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Slimey and the Master Mathematician - Man and God - Evolving Relationships
Sunday March 12, 2006 14:03 by Seán Ryan
A tongue in cheek piece that explores many paradoxical ideas associated with the theory of evolution. - That evolves into a discourse into a series of primal theological questions that still remain unanswered.
Might be interesting reading for anyone into evolutionary debate and for anyone with pre-conceived notions about their right to define creation superceding the rights of others.
This is my first submission from what will be my second Indybook. It is the fourth chapter - but stands on its own merits. It becomes my first submission simply because I think it's relevant to many religious and secularist debates currently raging on Indy.
We are an evolved species.
What is it that it is that we are becoming?
Evolution confuses the hell out of me.
From a simple life form, all others evolved. Diversity must be a goal of evolution.
But man is a specialised monkey, he's an ape and is becoming a specialised ape. To specialise or to hone something so that its qualities reflect and refine those of previous generations is to conform. The goal of evolution must be conformity.
Let's go back to the first multi-cellular life form. I don't know what this life form was or what it did. Let's go with sludge, or primordial slime.
Slimey exists by photosynthesising, he sucks heat from something, he generates heat himself chemically or whatever. Slimey has needs.
Slimey is the only creature on the planet, he's the defining Slimey. Survival of the fittest has no meaning here, Slimey could be as sick as a pig and feel like shit all the time; but that's just the way Slimey is.
Slimey has never died before so he doesn't realise it is coming. Where is his urge to procreate? Maybe Slimey is plant-like and not given to bouts of erotic fantasy and procreation is a mechanical part of Slimey's life cycle. That's all and fine but Slimey's genetics must have faced the same issue.
What triggered life and at the same time foresaw death and took appropriate measures?
This may not seem to be so complex to some. Try looking at it this way: We as very distant and "evolved" relatives of Slimey can see death coming and we are helpless in the face of it. Yet the process that created Slimey also allowed for death and conquered it. Not bad for a moment's work.
This creative peak has yet to be rivalled. The creativity that created Slimey was greater than the creativity that created me. I need Slimey to have existed so that I might exist, but Slimey don't need anybody.
Slimey is the perfect creation or rather he is the epitome of creativeness in as far as we are concerned.
Taking all this into account we see another contradiction; evolution is a creative process but at the same time is actually the decay of the creative process that created Slimey.
Now don't get me wrong, just because Slimey is the epitome of creation doesn't mean he's happy. Let's look at Slimey's first day.
The sun rises for another day. It's no ordinary day though, somewhere on the third planet Slimey just woke up. A very definite step in the process that will someday consciously define itself and its existence, has been taken.
So there's Slimey lounging on a rock, scratching his primordial arse with his primordial fingers wondering what the fuck he's supposed to do. He has gotten past the realisation of "I" and "mine", he's Slimey and he owns a big rock.
Slimey has to live in his idea of utopia.
For instance let's say Slimey lives in a pond. If he is too close to the surface he might be evaporated but if he is too deep he will not get enough sunlight. He must therefore exist and have been created in the ideal place.
One could counter-argue that there may have been many previous Slimeys that didn't survive because their location was not ideal and that Slimey arose because at some point some Slimey must have been created in the ideal place. This would be a kind of evolution of life itself but an evolution not governed by upgrading DNA or RNA. Also one is given the impression that the spark that generates life is frequent and abundant. Man has yet to create an instance of life in the laboratory and has yet to witness life spontaneously erupt anywhere on the planet or elsewhere that is not a product of or dependent on our own already in existence living eco system. With this in mind how is it that this form of evolution that does not rely on upgrading or the transfer of DNA can figure out which conditions are ideal and then having this figured out allow for an environment that will have gone through dramatic changes in the time it took to figure out what it was doing wrong?
The only sane answer to all of this is that Slimey is not a product of previous fuck ups, that he has a purpose and more so is the product of purpose.
I see religious folk getting all hot and excited thinking I'm trouncing science and evolution and that I'm about to prove the existence of God.
Allow me to burst your bubble gently if not definitively.
God said be and thus Slimey was.
"Slimey, you are one ugly motherfucker." said God to Slimey.
"Do you see the stars in the sky Slimey?" continued God realising that he'd just insulted his first creation.
"Your progeny shall be numbered thus and over time some of them shall get better looking like me." God finished believing that he had healed the rift opened with the "motherfucker" comment.
Still Slimey said nothing.
"Look you little green fucker, I'm the Lord your God, I own you and your rock!" God thundered and still Slimey remained silent.
God was furious, the idea of creation came to him in a flash and of course the very idea of a thought to God is also incarnate reality. No sooner had the idea arrived but it was made manifest.
God has very little time to get used to these happenings, he doesn't consider these seemingly random thoughts as tossing dice but more a case of shit happening. Where these thoughts come from, God has no idea.
That's why Slimey is here, at least this is what God has reckoned and being the reckoning of a God it is thus.
Of course God cannot tell Slimey that he's not sure what consciousness is because that would just look like a display of ignorance to Slimey. And that just would not do.
God decides to trick Slimey into fathoming the existence of consciousness by teaching Slimey about love.
"Slimey I created you in a warm bath that is close to some volcanic action so that the water temperature would be perfect for you all year round." God told Slimey in a friendly conspiratorial tone.
"I created the Sun and set it about you day in day out, that you would know light from dark and that you would have abundant nourishment."
"Why did I do it for you Slimey?" posed god rhetorically.
"I did it because I love you Slimey" answered God almost puking ambrosia at the thoughts of it.
"I need your love Slimey" finished God a little on the whiney and masochistic side he decided, and not to mention, very revolting.
"It's not that I actually need your love Slimey, it is that I'm entitled to it and am thus demanding it"
"You'll fuckin' worship me Slimey or I'll fuckin' smite ya."
"You must worship me with all of your being, and Slimey if you do it correctly for all of your mortal life, your reward shall be great. When you die you get to worship me forever, non-stop." explained God to his viscous protégé.
Still Slimey was silent.
"What the fuck is your problem!" roared God, beginning to lose it.
Just as God was about to vaporise Slimey, the truth dawned on him. He slowly lowered his pointed finger and chuckled at his oversight.
"No wonder you don't say much Slimey, you have no will." God told his little green friend knowingly.
"Well that also creates a huge fuckin problem too Slimey." He explained.
"You see, if I give you consciousness now Slimey, I cannot give you free will. If I were to give you a will now, I could predict your frame of mind at any given instant for the rest of eternity. Your will at any time is the product of your past learning and experience by new events. Since I know the position of every particle in the universe and I set your initial state of mind, any future state of mind is but a simple calculation for the master mathematician. On the other hand Slimey, if the creative thought that created you and arrived to me at the same time had given you a will. Then you would have had free will as like the thought itself I could only examine it after it happened and therefore could not be its source and motivation" postulated God.
Slimey had not been around more than five minutes and already God was making inroads to his study of consciousness. By realising that he could not impart free will to another he realised that he himself must not possess free will, that somehow he must be a manifestation of will. Now this was a Godly conundrum.
Contrary to popular and subsequent opinion this did not upset God in the least. He absolutely loves stuff he cannot understand. It makes life in a boring and predictable universe, interesting.
Suddenly just as God is about to have an epiphany, Slimey begins to move. God nearly has a coronary. At first it begins as a gentle undulating on Slimey's surface, but rapidly develops into violent contortions that God is pretty sure will rip Slimey apart if he doesn't get his act together.
"Oh shit!" said God as his thought about Slimey ripping apart becomes a manifest reality, and covers him from head to toe in slime or rather baby Slimies.
God is left in an interesting state, he's left feeling totally disgusted, but at the same time he feels delight and awe. Slimey has free will after all.
"Well goodbye for now Slimey," said God smilingly to the first Slimey whilst shaking himself free of the other Slimies casting them around the globe.
God ambles back towards the celestial palace deep in contemplation.
"I cannot give free will but I have given it."
"When I say be, my creation will be as it is as I have willed it, but not as I will it. Has this got something to do with the direction of the flow of time?"
A Godly chuckle is the last Slimey ever sees of his creator and it is not long before he forgets all about his communion with his God. If indeed it ever registered with him to begin with. As I said before Slimey's a simple kinda guy, he's not into making friends or having to do anything in particular. He goes back to scratching his primordial arse as a way of life. Millions upon millions of years later man has evolved the arse scratching mentality to become the dominant species on Earth.
And to this day evolution is still considered to be about survival of the fittest and genetic enrichment.
Evolution is about becoming creatures of leisure, it is about removing time spent in quenching needs and devoting the saved time to leisure. Evolution is all about time management and efficiency.
It seems to me that most view evolution as some sort of competition whereby the winners are better equipped to survive a changing envoirnment. I disagree with this idea of evolution completely as it suggests that the envoirnment and the creatures contained in it are not all from the same source and it assumes that evolution can accurately predict envoirnmental change, this being all the more ridiculous because we cannot even predict our daily weather accurately.
Let's look at the idea of competition. Currently it is considered that competition within each species allows the cream of each gender to meet and mate with each other. And therein lies the problem. Let's look at the homo sapiens or man.
Todays technology is potentially a great equaliser. There is no need for the competition from an evolutionary perspective. Our ability to deal with and surmount envoirnments in a technological fashion far surmounts our ability to do so genetically via reproduction. This has been the case since man first rented a cave. It would seem that the genetic competition is therefore more about copulation than reproduction. This reduces the competition to being about pursuit of pleasure. Or I s'pose for the more spiritually inclined, it might be about recognising that the pursuit of pleasure or self reflection is a tool that should not be used to define a higher purpose.