Just Walking on the Beach: An Allegory

As I’m walking on a white sands beach of the Pacific coast, the rain begins to fall. I spot a blue rain speckled rock among many others. Obviously many thousands of years of sea water have washed over and over its surface, polishing and polishing it till it now feels smooth and glazed with its original rock color, whether green, yellow, blue or brown. It’s all very naturally charming, and I enjoy picking up the prettiest pebbles on different beaches, to put them on my desk at home, to remind me of the beauty of nature.

當我漫步在太平洋岸邊白色的沙灘上,雨開始飄落。在無 數石頭當中,我注意到一塊帶有藍色雨點紋的石。顯然,千萬 年來海水一遍一遍沖刷它,打磨它,使它現在摸起來是如此光 滑,呈現着石頭本身綠色、黃色、藍色、棕色的色彩。這一切 都是大自然的魅力。每到不同的海灘,我都喜歡撿拾漂亮的鵝 卵石,把它們擺放在家里的書桌上,提醒我大自然的美麗。

Rain speckled stones on the Pacific beach, washed by thousands of years of waves.

I walk further and pick up a bowl. It is sculpted well and seems to be derived from a coconut shell that has been polished and made for use in a kitchen, most likely by a long ago native. I think I can actually use it; it looks like it would hold a hot evening soup quite well without leaking. And I love collecting native things.

繼續漫步,我又撿起一個碗。這個碗雕刻得不錯,看來是 個經過拋光的椰子殼,是個廚房用具,很可能是很久以前本地 土人做的吧。我想我應該用得着這個碗,用它盛晚餐的熱湯應 該蠻不錯,似乎也不會漏水。而且我喜愛收集有當地特色的物 品。

I walk further and I pick up a jade carving of a small tree with bright green leaves and sharply pink flowers. With a bit of washing and rinsing off of the bits and pieces of water plants entangled among the leaves, I could show this artwork in my living room. I conclude that this jade carving must be the work of a skilled Chinese craftsman, maybe even very recently.

繼續漫步,我撿起一座玉雕小樹,有翠綠的葉子和亮粉紅色的花朵。稍作清洗,沖刷掉樹葉間的水草,我就可以把這件 工藝品擺放在我家客廳里。我推斷這個玉雕一定出自一位技術 嫻熟的中國工匠,甚至可能是很近期的作品。

Suddenly, I’m surprised to see a very large building along the beachfront, and so I’m curious, and want to check it out. I enter its ornate entrance, decked with pictures of men who have made great technologic advances in history. The lobby area is a tall ceilinged room where there are hundreds of computers, their screens flashing with blue, green and red figures, accompanied by tweeting signals and ringing alarms. I look at this beautiful building with its complex computers, and I exclaim to my friends around me, “oh this is just nothing, all it takes is millions of years of seawater sloshing over the shore, with intermittent bolts of lightning from the skies, and suddenly bingo, this all happens. It’s just natural. It doesn’t need any logic. It’s all a matter of chance. There really is no goal in all of this. It just happened!”

突然,我驚訝地看見海灘的盡頭有一座非常大的建築物, 我很好奇,想去一探究竟。我經過華麗的入口,看到一些人物 畫像,畫中的人都曾經在歷史上大大推動了科技的進步。大廳 的屋頂很高,里面有數百台電腦,顯示屏上閃爍着藍色、綠色 和紅色的數據,還能聽到啾啾的信號聲和響鈴提示音。我看着 這座配備複雜電腦的美麗建築物,向我身邊的朋友們驚嘆道: “哦,這也算不得什麼。只要海水沖刷岸邊幾百萬年,天空間 中有閃電擊下,這一切就會忽然之間出現。這只是自然而然的。 不需要任何邏輯。這全部是偶然發生的事。這一切其實沒有什 麼目的。就是這麼發生了!”

We recognize a sea wave polished rock on a beach, a native made bowl, an artisan made jade carving , and a well designed computer office built by smart humans, because our brain recognizes each distinctive feature.

我們之所以能夠辨認出岸邊經過海浪沖刷的石頭、土人造 的碗、巧匠製作的玉雕,和聰明的人類精心設計的電腦辦公大 樓,是因為我們的大腦能夠辨認出它們不同的特徵。

A complex computer room: how many bolts of lightning does it take to create this?

In the beauty and complexity that is in all of nature, we logically should recognize that there may be a super high logic and intelligence behind all of this. This beautiful complexity is present even in the so called “simplest” parts of our body (like, what is that?), any part of the body, or any cell of the body. We can’t really say to ourselves, “Oh, it just happened, you see it’s here, so it must have happened.”

自然界的一切都是美麗而複雜的,我們從邏輯上應該曉得 其背後可能存在超高的邏輯和智慧。這種迷人的複雜甚至存在 於我們身體中所謂“最簡單”的部分(其實沒有什麼真是簡單 的),在身體的任何部分或任何細胞中。我們真的不能對自己 說:“哦,那是碰巧的,你看它就在這里,所以一定是這樣。”

And where does all this logic and intelligence come from?