06/27/2005: "A Theory Dittoheads Will Love Even More than Intelligent Design!"
I’ve come up with a great alternative to evolution that addresses the concerns that the right wing has with Darwin’s theory, and does this even better than intelligent design. The latter is of course the idea that an intelligent entity must have created life because it’s just too damn complex. Proponents of intelligent design hasten to point out that they’re not saying it’s God that did the creating, but of course it must be God. Even if aliens rather than evolution originated life on earth, how could these aliens have spontaneously developed the intellectual complexity to have achieved this feat if such complexity can’t arise by natural means, i.e., by evolution? Clearly, God must be at the end of the question that intelligent design begs, a fact doubtless not lost on intelligent design proponents even as they claim it’s not a sneaky version of creationism. It has to cause them some discomfort, though, talking about how life on earth might have arrived from UFOs when they’re just dying to say that Adam and Eve were beamed down from the Deity, not an alien Enterprise. One interesting fact about advocates for intelligent design is that they admit that evolution might have a role in speciation. It’s just that the fundamental basis for life – cells – are too complex to have arisen spontaneously. Apparently the political religious right, the source of funding for intelligent design studies, is willing to allow evolution to have some sort of role, as long as origins are “clean.” This aspiration is sometimes expressed as “My ancestors weren’t pond scum!” In other words, the problem with evolution is vanity – humans are just too dignified to be associated with lower-class life forms. My new theory of human origins neatly addresses this dilemma. I call it Beautiful Design” or BD. BD holds that humans evolved from organisms much more beautiful than the ugly creatures that happen to have made it into the fossil record. For example, when human precursors were single-celled creatures, they weren’t disgusting and smelly like pond scum but gorgeous and luminescent, with a most appealing scent. When they had evolved to the amphibian stage, they weren’t green and gross like frogs but sleek and elegant, with a delightful turquoise coloration. When they advanced onto dry land (the first creature to do so, of course), they weren’t weird, hodge-podge creatures like lungfish; they had a perfectly functioning set of lungs from day one! And our immediate ancestors weren’t hairy and silly like apes, but were white, long-limbed creatures with functioning wings. In other words, they had the appearance of angels! I expect that scientists, being the sticklers for “evidence” that they are, will point out that none of the above human precursors have representation in the fossil record. Their objections won’t impede the growth of Beautiful Design as a “player” in alternative theories of human origins, for two reasons: 1) Evidence is an overrated factor in the popularity of such theories, considering the success that intelligent design has achieved and 2) well, it’s just such a beautiful way to imagine how people came to be! And doesn’t beauty trump truth any day of the week?