Saturday, October 19, 2013

Amazing Squirrels

I remember being fascinated by monkey's as a child. I really wished that we had monkey's in the trees in upstate New York. When we visited Florida I was disappointed that they didn't even have monkeys there. It seemed to me that if they had palm trees, they should also have monkeys.

By the time I got to visit South America I was sixteen, but I still hoped to see wild monkeys in the edges of the jungle in Suriname and the Amazon region of Brazil. But I was disappointed again. Lots of bright birds, for sure, bats, snakes, and unusually large rodents - but no monkeys that I can remember.

All we had at home were squirrels. Gray squirrels, flying squirrels and red squirrels in New York. To me they were boring, except as potential food. (And I thought it was gross that people in places that did have monkeys tended to eat them.)

Here in Canton we have more squirrels than I have ever seen. Here we have big fox squirrels (not to be confused with the small red squirrels of my youth.) We have gray squirrels, black squirrels and sable squirrels. We even have a few blonde squirrels (and that is not a joke about blondes.) We have so many squirrels that I am amazed the population can support itself.

This morning I was watching a squirrel travel along the squirrel highway consisting of telephone lines that run through the middle of the blocks in my neighborhood. As I watched, the squirrel suddenly decided to change lanes to another cable about his body length away from him to his side and above him. He just flipped up there without breaking stride.

It made me think about the acrobatics I have seen from squirrels... up, down and around they go. Onto the slimmest branches to retrieve seeds - wild leaps from a branch onto the roof of a house - a ten foot jump at least! They are amazing!

Now, for me, this prompts praise to God as the Designer of Squirrels. He has perfectly equipped them with a bushy tail for balance, strong muscles for climbing and jumping, back feet that can rotate to keep them on the side of a tree going up or coming down, and incredible judgment of distances for jumping from one branch to another. They are clearly designed for their incredible (pesky) lives.

But I know that my atheist friends see this as a testament to the functionality of evolution. They don't believe in a creator god and it is too incredible (even for them) to believe that multiple complex and differentiated life forms all "appeared" on the planet at once. So - they HAVE TO believe in evolution - a slow change over millions of years that equipped squirrels to live in the trees.

This strikes me as sad. With no god, no purpose, no meaning - the amazing squirrel (and everything else) is reduced to impersonal matter. Though they do experience awe and an appreciation of the beauty of the world they have no real basis for it... Everything - including them - is just an impersonal product of an impersonal natural process that is going nowhere in particular and has no meaning or measure. That humans are "sentient" is a cruel joke.

This they accept by faith - not having observed something coming to exist from nothing - not having observed life coming from non-life - not having witnessed any form of macroevolution nor having found any fossilized record of it. They have rejected faith in God and embraced pure rationalism based on faith in "No God" and stories they invented about how things "must have" happened.

But rationally speaking they have no basis for wonder, gratitude, praise, delight or hope. And that is sad.

1 comment:

Bobbi said...

This almost makes me feel bad for not liking squirrels. Almost, but not quite! LOL!! They are amazing...I just don't want one anywhere near me or my birdfeeders.