Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friday Writings for Randos - Breath and Spirit

{Friday Writings for Randos - A weekly post that features pieces from other writers that touch some facet of the Randonneuring experience, even if that was not the author's intent. It's stuff that's best read out loud - slowly.} This week it's:...
An excerpt from: 
Running after Antelope
by Scott Carrier

In the beginning God inhaled and created all life. This is the Hindu creation myth. They have the same word for breath and spirit, as did the ancient Greeks. 

Over the years, I've realized that my brother is basically writing his own creation myth, although its couched in evolutionary terms, since he's a vertebrate morphologist and studies the evolution of breathing. His basic premise is that the form and function of an animal, its morphology, will develop around its pulmonary system. All of his tests and experiments with lizards, fish, birds and dogs rest on the underlying theory that the lungs and the pulmonary system always change and evolve toward increasing stamina and endurance; that is, the better the animal moves, the better it can find food and avoid becoming food for others. Always, the changes are driven by the need for more breath, and, to be metaphysical, more spirit or soul.
 . . . 

Any theory of human evolution, any story that tries to explain why we became different from the apes, is automatically a story of our most basic nature. And, for me, a story of our nature needs to ring true and be like a key that solves all kinds of mysteries. I doubt that we will ever have enough facts or be able to test and clearly demonstrate our nature as animals. I think we'll always have to settle for a story -- be it myth, legend or scientific theory. And what I want is a good story, the best I can come up with. That is why the running hypothesis still intrigues me. It says that we became upright in order to breath better, in order to increase our stamina and endurance. In order that we might have more spirit and consciousness. 


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