mercredi 21 novembre 2007

Douglas Adams on God

I didn't remember it, but re-reading more of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I've come across a famous page where Adams delivers a vicious (but comical) kick in the balls of all the theoricians of the so-called intelligent design. One of their favorite argument is that some creations of nature are so delicately adapted to their function, like the eye, the bird's wings, etc. that they couldn't be the result of Darwinian evolution. (By the way, the evolution of the eye is now well known and accessible to anyone who cares to read arduous scientifical writing.)

But anyway, Adams' line is about the Babel fish, which, as everybody knows, "is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language."

Of course, the Babel fish is also a very clerverly crafted plot device that enables the reader to stop worrying about why all the species in the universe should speak english (except for a little bit of untranslated Vogon speach, the ugliest language in the galaxy, after the Luxemburguese, if you ask me, but let's not be carried away again).

Here's why the Babel fish is a final proof of the non-existence of God :
"Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The argument goes something like this:
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. Q.E.D."
"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. *
(...)Most leading theologians claim that this argument isn't worth a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid** from making a fortune with his book Well That About Wraps It Up For God."

* Alas, there are so many things I would like to see vanish in a puff of logic...

**"Oolon Colluphid is the author of several books on religious and other philosophical topics. Colluphid's works include:
Where God Went Wrong
Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes
Who Is This God Person Anyway?
Well That About Wraps It Up for God
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Guilt But Were Too Ashamed To Ask
Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Sex But Have Been Forced To Find Out "

Now because you really find everything on the internet, I've found some roaring atheists who took the pain of actually writing Oolon Colluphid's ficticious book about God's Greatest Mistakes, from the spotted hyaena's sexual organs to the non-coding ADN, creations of nature that are so pointless, bizarre or stupid that they could NOT be the result of intelligent design. It is a funny and interesting reading :

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire