Derivative Creativity

I have always wondered why the life forms and speciation observed in the modern world is used by YECs (and even your standard, moderate Christians) as indicative of the amazing power and creativity of God. While there are certainly a stunning number of species in the world from certain viewpoints, one would find that they are not very creatively created at all (and, I would argue, the process of evolution explains it far better than God ever could).

How do I mean that? I mean, you could look in your average zoo and see a massive number of creatures and never get them confused with each other! The differences are so numerous, why, you’d have to be mad not to see the creativity inherent in nature!

Ok, there are lots of differences, I will give you that… But do they outnumber the things that most large species (large, in this case, being not rigidly defined; tarantulas stand in stark contrast, but there are few exceptions) have in common with each other? Let’s look at things shared by land dwelling creatures larger than arachnids and insects.

Two eyes? Almost universal.

Two forelimbs, two hind limbs? Almost universal.

Lungs, kidneys, hearts, intestines, livers, blood vessels, bladders, colons, excretory systems? Check, check, check, et cetera.

Sexual organs? Almost universal.

Fingers? Aside from the thumb in a few species, almost universal.

Nervous system? That one IS universal, all things considered.

What about undersea creatures? Well, I will admit to some level of creativity under the sea, but you will find that even there, it is easy to find far more similarities than differences. Hell, comparing whales (mammals) to any given fish will yield a stunning number of similarities.

What point am I trying to make, then? Well, given this information, I would argue that God could be compared to an artist who only knew how to paint 10 shapes, and each work he created after his first is merely those same ten shapes in jumbled up form.

Why do so many skeletons looks so similar (Rib cage? Check. Skull? Check. Hands? Check. Hell, even snakes occasionally have vestigial limbs, though that is uncommon.), and yet get praised for their differences? I would argue (easily, and without reservation) that evolution explains this so simply, and so fully, that it is odd to me that it is not raised more often by non theists when arguing with YECs. Nature is a cold hearted bitch (I apologize for the language) who throws out anything that doesn’t work. She throws it out callously, and is no respecter of persons or species. The reason certain things, certain organs, certain traits, certain behaviours, are so prevalent is that they all originated so long ago that almost all species today carry these traits as a result.

“What do you mean, non theists don’t use this often enough? Every debate devolves (eheheheh) into the non theist saying we all share an ancestor!” Thank you for asking that explanatory question, friend, as I do need to clarify this point!

Saying we all share the same ancestor is not the same thing as bringing into question God’s creativity. I have never seen the debate in which the non theist points out that nearly every species on the planet has a heart and circulatory system, or that the skeleton of species that are nearly completely unrelated look so similar in their parts. You can say “Look at the hand bones on this alligator, and the hand bones on this human! They are practically the same!” That is far too narrow in its scope, friend! Far too narrow, indeed. Looks at the alligator’s two eyes, his front two limbs, his back two limbs, his organs, his brain! Do you think your average layperson can tell the difference between the liver of two different species? Of ten? Of one hundred? Aside from size, they all look so similar! What makes the movies depicting Hannibal Lecter work? They work because those to whom he serves human meat CAN’T TELL THEY ARE EATING PEOPLE! It might as well be pig, or chicken, or cow. Why is that? A stunning lack of creativity on God’s part, or mother nature finding a system that works and replicating it en masse?

Sorry, that cannibalism reference kind of came out of left field. That’s what I get for blogging stream of consciousness style. I do apologize for that, but it is incredibly illustrative (both of my point and of what goes on in my head at times).

Anyway, you are welcome to make your own choice. Is God the most boring artist you don’t know, or is nature just an excellent manager, choosing which parts work best impartially?

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