“Elements” of Life and the Magic Number Four

Life on earth, and its origin, has been a puzzle and still. Classically humans believed that the essential “elements” upon which the constitution and fundamental powers of anything are based are: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. In the past the concept of Energy was unknown to humans though fire was very much needed for life. It is as early as in stone-ages where humans discovered how to make fire, it came by accident. People at that time both appreciated and hated fire, however from that time humans went on to explore the whole range of energy forms, including production and consumption. Full benefits of Water and Energy resources for life on earth required/requires the other two “elements”, i.e. earth and air. However, there are specific requirement for the properties and qualities of earth and air for the life to exist. Even for humans, the full benefits of energy and water were/are only possible through earth and air with given specifications and qualities.

Through science and technology the classical four “elements” were developed and expanded to an enormous amount and spectra of knowledge that allowed all possible application and inventions. The most common feature of modern educated and intelligent humans and stone-age illiterate humans is how to solve the dilemma of mastering energy and water in sustainable matter. The difference is illiterate and ancient humans discovered energy “fire” by an accident but intelligent and modern humans will, at some stage, consume all energy resources on earth to a level that makes further life on earth difficult.  Are we gradually moving to stone-ages?


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