Intelligent delivery?

I get excited by Intelligent Design.


I love the idea of God spending the morning having breakfast with the Christians that have died since the time of Jesus (and, maybe, the people who died before that – it’s not clear whether, back then, any old monotheism would have got the job done). He probably has poached eggs and black coffee, and I expect the Archangel pops out to get him the Times, so he can do the crossword.

Then in the afternoon God hits the lab and works on some cool new creatures. Maybe he’ll put in a few hours on a nifty fin system for some new fish, a gumnut that is easier for birds to distribute far and wide, or an improved antennae for application in snails and slugs. Every now and then he’ll take a smoko and sit on the stoop with St Peter, greeting the dwindling stream of those both faithful and sinless.

The tricky part for God comes when he has finished a whole new creature. How will he get the animals down to Earth? Newly evolved plants and animals have to be delivered! Will he deliver animals in adult form? Or by implanting foetuses in certain wombs?

How many will be necessary to avoid catastrophic inbreeding? Where should they be put? How can he make sure that nobody is already standing in the place where they will appear? Should he do it under cover of darkness? Or get some junior angels to make a diversion?

For plants, will he stock a tree with the new seeds, or just pick a nice bit of soil, get some potting mix and pop one in fully formed? And these speedy new strains of flu? Should he kick-start them in pigs or birds?

It’s not an easy job.

Where will the matter for these clever new creations come from? Will he cause new matter to exist? Or shave a few judicicously chosen H, C and O atoms off various other organic objects? I guess he chooses atoms noone needs. Maybe he’s been taking bits out of footballers’ brains all this time.

I expect God has a tough time deciding how to intervene. If it looks easy for him to create or rearrange matter, people will wonder why he doesn’t do it more often. People know that he cares so much about our behaviour that he is watching us all the time, that he knows what we covet and how often, and that he sent his only son.

If they know he can make active interventions, they might wonder why he doesn’t care enough to exercise that power. There’s plenty of times when a well-placed bit of matter, say, stuck in a certain trachea in the 1930s, might have averted quite some sin and suffering.

People think its so easy. It’s tough work moving in mysterious ways, all the time. Maybe he’ll come back to the lab this evening and draft up some new viruses. They’re easy to make and they show those pesky humans who’s boss. Heads-up! Old fashioned plague coming your way!

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Thomas the Think Engine is the blog of a trained economist. It comes to you from Melbourne Australia.

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