Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Lispian
Creationists drive me nuts

As I sit here in excruciating pain courtesy of yet another kidney stone I can’t help but think how genetics and evolution provided me with this “joyful” condition. Which makes me think of idiotic creationists who think God went about the planet a few thousand years ago going “Horse. Pig. Donkey. …” Insanity.

Why creationists believe in such an animist god is beyond me. A god who is stupider than I am is irreconcilable with either my faith or intelligence. And that’s one of those things I simply cannot figure out. Why do so many people believe in a god who is dumber than many people are? Is it the comfort that comes from believing someone created everything as it is as opposed to someone who was intelligent enough to create the fundamental algorithms of the universe that would result in the beauty we see everywhere, from the smallest of the small to the immensity of the universe itself. Is it so hard to comprehend that it is much more wonderful to believe that God created a universe based on mathematics, that behaves in comprehensible ways that we, as humans, could comprehend given time? Is it not more wonderful to realize we can catch a glimpse of the glory of God through understanding his creation? That the universe itself is more wondrous when one realizes that we can explain everything through the beauty of mathematics without resorting to illogical constructions wherein God twiddles and fiddles with the universe constantly like some pathetically poor programmer or engineer? Isn’t it more uplifting to think of God as someone who knew that his creation would ultimately lead to intelligent life and that his “interference” amounted to no more than revelations whereby he provides a method by which mankind can see what God would prefer to have us do? Isn’t it more plausible that God provided these revelations to humans who, being imperfect, would not take them down correctly and that therefore they had to be interpreted against the mathematics of the universe to be properly understood? That naive beliefs of centuries ago should be constantly revisited as we better understand the universe and life and our role in it?

It’s those and other reasons that creationists drive me utterly nuts. They believe creation is “perfect” and yet they also believe God is always tinkering with it. It’s perfect, and yet we see so many flaws in everything, especially us frail humans. Isn’t it better to believe that the universe as a whole is perfect and that the laws are perfect and that they were structured so that we would exist to appreciate them?

I do realize that such a belief would allow for someone not to believe in God. But to me, that makes it even more perfect. A situation wherein we can choose is better than one in which our paths are preordained. If preordained, what is the purpose of life. It becomes no more than a mockery. A play. One in which no one can be blamed for their actions. They have no choice. Again, such a god is no better than the fools of Olympus. And we no better than puppets.

No, it is grander to believe in a universe whose purpose is to generate intelligent life than can then, reflectively, look upon the universe and wonder both Why and How, the metaphysical and the physical questions that, to me, are paramount to life itself.

Thus, as I sit here in pain with my genetic predisposition for kidney stones I can only state that only a fool would think that God would opt for putting kidney stones into people to make them suffer so.

Evolution, however, makes ample sense in this regard. Kidney stones are thought to be due to diet. And that makes sense. Our ancestors primarily ate meat. The vegetables they ate millions of years ago would have been whatever they could find now and again. As for fruits, it’d only be the fruits they could find and when they were in season. Thus, as our ancestors spread around the world they would enjoy fruits in the fall since there was no global trade in fruits and vegetables. To think otherwise is foolish, or worse, malevolent.

Grains are a recent addition to our diet, so is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Those are all courtesy of the agricultural revolution that happened about 10,000 years ago.  And much as with other “diseases of civilization” I strongly believe that kidney stones are also a manifestation of that “modern” diet that simply did not exist before farming began.

So, based strictly on my own genetic predisposition I cannot believe in any god so malevolent as to create humans with such a serious defect if he created them and agriculture concurrently. Why, if He loves us so, would he make some suffer so?  Instead, it makes more sense that we evolved, discovered agriculture and that it’s resulted in some serious pain. As I said, I can’t believe in a god dumber than me. I would never have created humans with defects so I can’t see God having done it, either. But I can see it existing courtesy of evolution. Millions of years eating one way trumps a few millenia eating another. For most the transition didn’t matter much, but for some of us it’s caused a problem, be it lactose intolerance, Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, or many of the other conditions that people now believe are a direct result of agriculture.

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November 2010
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