Science can’t debunk all “god” claims, since each individual tends to have their own special version of a deity, but it can be used to disprove some religious claims, such as the claim that humans are god’s favored species. This poem takes on that claim, that we are created in the image of god, by pointing out some of the less intelligent parts of our “design,” especially in comparison to some of the other examples we find in nature. This poem is, of course, named after the George Burns movie from the 80’s, and like the movie, the poem does have a part 2 that I will be posting next week.
Oh God! You devil. Pt. 1
I want to thank you
for this body
you’ve given me,
but I do have one or two issues
with it’s layout and capabilities.
I mean, if we are,
as your adherents would have me believe,
your chosen species, created in your image,
then your imagination must have been exhausted
after creating sunrises, sunsets,
the ocean, its floor, and the majestic mountains,
they are beautiful works of art, after all,
but your imagination must have been expended
after creating the creatures of the deep,
birds to decorate the skies,
and animals to populate the earth,
they are awe inspiring in every iteration,
so I can only assume your imagination
must have been taxed
when it came to creating my kind,
or perhaps the parts bin was empty,
because the eyes you’ve endowed in me and mine,
are…nice, I mean really, they’re serviceable,
but they are nowhere near your best work.
The shark has clear covers to keep
its eyes safe when attacking prey,
the eyes of the octopus don’t have the same blind spot
as those of mammals, and the images aren’t flipped,
hawks can see greater distances with more clarity,
and insects have compound eyes
that allow them to see in six directions at once;
while we stub toes in poorly lit rooms,
our rods struggle in low light situations
leaving us susceptible to injury and predation,
we can only see black and white in our periphery,
our cones can only perceive
a limited number of colors in the spectrum,
and our eyes have their necessary veins and vessels
occupying the ocular surface,
vulnerable to irritation and damage by the tiniest of your insects.
This body you’ve given we suffers from one or two minor deficiencies,
for instance we communicate, drink, eat and breathe,
using the same faculties,
which almost makes it a certainty
that we will one day choke
in our attempt to acquire sustenance,
did you love the dolphin and the whale more than man?
Are fishes and amphibians more favored by their creator,
than the humble mammals from which we’ve descended?
The respiratory and circulatory systems
of insects are so simple
as to almost be inspired,
did you design them early on in the process?
I mean there are more body plans
for insects, than people on earth,
did you pen them
fresh off your first cup of coffee,
or whatever your drug of choice may be,
and seeing some of your creatures,
I think it’s safe to assume
you were on some sort of hallucinogen.
Speaking of circulation and respiration,
why don’t we use all of the oxygen we take in?
And why are we land based animals
on a planet that is two thirds water?
Were the oceans once so teeming with life
that you could only see heartache and strife
for your favored creations,
and so limited them to the land masses?
This spine you’ve hung my mass on
contains a curve so complex that I will
have back problems at some point in my life,
whereas if we were in the ocean this might not be,
the same can be said for hips, ankles and knees.
And dear god why can’t we regenerate limbs?
I’m not asking for an arm or a leg,
such as the salamander is able to do,
but if the common lizard can re-grow a tail,
I don’t think a pinky toe would be too demanding of me.
And why lord is my life span so short?
Only doubling in the last century,
thanks to western medical technology,
and still falling far short of the alligator and crocodile,
the tortoise and the parrot,
do these creatures, not purported to be your favorites,
have more purpose than man?
And what is the purpose of cancer?
Why do our cells suddenly go crazy,
and attempt to kill off the body that contains them?
And our appendix which was once necessary
to break down such fibrous materials
as grass and hearty green vegetables
is now a repository for necessary bacteria
that is just waiting around to kill us,
a ticking time bomb in our abdomen.
I’m running out of time dear god,
but not complaints;
however there are one or two more criticisms I would like to make.
My party center, centrally located,
is in too close proximity,
at times sharing the same facilities as my sewage center,
were there no city planners up there in eternity
that you could have consulted,
were we given whatever body plan was left laying around?
Would that explain the junk DNA
that still occupies my cells,
is your quality control worse than McDonald’s, dear lord?
Never mind there is no need to answer that last question,
I only need to look around at all the varying religious denominations
that claim to speak your truth to know the real truth.
I humbly await your answer dear lord,
if you can be bothered,
but can you please keep your believers
from attempting to speak for you,
because they are all offering a different answer,
each incompatible with the other,
and attempting to disprove 6 billion ideas of you
is really beginning to annoy me.
Victor Harris © 2010