Tuesday, November 01, 2016

As Common As Life Itself

If there is one thing I'd like everyone reading this blog to understand, it's that play is the natural way for humans to learn. We emerge from the womb prepared to begin testing our world through self-directed  exploration. Our instinct to play is how our urge to educate ourselves manifests.

And indeed, it's not just humans who ask and answer their own questions through play. We've all seen mammals doing it. It's part of why we identify with our furry pets so much; when we see a puppy romp with a ball or a kitten pounce on imaginary prey, not only do we see them educating themselves for their futures, but we see ourselves in their frolicking.

We've also seen birds at play, exploring their world in the air, studying those air currents, discovering a world more vertical than our human one.

I've even seen examples of reptiles at play, turtles and lizards chasing, wrestling, and testing themselves against the physical world.

Heck, even invertebrates like snails seem to figure out their world through play:

I expect if we study them carefully enough, we'll find that even insects play; worms, even amoeba. In fact, it seems that play is as prevalent as eating, as respiration. As we encounter life on other planets, I have no doubt that we'll also encounter extraterrestrials at play. That's because play is as common as life itself.

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