Something from Nothing

A few days ago I when I was hiking, I found a grey and white striped turkey feather that was still perfect in form. When I picked it up and waved it, I was startled by how much wind resistance that one small feather could cause. And that is how humans learned to fly—from the design of a bird feather.

Turkey feather and pianoTo say that we create is a misnomer. We can, with ingenuity, fashion what already exists into different forms. But we can’t create something from nothing. I may sit at my piano and arrange notes in a way that makes my tune different from any other, but I didn’t make up the idea of music. I may invent a story; I could even shape my own language to tell it, but that doesn’t mean I created the thought of language itself.

What is the origin of music and language and bird feathers, and of everything else that inspires us? One day, maybe we will see something being created out of nothing.

And then we will know.

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