Fresh Ammunition

Some thoughts motivated after reading an article about the mechanics of nature and how certain stuff about nature just don’t seem right. Or does it seem right? Nomatter.

Don’t know what it is. Is it my face? The way I walk? The boring way I dress? There has to be a reason why, when walking around certain cities in Germaninland, black & white dressed automatons from whatever church of J-Christ and late-day-saints throws me a smile and says something like: have you found your way yet, sir? Usually I turn to the person and say: why no, but I’ll take the Nike store behind you. Of course, every once-a-once I’ll stop and check out the person questioning his faith by questioning whether or not he truly believes that I have to have his faith and why. After that things get going and I say: you first need to prove to me that your god exists. At that moment he usually whips out his Joseph Smith book and makes some preposterous claim that the word of god is alive. He then gives me a card with the address of their next sermon but I say, before taking the card, ok, if you can first explain to me the evolutionary process that led to the bacterial flagellum then I’ll come to your sermon but I reserve the right to be improperly dressed and a bit inebriated. Bacterial who, he asks with a sodden smile. You see, I add. If you want to convince someone of this nonsense then you should at least be prepared. The thing, my young evangelical friend, is that I am a anti-theist. Do you know what that is? In short, I am a nightmare for most atheists because most of them have an emergency escape hatch they call Pascal’s Wager. I’m going down with the ship, my friend. Look, I then added, and at this point the young man was somewhat intimidated, you seriously need to get your guns in order, and once you’ve done that you need to get some ammunition. The young man was truly taken aback by this time and even his partner, for they never travel the evangelical road alone, was stepping away in the hopes they both could move on to other more intellectually weaker shores. Look, I said, don’t be scared. I’m not gonna give you guys a hard time. It’s just that, sometimes dogs bark up the wrong tree. And even though you obviously won’t get very far with me you should keep this in mind for the next sucker you meet: not only should you know about bacterial flagellum in your argument to prove that your god exists but you might want to also look into the Planthopper which I was reading about just the other morning. The two young men stood still for a moment and I realised that I was the one that had won their attention. You people, I said. You people believe in all that creationist krapp, right? The two young men nodded. Well, bacterial flagellum and possibly the Planthopper are two biological miracles–if you ask me. And I don’t use the word miracle lightly. For you see, even though evolution can explain why some creatures have special powers, it will take the average dumb-down working stiff a few courses in college level biology to figure out that this is actually not a miracle but something worth pondering regarding as to how it came to be. And if your adversary decides not to go the education route, they might just be yours for the taking. Yes, I understand, the partner of the first young man said to me. I’ve tried, he added, to use the same argument with the human eye. And how’s that been working for you, I asked. Not to good, he said. Why, I asked. I don’t know, he said. Could it be because you’re in €urowasteland where most people are fairly educated and have a few biology course under their belt, I said. And then I added: and there’s nothing special about the human eye. I pointed to my thick glasses. And then I added: plus there’s boat loads of scientific evidence about the evolution of the eye from light sensitive biological photoreceptors to lenses and fancy eye lashes. I smiled but they didn’t get the joke. So let me make it somewhat less unclear, I added. The whole thing about bacterial flagellum is really a doozy and could sway a few to your flock. Why are you trying to help us, the young man asked. I guess its in my nature, I said. Plus, I’m fascinated by the fact that nature could make an organism that propels itself with a free rotating axle where neither nerve or muscle tissue can get twisted and in the way. Even though biologists have not found this to be a very efficient form of propulsion, it is clearly a great example of something creative about evolution–whatever that means. So get your guns in order and get the right ammo if you want to argue your way to evangelical heaven. Good luck.

Rant on.

Tomas