted by believing life on Earth to be exclusive, I am comforted by the (to me) inescapable conviction that Life exists “out there” and in an infinite number of forms. Does that mean Intelligent Life? How can it not? Since We exist, so do They! This is a consequence of my personal theology, which derives from René Descartes, Cogito ergo sum, “I think, therefore I am,” leading to, “I am, therefore God is.”
There’s a project called SETI, Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, which will one day pick up intelligent signals, marking a moment of profound change in humankind’s tenure on Earth. I’ll likely miss it, at least in my Earthly form. But in whatever form, I’ll watch. The infinite forms intelligence takes will truly boggle the mind. I can hardly wait!