Sunday Sermon: What if God was one of us?

god_brainSo some creationists are trying to be happy about a recent scientific study that says the appendix isn’t as useless a vestigial organ as was previously thought.

As has already been pointed out, the study is based on a phylogenetic analysis of various critters, including humans — that means the results are based on the assumption that humans and those other critters all evolved from a common ancestor.

But creationists have a long-standing explanation for the evolutionary relationships between various critters (again, including humans). They say it’s “common design” rather than common descent. After all, when we design things, we often reuse the same components for different designs, don’t we? So of course it’s not surprising that God would do the same thing.

There are lots of problems with this — ask yourself why the same bone structure would be ideal for a bat’s wing, a human hand and a dolphin’s fin — but what interests me about it is its sheer anthropocentrism. Why would an all-powerful, all-knowing deity, whose mind we can’t begin to fathom, do things the way ordinary humans tend to do them?

It’s funny how when humans describe how God works, it always seems to be pretty much the way humans work — except when God does something no self-respecting human would ever do.

When God tells a loyal follower to tie his son to a slab and plunge a knife into his heart, or instructs a tribe to kill all the men, women, boys and babies of a rival tribe, saving only the young girls for themselves, or tells a couple to let their teenage son die rather than seek medical help —  suddenly God’s ways become mysterious and unfathomable by us puny humans with our tiny brains.

3 responses to this post.

  1. I know this comment is late- sorry! I am quite enjoying the blog.

    I have a question for you. Why do we (atheists, freethinkers etc.) capitalize “God?” I do it too, and I’ve seen it on lots of atheist blogs. I don’t capitalize “gods” when talking about the Shinto deities found near my house, so why do I do it for the Jedeo-Christian god?


    • Posted by brachinus on September 29, 2009 at 9:40 pm

      I’d say we capitalize “God” for the same reason we capitalize “Darth Vader” or “Frodo Baggins.” That’s the proper name of the character in the story.


  2. Posted by ich on November 24, 2010 at 5:55 am

    bla bla bla


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