Friday, August 19, 2011

What's it all about?

About the creation of the world, two alternative hypotheses.
First, everything in the world could have been created with humans in mind. That is, the world is a setting for whatever happens to us. This is the viewpoint of a great many religions. What that means is that a certain locust, which sleeps in the ground for 17 years, emerging to eat, mate, and go back into the ground, was fashioned with humanity in mind. This is not to mention things like duckbilled platypuses, octopi, camels, tse-tse flies, mountain goats, and perhaps Sasquatch itself.
So, one muses, "Why?" What could God have possibly had in mind when He created this intriguing mishmash of stuff? The answer from religionists is invariably a variation on one of two themes: "There are some things that man was not meant to know," and "God doesn't think like we do." Both of these answers mean the same thing - "Beats me. Let's blame God," and are simply not acceptable answers for a complex variety of reasons.
Second, none of the things in the world have been created with humans in mind. This strikes me as a much more sensible alternative, because it not only satisfies the demands of Occam's razor, being the simplest explanation that fits the data, but it also doesn't lead to innumerable questions such as why those strange undersea fissure tubes were created.
Notice that this doesn't say anything at all about the presence/absence of a creator, though it is clear that option two doesn't need a creator. Another reason to prefer it.
There is a third option, actually, that the world and everything in it were created for some beings other than humans. This is the Douglas Adams interpretation, and frankly, it makes as much sense as the first option.

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