The Dutch paper “De Volkskrant” started in the fall of 2018 a series of articles on the question of the meaning of life.
My view of that question begins with another question: why are we different from animals? How come we can talk with each other and that we read newspapers and not them? We make steam engines and spacecraft and they don't.

 

I think it has to do that we have more sense. Are smarter, or with another word: are more intelligent. This allows us to devise and produce tools and equipment that make our lives comfortable. But how did that happen that we are more intelligent?

 

In the literature one finds all kinds of reflections on the effect of intelligence. But that's something different than an explanation , the science has not even generated a generally accepted definition for intelligence.
That's the reason I started a study about it. This led to a theory how intelligence arose and how it works.
The guiding principle of this theory is: intelligence is ability of the brain to create of a new manipulation which is to the advantage to the manipulator.
That is laid out in a book WITHOUT HANDS NO INTELLIGENCE.
It is in English because then I can promote worldwide my theory. It is not yet for sale.
That principle is an invention of mine but it turns out that it presents explanations of thus far unexplained behavior in both animals and humans and so it is an acceptable principle.

The principle was for 60 million years the guiding force in the creation of man. It was only In the very last stage, that next to manipulations, other abilities appeared with the same effect in developing man.

I am now going to describe the coincidences mentioned in the title. I number them to distinguish :
1. In the book you can read that 60 million years ago, an animal the size of a rat, increasingly went life in trees. To move quickly and easily through the canopies, arose, , grab organs by evolution to his limbs.

That an animal went to life so one may call coincidence, even though more safety was maybe the occasion. Choosing security was still a coincidence because not all land animals of small size chose this way of life.
This happened in the immense forests in Africa South of the Sahara. If that had not happened the development was stuck at the level of a squirrel because he developed, by the desire to move fast, sharp nails at the ends of his limbs. This configuration turned out to be no basis for further development.

 

The development of grab organs lead to the creation of the monkey and from there to the chimpanzee that of the monkeys came the farthest. He already had hands, with which he could pick food, fruits and leaves. instead of biting and thus could take his food better.
He came even though to use tools: with a stone cracking a nut, with a sprig fishing ants from an ants nest, use a ball leaves like a sponge and thus taking water from inaccessible cavities.
Still, it were only the only monkeys hands, whose thumb was more an appendage, whereby those monkeys hands could not much more as just described.

 

But yet, it appeared already that an animal with hands was going to make the best use of the principle of intelligence (coming up with new manipulations with an advantage) they would be able to invent the most new manipulations, progressive in difficulty, and thereby becoming ever more intelligent.

2. By a natural phenomenon the forests changed in East Africa locally to Savanna's.
The chimpanzees who lived there were forced to an dwelling on land 6 million years ago. It was pure chance that that happened to them. That led, through evolution, to hind legs that facilitated walking on two legs and there already arose an humanid who had his hands free that thereby facilitated a development towards even greater manipulation ability.

 

If that natural phenomenon had not occurred the development to higher animal species get stuck at the level of the chimpanzee. That animal lives to the present day still in trees.

3. He lived in an area with many pebble stones. That was pure coincidence.
Pebbles arise because in the high mountains rocks break loose due to freezing of water in crevices and by plant roots. Those chunks come through melting water in rivers and are carried along with the flow. There they wear off, through the tumbling across the bottom, towards nice smooth boulders that lay easily in the hand. Gravel stones are small pebbles.

With those pebbles he got used to a new kind of food on the savanna's

Those savanna's were populated by deer and buffalo. He discovered that animal carcasses, left by predators, contained bones and skulls which had at their inside still nutritious marrow and brain. He took that to himself by the shattering the skulls by a pebble and bones between two of them.
Those pebbles led to the creation of cutting stone tool that would grow to great perfection. Thus was born the technical man Homo habilis and Homo sapiens.
That last one emigrated to Europe 40000 years ago where he had to enter into new challenges because of a changing climate. He developed into a man who was almost our equal.

But there would be one step more in his development.

4. The following the suspicion of racism could go to rest on me. I declare that all people regardless of their skin colour are equal for me. In particular, that science is practiced by people of all types of skin color

 

The peoples of Western Europe are spanned by a long coastline.
That triggered a flourishing maritime see sailing at the end of the middle ages that was previously not matched anywhere else. With this large loads could be transported from the seas around the continent, that is not possible on camel backs.
That brought the European peoples to controlling the whole world and unprecedented prosperity in which all other peoples in the world benefited.

 

The reason for this course of events one may consider as completely random
Western civilization has established the high-tech world with unlimited challenges. Both on this globe and in space.

 

These 4 coincidences have brought forth the current man. There was no one who had a guiding function, let alone that there an intention or meaning was underlying.
There's no intention of our existence.

This knowledge gives us an insight how small the chance is on extraterrestrial life.
For the existence of creatures on an extrasolar planet, who are able to send radio signals to us, apply also that they must have originated by a number of coincidences. This may be completely other coincidences. But in their action bound to a certain order and that, together with a certain nature, makes the chance of these coincidences extremely small.

There are many exoplanets with earthly conditions necessary to make the chances of extraterrestrial life somewhat possible.
So far, from the 2000 discovered exoplanets there are at the most 5 where possible earthly conditions prevail (https://www.iflscience.com/space/five-most-earth-exoplanets-so-far-0/). So with the current understanding of viable exoplanets the conclusion is: as intelligent being we are alone in the universe.
©Max Farjon 2017
Leende, 31, 2017