Just tell it like it is
Sometimes I get angry with my closed-minded liberal friends who insist on keeping the theory of intelligent design out of science class. Haven’t they ever tasted a velvety Chardonnay along with a slice of Manchego cheese on hard-crusted sourdough bread? I can’t believe such an exquisite moment — this simple and this good — can only be the product of random mutation and eons of time. Further proof: Sourdough bread is now sold at Trader Joe’s for less than $3!
I say, teach both but don’t stop there. If we are to include intelligent design as part of our standard curriculum, then we should also teach theories that explain the ugly, the disorganized and the inconvenient. I am speaking, of course, of the theory of divine mismanagement. As ID best explains a late summer sunset, DM better explains Hurricane Katrina and childhood leukemia. Our children have a right to hear all sides and judge for themselves.
Now, I know some of you are thinking we brought Hurricane Katrina on ourselves. New Orleans was hardly the model of chastity and virtue and none of us deserve sainthood for having been great stewards of the land. But that’s exactly my point. If intelligent design alone was running the planet, a brothel, three CEOs from coal-mining companies in Kentucky and all the land developers who destroyed the coastal marshes would have been zapped by lightning on the same day at the same time, inspiring Hugh Hefner and the doubters of global warming to embrace the Sierra Club in a flash.
But that didn’t happen. In fact, if ID (and not DM) is running the Big Show, then someone better explain why Mr. Designer (or Ms. Designer — let’s not be sexist) decided to punish the poor instead.
(Just in case someone out there is thinking, “That fellow [me] better watch his mouth. Mr./Ms. Designer does not like criticism,” I wish to add, I think I’m giving God, oops, Mr./Ms. Designer the benefit of the doubt. I can’t believe He/She deliberately did it, and I am old fashioned enough not to want our kids to be studying the theory of malevolent design in the classroom. Truth has its limits. I think He/She was trying to do His/Her best. The Designer just screwed up, got carried away or, like some over-sized Hercules, forgot His own strength. In trying to slap the culpable, He missed and accidentally wiped out the entire Caribbean coast.)
For those of you who still insist that the Big “Designer” Guy only gave us what we deserved, then explain to me recent events in Pakistan. Of the 73,000 killed in the latest earthquake, few died in front of a live television camera. How can that be part of the intelligent design? All that poignant pain and suffering was limited to just the immediate family, hardly the red light warning you would expect from someone always in charge. This leads me to think “mysterious ways” is just polite God-talk for “I [Mr./Ms. Designer] messed up.”
Call me an idealistic romantic if you like, but I do not think God meant for this to happen. Maybe an angel pushed the wrong button or there was a mechanical breakdown someplace between the divine order and implementation. That is why I think we should also teach our children what I call the poly-deity hierarchy-impaired semi-intelligent design theory (or the PDHISIT for short) too. This would explain why the running of the universe is often an uneven process, much like how your boss runs his company. The bigger the company, the more inefficiency — and we’re talking about the whole goddamn universe, for Christ’s sake. That explains how the giant flood forgot to eliminate flies, locusts and malaria germs. It also explains why, when you prayed for a winning lottery number, your car got whacked instead. Heck, I can’t even control what’s happening in my backyard; so why shouldn’t we expect a few kinks in the Designer’s company history? Something had to go wrong sometime and maybe it started with the Big Bang, like when my furnace blew out last winter.
There is a lot of historical evidence to back this scientific theory. Hundreds of civilizations over hundreds of thousands of years have believed in multilayers of deities. These people knew that the gods are capricious, vindictive and sympathetic to mortals only when it is in their own best interests. From that perspective, giving credit or blame to a single designer just doesn’t seem fair.
If there was space here, I would tell you why our children should also study the theory of benign indifference, but deep down I don’t think anyone really cares. So, let me finish with a challenge. To all my liberal friends who still believe only in evolution: Explain how Bush and Cheney became our presidents.