Thursday, October 21, 2010

Deep in the ancient primal darkness

Deep in the ancient primal darkness of prehistoric times - don't worry about what we're doing deep in the ancient primal darkness of prehistoric times, that's not the point - anyway, deep in the ancient primal darkness of prehistoric times stalks the primordial cat. It is hunting the prey of all cats, since time immemorial - a nice juicy plateful of Iams, or can of Whiskas, or something like that. Fierce! Vigilant! Unrelenting! does the primordial cat stalks its pathetic prey, as it whimpers in its pitiable weakness and vulnerability.

Somewhere in this barren wilderness, in the ancient primal darkness (et cetera) there sits a chair. It is a very nice chair, as chairs go - with lovely little flowers embroidered over it, and splotches of this and blotches of that. (And don't go asking what a lovely chair like that is doing in prehistoric times. What, you let the plateful of Iams and the can of Whiskas slip by, and now you start asking unhelpful questions?) And also, it has very nice looking comfortable cushions tastefully arranged on it in a way that make it look very inviting. And maybe an antimaccassar.

The primordial cat, savage and sleek, comes to the chair. And sits down upon it.

And here we come to, or rather sit down upon, my point (and my point is of course a metaphor, otherwise it would rather hurt our bottoms, sitting down on it). In this unforgiving Darwinian wilderness, where the struggle for scarce resources and bowls of Iams and all that goes on day after day, night after night, what is this primordial cat doing sitting on this chair? In such a way that the blotches and splotches on its coat coincide so neatly with the splotches and blotches on the upholstery of the chair? Does this not strike you as a design flaw? For if, by some happenstance, in this brutal, horrible, deadly prehistoric landscape the primordial chap should come along, what would there be stopping him from sitting upon that chair (for of course the primordial chap wasn't there when the cat got on the chair, and now can't make out the cat-like blotches from the chair-like splotches) and squashing the cat?

This scenario, I believe, refutes both naive Darwinian evolutionary theory, and Creationist argument-by-design. For by what evolutionary process could Nature have brought her cat, the huntress, up to this point, where it so perfectly camouflages with a chair - when that very ability to camouflage itself renders it helpless when it confronts the substantial posterior of its most deadly enemy? Nor can Christian believers take comfort from this scenario either. What on earth did God put a chair in that barren wilderness for? It's much better in the lounge room.

I take my last words from William Blake, who should have known better than to say he wrote this, 200 years before I was born:

Kitten! Kitten! Burning bright!
In the sofas of the night!
If I were a Whiskas plate,
I'd be in quite a frightened state!

What the dickens! Look, a bum!
Descending from the sky, it comes!
Scatter! Vanish! Run away!
Or someone here will rue the day!

Kitten! Kitten! Burning bright!
In the sofas of the night!
If I were a Whiskas plate,
I'd be in quite a frightened state!


Rob said...

Brilliant, profound, philosophical, scientific, moral.....

Thanks Tim

TimT said...

To aim we please!

Email: timhtrain - at -

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