Monday, August 3, 2009

The Spider and the Fly

A creature from outer space?

This is a close-up of a spider's "face." If we keep in mind that Earth is just as "out there" as anywhere else in the Universe, we could say that this is indeed a creature from outer space. And spiders are expressions of the same cosmic theme that fashions stars from stardust. They are very good at capturing a tight package of matter and energy, like, say, a fly and dispersing it to the surroundings. We'll see how this works but first a little poetry.

The Spider and the Fly—an excerpt
Mary Howitt

"Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue --
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour -- but she ne'er came out again!"

We all know what happened to the fly. Can't feel too sorry, since, if you read the whole poem, she is a victim of her own vanity.

Let's look look a this tragic tale from a cosmic perspective. A fly is, like the wax and wick in a candle and a gigantic cosmic dust cloud, a highly concentrated bit of matter and energy. Our cosmic theme predicts that a means of dispersing it will arise. In this case it's a spider. Injections from the spider's fangs liquefy the fly's insides and the spider digests the meal. The energy in the matter that was once the fly's inner body is eventually dispersed to the surroundings as heat. The spider uses some of the matter in the fly to maintain its body and some becomes dispersed as carbon dioxide and water vapor. The "unused portion," essentially the fly's skeleton, will be dispersed by other life forms, such as bacteria.

Next: Water into wine. What do these have to do with it?

(c) copyright, R. E.Morel 2009. All rights reserved.

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