Life as a physical phenomenon often doesn’t seem as interesting as math. In truth, (IMHO) it is more interesting but less elegant. To the naive viewer like myself, the neatness in math is more elegant than the cluttered site of a cell. However, a cell should be just as elegant once divine vision is obtained. By divine vision, I mean nailing the axioms of Earth (or possibly universal) biology that perfectly and elegantly explain everything in a cell.
There’s more fun to be had in generating new life forms and chimeras, so much more fun and immediate relevance than finding out if some obscure computational complexity class overlaps another. Once we’ve understood the mechanisms and laid the axioms, we could build amusement parks of large floating balls that work exactly like cells. Filled with cellular fluid, we would float in them. Our bodies, wrapped in hydrophobic fluid would have to be navigated around the cytoskeleton somehow. All cellular processes unleashed before us, replication, transcription and translation would occur at blinding speeds. Torrential and tempestuous flurry of molecules would result in the birth of large snake-like proteins, winding around themselves spontaneously into super complex shapes, fulfilling their purpose. Everything around feels like calamitous weather, but a highly structured calamity. Fiercely productive proteins speed around, orchestrating assembly with military discipline. Fluorescence tagged enzymes, shapeshifting in cycles, zipping around amidst an economy of dead molecules.
It should have been dark inside but fluorescence tagged molecules offer a multitude of hues, teaming up to provide a spectral supernatural sight. Single, double and triple helices all around you. Cell division commences in trumpets and ends so, the grandest of chain reactions. This is Escher on steroids. You can’t wait to see the neurons and the virus infected cells!
And the only mechanical thing there is your cart on the cytoskeleton, carried around by bipedal motor proteins which seem to have ‘intentionality’, dodging all attacks – right out of science fiction. The rest of this had to be created artificially, yes. But it now functions spontaneously, increasing the entropy outside, exchanging signals. The trip to space was probably not as much fun as this.