Friday, July 31, 2009

Only God can make a weed

When I was a kid, the absolute worst chore my parents could give me (besides “lining” the garbage can) was to pull weeds. Lining the garbage can required my using newspaper to cover the sides and bottom of the garbage can so the inside wouldn’t get dirty… from garbage. There is no logic here so don’t look for it.

Anyway, the worst penance was the assignment of pulling weeds. In the temperate California climate, it was always weed season. Always!

I am an avowed Skeptic and Happy Agnostic; I don’t believe that the Book of Genesis is the recipe God used to bake up the universe as we know it. Our understanding of the mechanisms regarding the world around us is increased with every passing day, with every scientific paper published. We are a reasoning species and seek to comprehend the workings of largest and smallest objects in the universe. Yet there is still that little nagging voice back there that teases us to “believe”.

I hear that voice whenever I pull weeds.

Intelligent Design would have us believe that a universe as complex as ours could never have come into being randomly on its own; the probabilities are far too astounding for that to be possible. (The Anthropic Principle). To underscore the argument, the ID people point to the complexity of the eye (oops, explained by Evolution) … well then, the complexity of the bacteria flagellum (oh, sorry, Evolution explains that too) … Ok, the autoimmune system could never have… (ummm, nope, already well understood through... good guess).

So just where exactly can we find the divine hand of God touching our life on earth? Weeds! Almost every species of weed I have ever laid hands on does everything in its power to avoid being pulled. Weeds are the scourge of plant life put here (by You-Know-Who) to be the bane of mans existence. I will lay out the evidence:

In conditions were most plants won’t grow, weeds thrive. Clay soil, cracks in concrete; they will outperform more desirable plants two to one.

When one tries to extract them they easily snap off at ground level; as if a biological “quick release” mechanism has been built into their tiny stems to keep them snugly in the soil. Carrots don’t do that, Daisies come out of the ground roots an all. But weedy roots tenaciously cling to the bosom of Mother Earth as if they were One.

Lastly, most weeds are stickery; encrusted with little spines and nettles which hurt when touched. Now why would a weed need stickery spines? Edible plants evolved defense mechanisms like thorns to protect them, but what is the evolutionary benefit of nettles to weeds? Nobody eats them, or happily plucks and arranges them in attractive bunches on the breakfast table.

I can come to only one conclusion: God intentionally made weeds to enable Man to suffer. The Garden of Eden, I am most sure, did not grow dandelions, chickweed or crabgrass. No, God created the weed in his Infinite Mercy to force man to his knees the toil painfully in an endless and fruitless task, harvesting a crop of woe and despair. Only God could have come up with weeds. But, God gave Man a mind – and the mind of Man came up with “RoundUp”.


Mary Witzl said...

I don't use Round Up; I dig my weeds up instead -- it's a form of insanity and provides me with both useful exercise and a compelling diversion. Right now I'm tackling creeping buttercup and dandelions. We've had non-stop rain here; weeding in Scotland is pretty much a joke: for every weed you pull, half a dozen sprout right up.

You CAN eat spiky weeds, though: dandelion leaves are nice in sandwiches and stinging nettles make a tasty soup!

Robert the Skeptic said...

My father-in-law points out that there are real dandelions and faux dandelions... one edible and one not. Which again goes to support my Intelligent Weed Designer hypothesis.

kara said...

weeds are people too, dad. or something.

what i mean is, they're all god's creatures or whatever.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Precisely my point, to which you have so eloquently retorted there upon it.

Mary Witzl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Witzl said...

There are all sorts of dandelions, actually, but I'll come off as a dandelion bore if I start listing them here. I believe I have every last variety in my garden. And you are right about weeds: they're smart and tough, and they're survivors. When we're all long gone, they'll be making colorful green homes for cockroaches.