Saturday, August 13, 2005

Saturday Prayer

Dear Intelligent Designer:

I hope you don't mind getting mail from your designees, I figure a little feedback is always healthy. When I first heard that evolution wasn't just a natural process, but was actually all done on purpose, I was kind of pleased by the idea. It was nice to know there was somebody out there looking out for us. Or well, I guess you're not a person, but a being, anyway. I try to think the best of beings.

So, I appreciate all the good stuff you've done. Flowers, songbirds, sex, all very nice. Or, mostly nice. But the more I thought about it, the more I started to get, I don't know how to say this any more nicely, kind of disappointed in a few things. So if you'll just give me a moment of your time, here are some things you might want to reconsider.

Are you really looking out for us after all? For one thing, you really ought to stop intelligently designing those bacteria to be resistant to antibiotics. Evidently you originally designed the bacteria to kill us and make us sick, and I'm sure you had your reasons. Intelligent doesn't have to mean nice. So now you're probably a little annoyed with us for coming up with ways to kill the the bugs first, but give us a break! It seems to me if we start to figure out how to stay alive for a while, you should just accept that. We get to design things too, okay? Same goes for HIV. What's that all about anyway? It was bad enough you intelligently designed it in the first place, now you keep redesigning it so the drugs don't work. Enough already. And then there's the flu virus. Don't get me started with that one. Don't you have anything better to do?

Then there's the whole question of the human body. It has a lot of great features, but a few of them just seem -- sorry to have to say this, but it's true -- not very intelligent. To begin with, there's that stupid appendix, that doesn't seem to do anything except get infected. Then there's the birth canal. It's not a problem for me personally but it is for at leat half of my friends. It's too small for the baby's head, causes no end of trouble. I could go on and on with that. The lower back. I don't expect perfection, everything has to wear out and break down eventually, but there are some pretty obvious improvements you could make there.

Then, as if an appendix isn't bad enough, you made it even worse by giving me a solitary cecal diverticulum. Damn near killed me, for no good reason that I can see. Then there are allergies. Multiple sclerosis. Schizophrenia. Huntington's disease. Neurofibromatosis. These appear to be manufacturing defects, rather than design flaws per se, but shouldn't you exercise better oversight? (By the way, can you give me the name and phone number of the being in charge of manufacturing? Or at least the mailing address? I promise I'll be civil.) The quality of the product is a reflection on you, after all, and I'd think you'd take more pride in it.

Next, I don't want to call you a hypocrite, but I hear that you get really, really angry when people kill those innocent preborn babies. But then I read that you do it yourself! Specifically, out of 100 zygotes, about 50 fail to implant in the uterus and uhh, well, there goes a Sacred Human Life down the toilet. Of the remaining 50, 30% (that's 15) are simply sloughed off in what appears to be a normal, perhaps late, menstrual cycle and the woman probably will never know that she was preganant. The remaining 35 embryos will last at least 35 days, after which pregnancy may be recognized. Of these, 25% will die in utero, perhaps recognized as a miscarriage. That leaves about 26 of the original 100 innocent preborn babies unslain by you. So why is it okay for you, and not for us? Just asking.

Now, there are some things that bother some people that are okay with me. For instance, I have nothing against beetles. You're entitled to your obsessions. It's kind of ridiculous that the whales keep stranding themselves on the beach but it's not my problem. And kudzu is a major pain but I guess it's our own fault for putting it where it doesn't belong. (That's still no excuse for poison ivy.)

Anyhow, just a few thoughts, I hope you don't mind. I know I've mostly been pretty critical, but I hope you'll take it professionally, not personally. If you're interested, I have some more ideas.

Your artifact,