Sketches on Atheism

Let’s bake a species! Part 1: What not to do

davidA 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. Cópia (2) de Weird-guy-with-guns-e1342291240754The 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.

53 thoughts on “Let’s bake a species! Part 1: What not to do

  1. My Bold Brave SNA,

    I believe it is one of Clarke’s Laws that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” So, any god one could create that would by it’s mere presence create knee dropping awe and be able to work feats of what we would consider magic would be indistinguishable from any alien with a sufficiently advanced technology.

    Turn this around (inside out?) and you can see that the worship of gods is indistiguishable from the worship of aliens and I don’t think we want to encourage that, man.

    I think, my friend, you are on a fool’s errand (and I think you knew that from the get-go).

    Let loose the hounds! Show us what your towering intellect can create! . . . but if you can create a god, that makes you, makes you, Oh . . . my . . . God!



  2. Whatever it is you’re saying
    Couldn’t you say it a bit brief
    There is no god you’re saying?
    You are welcome to your belief

    A picture of a god
    A surprise to my eyes
    But I prefer my god
    To wear a fig leaf


  3. This promises to be entertaining. I look forward to the formal unveiling of god’s gift.

    The thing with believers in an omnipotent being is, it doesn’t matter how absurd, horrific or obscene things get. It’s the god’s will and the reasons are none of your concern.

    Whatever happens, you just accept it and stop whining. The god knows what it’s doing so shut the fuck up and start worshiping! On your knees you trivial speck of offal!

    So, anything the god does is perfect by default. No matter what.

    Ergo, any god you care to create is perfectly fine. All you have to do is declare it omnipotent and the rest will take care of itself.


  4. I NEVER considered it like this! Excellent take. Brings back memories of Battlefield Earth and how the alien,Terl, thought we were hairless slugs!
    Created by God. Yeah, right!
    Good one , John.


  5. “Whichever way you cut it no space-going troupe of, say, curious alien anthropologists is ever going to touch down on our planet and after taking one look at us holler for all the cosmos to hear, “Holy crap! There really is a God”

    Such visits I’m sure are made to ensure that we remain in the isolation we find ourselves in so we don’t contaminate the other galaxies. It’s likely that we’re the rejects of other experiments and this “organic Ford Edsel” we find ourselves on is the disposal bin for such refuge. We are on that planet far, far away from life forms who co-habitate with each other and unlike our species, engage in constructive activities.


    • Wooooh there, Larry! Children might be reading this. Our job is to lift their spirits, not dash them to the obscurity and status of a failed experiment. Oh, wait up… I was the one doing the dashing first, wasn’t I?. Shit. Ok, in that case, FIRE AT WILL! 😉


    • All his worldly possessions including black budgie-smugglers and a truly kickass mullet to boot! I’m sure the ladies were flooding his Inbox after he posted this on “” 🙂


  6. Leaving me hanging, John…

    I’m not joking when I say your writing is fantastic. You have a very mature and impressive style; it’s easy to follow, intelligent and humorous. Ever think of expanding this topic, or any other, into a book?


    • Always thoughts, R.L, always thoughts 😉 I did throw together a type of “history of superstition” work last year (hence all the research into ancient cultures) but i was told in a very kindly manner by an authored authority that it was pretty much shit. Oh well, i enjoyed researching it!


      • That’s too bad. Did they provide reasons?

        There isn’t a consensus on that particular subject, so it’s somewhat surprising that a subject matter expert would wholly disregard your theory. To be honest, I fear the same thing will occur with much of my work, but when it comes down to it, we are all simply providing theories based on incomplete evidence. For instance, look at how many theories there are on Mithras.

        Anyway, I really do like your writing style (and obviously the subjects). You seem to have satires down, and I’d pay for a full-length copy. 🙂

        By the way, happy Darwin Day!


      • Happy Darwin Day back at ya, R.L!

        The reasons given weren’t to do with the entertainment value. He loved that. The subject matter though favours those actually working in the field. I didn’t actually present any theories, just “a” perspective on the history of us superstitious naked apes.


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