Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Just Because

So I was looking through the comments at USA Today's "Faith & Reason" blog--you know how much I love reading comments. In particular, this one brought out a predictable sort because a religion blog was criticizing the tone of a science blogger. Commenters claimed there was no solid proof for evolution, and that no scientists were present at the Big Bang so it's only a theory... and that if they want hard evidence, then they should look to the words of Jesus Christ.

It brought to mind a verse from just over 3 years ago, so I dredged it back up. Long time readers will recognize it, but I have quite a few more eyes on the page since then.

I’ve examined evolution, and I think I understand
Though the evidence is shaky, still I think the theory’s grand
But it’s only just a theory, so it’s only just a start
And an open-minded person should try picking it apart.
No belief without a reason! Give me proof of what you claim!
And the more I look, the more I see the evidence is lame!
When considering a tangled bank, I choose to see God’s Laws
And the reason I believe it? Just because.

Charles Darwin drew a picture of an ever-branching tree
From the earliest of creatures all the way to you and me
Other limbs produced the fishes, beetles, lizards, monkeys, ants,
Paramecia, bacteria, creationists and plants;
He supported it with evidence of every kind he could
Which I’ve critically examined, as a thinking person should;
Now I know that he’s mistaken in the picture that he draws
And the reason I believe it? Just because.

If you analyze it critically, as science says we must
You’ll find laws of physics broken, so the theory is a bust:
The second thermo-something law is busted into pieces
By the fact that evolution means that entropy decreases!
And random changes couldn’t make the creatures that we find,
So the evidence is clear, that we cannot be un-designed!
With castles out of playing-cards and armies made of straws
There’s the reason I believe it: Just because.

Now, with Darwin and his evolution clearly in the tank
There is only one alternative, if I am to be frank;
That’s the theory found in Genesis, the Holy Word of God,
And with natural selection out, creation gets the nod.
But we can’t be disrespectful to our deeply held belief,
So our critical examination, this time, must be brief
There’s no clothing on this emperor, not even filmy gauze—
But the reason I believe it? Just because.

Sure, the logic may be iffy, and the evidence is slim—
Who created the creator? And then, who created him?
Why the Genesis creation? Why not something else instead?
Can we guarantee the story is exactly what God said?
Is it literal or metaphor, or maybe outright fiction?
What’s the proper course of action when we find a contradiction?
I’m ignoring any nagging doubt within me where it gnaws
And the reason I believe it? Just because.

If I’m right, I go to heaven, which I’d really like to do
But I’ll go to hell for sure if I suspect that it’s untrue
It’s a simple little wager, there’s no reason to think twice:
You get punished if you’re naughty, you get presents if you’re nice
From the guy who watches all of us, from there behind his beard
(And who cares if it’s millennia since last time he appeared?)
And so, even if it’s really just a grown-up’s Santa Claus
Well, the reason I believe it? Just because.


C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

(Note: Before I start, please keep in mind that if I had a somewhat better memory, I could be made into one of the Fair Witnesses from Stranger in a Strange Land rather fast. (If you haven't read, or don't remember it, an exchange between one of them and another character went "She would refuse to say the sun had come up if ti were cloudy" "Of course. Someone could be supplying artificial light from above the cloud layer)

"and that no scientists were present at the Big Bang so it's only a theory..."

Technically, they were right that the Big Bang is a theory, based on data currently available (though the reasons they gave were rather simplistic), and would be changed or discarded if data is found that invalidates or alters it. However, based on our current data, it's the best one we currently have (I think... I haven't been following all of the physics debates about this kind of stuff, other than to kind of casually inquire every once in a while "Hey, you know what's up with the LHC?", and that's mostly because of messing around with thought experiments that require tachyons), and I agree that saying "and that if they want hard evidence, then they should look to the words of Jesus Christ." is silly. 'Divine revelation' is supposed to be better than inference from actual data?

yokohamamama said...

Newer reader, so a new one to me-- just brilliant:-)) Officially addicted to Cuttlefish--have added to blogroll so's to know when a new one is up! The n-th incarnation of Edward Lear, you are, Cuttlefish-san:-)

Cuttlefish said...

Domo arigato, yokohamamama!

C'nor--Yeah, it's not so much the actual evidence, as the juxtaposition between the skepticism applied for what they disagree with, and the greased pathway for the stuff they agree with (see any conspiracy theory for additional examples).

As for Fair Witnesses, I have long loved that concept. The notion that the house over there is "white on this side" is just wonderful.

yokohamamama said...

'Stranger in a Strange Land'-- ok. That's the fifth or sixth time in two weeks I've heard that book praised or seen it on a list of Books One Must Read Before One Pops Off. Got it. Will get it...

Johnny Vector said...

Yokohamamamma, do beware though. They released a "special edition" with 50,000 additional words a few years back. You probably want the original, edited version. There's a reason for editors, and that reason goes double for Heinlein. He was a great writer, but he did have trouble knowing when to shut up.

entropy said...

Oh, yes. Critically examining things we don't grok in the first place. That examination was a lie.


I hope you enjoy the book. Heinlein is an iffy mistress. Worth a read though, I'd say.

Gale Mead said...

DC, has this been set to music before? If not, may I? I can hear it in my mind as I read it, and I'm itching to try it out....

Gale (but more recently at

Cuttlefish said...

Go for it, Gale! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

(I'm actually considering running a contest for people to sing [or otherwise perform or multimedia] my stuff--you'll be getting a jump on any others!)