A few weeks ago I tried, but failed, to bake a capital “G” God; a God so believable in a cosmological sense that it’d have Richard Dawkins on his fucking knees. As it turned out gods are terrifyingly fragile things to construct. They’re infested with a shocking case of logical osteoporosis and even with the assistance of cheat sheets the poor things simply crumble under even the mildest scrutiny. Alas, having failed to even find a believable home for my capital “G” God I had no option but to concede defeat before even writing the first kickass monologue my God was going to bullhorn out over creation.
The wounds of that embarrassing ass-paddling have since healed, many sandwiches have been made and eaten, I’m a little older and arguably even a little wiser, and in retrospect it’s possible (if not entirely probable) that my godly disaster was nothing but the unfortunate side-effect of simply approaching the design process from entirely the wrong angle. That’s to say, to be successful in this god making business you might just have to turn the whole creation thing on its head. Bottom up, not top down. Assemble the masterpiece first and a credible capital “G” God might just shoehorn its way into the non-fiction bookshelf. Design a master species so devastatingly magnificent that it defies all mortal reason and, voilà! A piping hot, fresh-from-the-oven God must surely manifest like some magical residue… a God who’d not only have Richard Dawkins on his knees but Stephen Hawking’s out of his wheelchair singing Kumbaya!
So, by way of any good design process the very first thing any architect worth his salt should do is to observe what not to do. Limp-wristed David up there is of course what today’s nauseously flawed religions would have you believe is their god’s masterpiece. The reality is however closer to this chap over here on the left, and let’s be honest, no capital “G” God in its right mind would use that creature to wipe his/her/its godly ass with, let alone proclaim it to be his/her/its crowning aesthetic achievement. Peel away that eye-offending outer crust and things inside only get more grotesque. It’s a convoluted mess; a haphazard organic nightmare that is never going to win any longevity awards. Kilometres of plumbing are prone to god awful clogging, internal wiring short-circuits with alarming regularity, and our branchlike limbs have a disturbing habit of snapping and sometimes even falling off completely. Our lymphatic system seems more an afterthought than a purposeful design, our digestive system was put together in fits and starts, we produce acids that’d burn our eyes out, our musculoskeletal system is only really useful at sea level, our endocrine system is subject to terrible temper tantrums, and our respiratory system is only capable of processing 20% of all available earthly gases. Our single source of light and warmth gives us cancer. Our recreational areas are located right next to our waste disposal plants. We have an 8hr battery life and spend half our lives in a catatonic coma. Most things make us sick but our immune system is built on the Chinese business model of late entry, crisis-response imitation. We are born utterly useless and have to wait 3 years for our neural networks to hook-up and come online before even getting a hint of who or even what we are. We have to relearn everything our forebears already bothered to learn. A little over here and we overheat and die. A little over there and we freeze and die. ¾’s of the planet’s surface will drown us. ¾’s of the atmosphere will asphyxiate us. We decay. We break. We leak. And worst of all, we’re compelled to rain down a daily ecological apocalypse on the rest of the planet just to get the protein we need to keep the whole heat engine going. It’s an atrocious design, and that’s before we even start to consider the inhospitable hellhole that exists beyond our dangerously thin, blisteringly violent biosphere.
Whichever way you cut it no space-going troupe of, say, curious alien astrobiologists are ever going to touch down on our blue-white marble and after taking one look at us holler for all the cosmos to hear, “Holy crap! There really is a God, and it looks like this!” No. There’s not a single Capital “G” God fingerprint to be found on this organic Ford Edsel… but that’s not say we can’t do much, much better in Part 2.