Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Do Ants Have Souls?
I love art and design, and I ride my bicycle a lot. While riding, it gives me time to observe things, more than if driving in my car. It also affords a view not available from the roads. Humans are amazing creatures.
Humans aren't the only animals that build things. An example is bird nests. Swallows build unique nests, using layer after layer of mud to build little adobe structures. Some birds take it to a new level.
The other day, I was riding my bike and noticed something small on the trail. As I passed over it, I realized the object was an unusual anthill. It stood a couple of inches tall and about the same across its base. But what made it unique was that it got wider as it rose from the ground.
I often see ants swarming on the trail. You've probably seen this yourself. From a distance, it's a dark patch, seeming somewhat out of place. Upon closer examination, you see that it's hundreds or thousands of swarming ants. Writhing and pulsing in some unknown ceremonial dance. I'm not sure what the ritual is behind the swarm. Whether it's movement of the hive, a division of the community, or perhaps a war between two rival colonies. Whatever it is, it's interesting and eye-catching.
When riding, I usually recognize the swarming ants from a distance away. I can maneuver around the activity so as not to disturb it. I often adjust my path to avoid a sunning grasshopper or wriggling caterpillar. Sometimes I can avoid them, other times I cannot. I hear the telltale crunch as the creature meets its demise. Surmising from the numerous carcasses strewn across the path, many insects fall prey to bicycles. The bikers probably rarely notice.
Back to the ants: Sometimes it's too late to avoid the swarm. After riding through the dark patch of teaming workers, I imagine what it would be like to be at their level. A giant black object rolls through their community, killing hundreds of their sisters. Ant bodies fly into the air, tossed aside, and smashed flat in a wide swath. In the aftermath, writhing and kicking wounded lay among the corpses. Do they make a noise? Are there thousands of minute screams? Do ants even have ears? Do the other ants care? Do they even notice? Can ants even think? Do ants have souls?
If God created the entire universe and everything in it, He must be energy. If God is everywhere at all times, He must be energy. Without God, there is nothing, we are nothing. Physics tells us, energy can never be created, nor can it be destroyed. It can be transferred and stored, but never created or destroyed. If God always was and always will be, He must be pure energy. Science tells us that our entire universe was created in one giant burst of energy; The Big Bang. In the beginning, darkness filled the great abyss. God said "Let there be light" and created the first day. What is light? Energy.
Getting back to the laws of physics concerning energy. If our life force is energy, if our souls are energy, then our souls can never be destroyed. Depending on where that energy is transferred to upon our death is the basis of some religious beliefs. In reincarnation our energy is recycled into other living things. In other beliefs, our energy can go to a harmonious place in the sky where our life force can mingle harmoniously with God in everlasting bliss. Possibly, our energy could be transferred to the inner reaches of our planet where it will be tormented forever in the fiery pressure of Earths molten core. Can we choose where your energy goes after we die? I hope so.
So, do ants have souls? They obviously have energy. Ants can lift fifty times their body weight. That's a lot of strength. Is strength energy? Comparatively, that would be the equivalence of a human lifting ten-thousand pounds. Do you know how much energy it would take to lift that much weight? I don't. But I know it would be a lot. Comparing again, ants are packed with a lot of energy. But do ants have souls. All animals are alive because of energy. Do all animals have souls? Even a sloth has energy. Do sloths have souls?
These things may not have a sentient soul as we imagine it, but all of these things are a part of God. What about theories of a multiverse, where universe upon universe structured together create something even larger. What might that large something be? There is only one answer. God.
So, do ants have souls? God only knows. But maybe, just maybe, if we live our lives in such a way to eventually become harmoniously united with God, we will know also. Hopefully I'll see you on the other side.
What do you think? Do ants have souls?