Biochemistry: The basis of common humanity

‘Humanity’ literally refers to the human population that thrives and rules over planet Earth. On examining further, you will realise that humanity is simply a collection of certain intellectual organisms that inhabit roughly ten percent of the planet’s surface area. These organisms live as sister populations in various regions under diverse conditions, and further as communities. Humans are social beings, which is why the term ‘humanity’ becomes even more meaningful. Here, humanity is the quality of being humane.

To me humanity is about generosity, kindness and empathy not only towards humans, but to the entire ecosystem that I am a part of.


Humans or Homo sapiens are at the highest level of classification in taxonomy. We’re thinkers, innovators, artists, warriors, change makers, activists and so much more on the outside. Whereas, on the inside we’re only forty-two million molecules interacting with one another. These molecules are responsible for life- its working and propagation. But how do molecules interact with each other? The answer is Biochemistry- through chemical reactions and other such processes. Now chemical reactions are the breaking of old bonds for the formation of new bonds.These bonds are nothing but chemical bonds and they are very important for us. It truly amazes me that everything I am today is because each of the forty two million molecules bonded exactly the way that they did. It truly amazes me that whoever I am today is because one hundred trillion meters of unique DNA was condensed, coiled and packed into fifty trillion cells.


As humans we need to understand that we aren’t very important to the universe. We’re merely a function of Biology propagated through Physics, Chemistry and a good fortune. We’ve evolved from protocells known as coacervates to organisms with brains like supercomputers. Perhaps, it is the human brain which is the root of all problems. It’s increased efficiency has given it a unique fundamental biological feature of self consciousness. Self consciousness aided by a vivid imagination has caused us humans to believe that we descended from the sky with a purpose or a goal. Whereas, in my opinion, we are aimless and the ‘not knowing’ aspect frightens us. So we create stories such as the theory of Special Creation by Father Suarez. Such theories ignore evolution and add to this world a questionable entity of God. A supernatural entity seen and heard by none. An identity that has an answer, explanation or solution for everything, a path decided for everyone but won’t seem to tell anyone about it. Sometimes I wonder if God exists at all, and if they do and they love everyone as said in the holy books, then what is the cause of prejudice, injustice, greed and malice? I wonder if the goodness of God is only alive in fables or does it apply to every individual irrespective of race, religion, caste, gender and sexual orientation?

The point is, we don’t know if there’s a God and if they’ll ever come to save us or judge us for our actions. What we do know is who we are, and I think that will suffice for survival.


Sometimes, people talk about a soul which is central to the realm of spirituality. Spirituality deals with the ideas of karma and so much more. It’s believed life is a circle- what you give will eventually come back to you. I strongly disagree. This world isn’t fair. It never has been fair. Innocent children die, cities and jungles burn down killing hundreds and sometimes thousands. Everything is so random and we don’t know why. Not only aren’t there any answers but there aren’t even solid questions that need to be asked. I’m okay with that. I don’t feel the need to be rewarded or rather reimbursed for the losses that I have suffered during the course of my life.

Everything that I feel is due to electrochemical impulses travelling at a speed of hundred meter per second through eighty six billion neurons in my brain. Moreso, our emotions are due to hormones and neurotransmitters- chemicals of so many different kinds that cause changes in the protoplasm of cells of some specific parts of the brain that in turn generate a suitable neurological response known as an emotion. Emotions are further expressed through neuromuscular pathways. This is also why our ‘souls’ will never travel with us and we’ll never see a heaven even if there is one. Once the brain is dead it won’t relay electrochemical impulses and even if there is an afterlife we won’t be able to experience it.

It’s hard to accept but when the curtain of life finally falls there isn’t going to be an afterparty for the cast. Instead, there will be a blackout for real.


We’re never going to heaven and we’re never seeing God. We have this life- a community, and an ecosystem that we can see, hear, touch, and smell that surrounds us. We mustn't squander our limited days on Earth debating over religion and its several institutions of Heaven and Hell that operate on the basis of the socio-religious explanations of morality and corruption. There’s no point to war, authority, the thirst for power and the oppression that comes with it. Humans need to escape imagination, stop competing to prove a point and stop trying to form a connection with God and instead bond intimately with each other. We need to let our identical biochemistry be the basis of a common humanity and the very end of social evils and dicrimination.


Author: Vedant Vaswani

Editor: Arushi Dubey


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