Toad in the Hole

September 14, 2005

Prostituting the Penguins

So an article in the New York Times acknowledges that wingnuts of a certain stripe are hailing March of the Penguins as an endorsement of creationism, "traditional" marriage, blahdeblah alleged value of the moment. Some of them are predictably stultifiyng it as a religious text, like one Ben Hunt, a Midwest minister:

"Some of the circumstances they experienced seemed to parallel those of Christians," he said of the penguins. "The penguin is falling behind, is like some Christians falling behind. The path changes every year, yet they find their way, is like the Holy Spirit."

Mr. Hunt has provided a form on the Web site that can be downloaded and taken to the film. "Please use the notebook, flashlight and pen provided," it says, "to write down what God speaks to you as He speaks it to you."

But there is one rightie dissenter from at least the ID part:

"If an Intelligent Designer designed nature," the columnist George F. Will asked recently, "why did it decide to make breeding so tedious for those penguins?"

Well, Mr. Will, I myself have had an inkling all along. It's not Intelligent Design at all; it's Malevolent Design.

How else can you explain the human spine and backbones, aphids that eat their way out of their living mothers, the hunting technique of the Komodo dragon? (Komodo dragons have huge infestations -- benign to them, presumably -- of awful infectious microorganisms in their mouths. They rush a prey animal, bite it, and follow it in a leisurely fashion, waiting for it to die of infection. This works best on a small island, of course. Sorry, Mr. Bronstein.)

Assorted hideous parasites, like the one that eats and then, physically if not usefully (we don't know) replaces with its own body a fish's tongue, putting itself in a position thereafter to skim bits of that fish's food from its mouth as it gets eaten?

Scleroderma? Verticillium? Alzheimer's? Babies born with cancer? Sometimes, our own species and its works?

Darwin, ever the careful observer, famously wrote, "What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering low and horridly cruel works of nature!" Well yeah. It is a comeback to those who talk about God's Wonderful Plan, which is a contradiction itself.

Malevolent Design. It makes sense. Teach the controversy!

Posted at September 14, 2005 05:05 AM


What is the name of God are you talking about??

Posted by: Ed at September 14, 2005 09:17 PM

The name of God I am talking about is His Noodliness the Flying Spaghetti Monster, of course. The people I cite seem to be talking about something else, but the path of right reason will eventually take them to the point of acknowledging the eternal truth if Him in Whose Divine Meatballs We Find Our Strength.

Posted by: Ron at September 14, 2005 09:26 PM