A Game of Tetris: That’s All the World of Chemistry Is

“Let’s see; where can we put this fine little atom? Is there still some space left, there, next to the Oxygen element? No hmm…okay; that means we’re done for now! We’ve made ourselves a water molecule.”

That’s the way the world of chemistry works; it’s nothing more than a big game of Tetris, played either by nature or by members of our own kind. Measuring and thinking; pushing and retracting; we build ourselves the little worlds we want to. Of course, we have to comply with the rules nature set for us. We can’t make a water molecule by adding only one Hydrogen element, but that’s merely a side-note, right? A little side-effect of the Tetris kind of game Nintendo’s part of Mother Nature has build for us. And who knows: maybe, when we enter the next level, a can of new possibilities will open.

Incredible, right? The way in which nature works? As if it is made for us to understand. It almost makes you presume the existence of a creator; the Nintendo God of chemistry; the one who determined the compositions and configurations in which we are allowed to put the elements together. But maybe something different is going on; maybe we have created this game of Tetris for ourselves in our own little minds; just to make sure that “we understand” the world. After all, isn’t it suspicious that electrons are “too small to see”? That they “just can’t seem to be reflected by light”? And that we have to come up will all kinds of mind-boggling constructions, like light being both “waves and particles”, in order to keep up this facade of knowledge?

Don’t be silly. Of course atoms and subatomic particles exist. Why else would they be so useful to us? Why else does nuclear energy provide us with the power it does? Are you saying that, only because we cannot “see” everything we’re talking about, these “undetectable” things don’t exist?

Well, we can’t see God can we? And still we can attribute many effects to this “cause”: it is God who has made us; it is God who determines our fate; and it is God who makes sure that you go to heaven and I go tell. That’s an elaborate and simple explanation, right? It would surely pass Occam’s razor because of the absolutely minimal number of assumptions it makes: only God has to exist and all of our sorrows can be explained. But does this make God real? Or is it merely a “useful” construct?

But let’s not take this route; let’s keep it “scientific”. Science is, after all, true; and religion isn’t, right? Right?! And let’s be honest; the predictability of the “it’s God’s will” argument isn’t that high, right? Our subatomic particle theory can at least, although it is by means of probabilities, give us a clue about what might happen when we start messing around in “our” world.

So, what’s the conclusion of this article? The conclusion is that we will keep on playing Tetris; no matter who set the rules of the game: whether is Mother Nature or ourselves.

But what do you think?

Written by Rob Graumans

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