Friday, June 15, 2012

Intelligent Design

Anybody who has been around computers for a while has heard of Easter eggs. They are little surprises that bored programmers build into the bowels of software and operating systems to tantalize other geeks into searching. Get the right sequence of commands or look in the right menu and enter a pass-phrase and something cute, funny or mysterious will be revealed.

The Creationists have morphed into Intelligent Design advocates. The idea is that there is too much theological, geological, zoological and palentological data to be reconciled by a six day creation story and a traceable genealogy of only six thousand years. The answer is that the universe is way too complicated for anything but an intelligent Supreme Being to have created. The unexplained evidence is simply a demonstration of the complexity which couldn't have been by accident or evolution.

OK, almost any scientist is going to at some point run into the conundrum of "uncaused first cause." Track back to the Big Bang and you've got a point where there is no before this. There's where you get into Supreme Being territory without question.

Here's this:

Man Not Neanderthal Leaves 40,000 Year Art

I suppose that the Intelligent Design answer for this evidence of humans being around for more than 6000 years is a sort of divine Easter egg. An embedded little surprise for us to puzzle over.

This one is a few thousand years younger than the hand prints, but still more than 30,000 years old.

I had the incredible good fortune to see this in person in 1976. Then the caves at Altamira were still open to tourists and the pre-historic paintings were there for people to view. Today they are closed to preserve them. The exhalations of people passing through to view them were causing massive deterioration. It would be a shame to see these lost forever. 

1 comment:

Dweezil Dwarftosser said...

Personally, I have always found the biblical literalists' arguments to be lacking (particularly in the very lengthy parable of Genesis).

God is no trickster, inventing myriads of little inconsistencies with fact (or dissimilar opposing statements) in the scriptural account which must then somehow be explained away.

In doing so, they obscure (and often totally miss) the simple truths of Genesis: God created everything in the universe (apparently, taking billions of years to do so), formulating the physical and moral laws that still govern everything in it. Throw in a little humanity (rejection, somewhere along the line, of external control or influence in our lives) - and you define what is taught in Genesis.

I didn't even know Altamira existed when I was at Zaragoza in '75. (Franco died during that deployment; we ran out of beer well before his three-day 'mourning' period finished, and stores reopened.) A longer deployment there in '76 - while Bitburg's runway was rebuilt - still kept the secret of Altamira from me; we had a road trip up to Andorra - which is just about empty in summertime - and didn't help. My next time down there (Torrejon, for a short FTD class), Altamira apparently had been closed down to the public - and remained closed in following ZAG deployments from Hahn and Ramstein, across the years.

I guess I'll never see it, now.