Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Parable of the Biologists...

Once upon a time on a far distant planet there were some alien biologists. On their planet there were writings and legends about an ancient civilization of powerful beings who had come down from the sky and created life there. There were also some legends about such beings being active at certain points in the history of the aliens.

But as happens with many stories, some groups of aliens began to change and re-write the story because of the cultural and political importance that origins has for any type of civilization. If they knew or admitted to how the powerful beings had made them, then they might have to try to live by and seek the truth of ancient legends.

There came to be a wide variety of stories about their origins, depending on what a group of creatures wanted to do and what their own preferences were. For instance, some had a god of gold and riches because that is what they liked while others had a god of fertility or sex because that is what they liked.

So given time, there came to be a very wide proliferation of various types of gods and godesses. Generally they were confined to each tribe as they developed their own tribal preferences. Then the creatures eventually realized that there was a wide proliferation of gods as their civilization and knowledge advanced and tribalism receded.

Because of that, more came to the point of believing that there were not any beings who created them in the first place, not really. Instead, that was all just a legend and it was a matter of tribe or creature comfort and creature preference as to what legend a creature believed. So the creatures would say to each other, "That god is good for you, but not for me." By that point most did not believe that there was any higher type of being than their own type of being, not really. How could there be, since there were so many different stories about gods of all sorts? They figured that because there were so many different stories that none were true. So they began to make some new stories based on the planet itself and the designed capacity for self-replication that they and other creatures had been made with by the beings who created them. So the creatures had begun to say that they created themselves.

There were some biologists caught up in the context of the alien culture. They knew of the old legends of an ancient civilization coming to their planet from the sky and creating life as they knew it. But since there were so many stories by the time they came to study things they figured that none were true. Ironically, the only reason that these studious studiers came to study was because some philosophical aliens based their philosophy on an ancient legend. Not the legends of gods of gold and wealth, gods of merry making or other things based on creature comfort but instead on the legend of the beings who came from the sky and created life.

The biologists had lost that perspective that had been the genesis and foundation of their field. Most of them figured that since the gods of gold were obviously superstitions that the creative beings must be too. But as they studied, the evidence began to go against their idea that the design of the alien's self-replicating capabilities and adaptive capacity could create and design itself. In fact, it was based on a complex code that was far beyond their own meager civilization. Yet by this point there were so many alien biologists who believed that all the stories of creative beings were superstition that they had made up some little rules about the way they studied. So at any mention of the creative beings all the lil' aliens would run around screaming about things such as, "That's not alien biology!" "Horrible things have been done based on legend and in the name of the creative beings!" "We only allow one type of explanation, our own!" And so on.

It really had nothing to do with what the truth was. It was odd that the alien biologists went around admitting that their explanation had nothing to do with the truth but was just the only type of explanation that they would allow. The odd thing about that was that they would then act like their stories were the truth anyway and would lecture about all the facts they knew and how lil' aliens must be taught their explanation, lest the civilization fall apart. That was also odd, since they could not understand their own civilization without trying to understand the civilization of powerful beings that created them.

In the course of alien history there came to be a nation in which the stories of the biologists there were taken to be true. Internally, it began to fall apart as a civilization. There was one group of aliens who all knew had a special place in the ancient legend about the creative beings of light, from the sky. That nation tried to kill them all to be rid of them and their story. Its leader wanted to be as the creative beings and to make the aliens into the ancient creative beings of light. Again, the aliens had the urge to try to be their own creators. So those aliens who carried the true story and had some involvement in it as a nation had to be killed.

Enough aliens recognized the truth and put a stop to that nation. Yet, the biologists did not stop telling their kind of stories for the same reasons as before. Instead, they just changed them a little.

In the course of alien history their persistent denial of the foundation of the study of life again undermined civilization and turned life into death. When all hope for civilization seemed lost, just as the creative beings had said it would be through ancient texts and legend, the beings once again came down from the sky.

As some lil' alien biologists looked up at the sky and saw some type of huge being of light that was of a sort never seen before coming down to their planet, a thought occured to them.
It was this, "Oopsy!"


Mel said...

Hey, where's the rest? Don't leave me hanging! ;)

mynym said...

It looks like I'm going to be writing it on my laptop. I guess I wasted some time on the issue of same-sex marriage here.But I won't forget to finish this, as I sometimes do. I noticed that there were some posts on the blog that have a little "I'll finish this later." that never got done.

Oh well, now they're old.

mynym said...

Here's an index of old parables instead.

Rest of Index.Index.Come to think of it, there will be a few missing by now. I'll have to update the indexes sometime.

I probably need to do more blogging and less engaging in such silly forums.

Mel said...

Ok, I'm satisfied now...

I like it. :)