Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One political fiction piece by John A. Ward

Science Saturday
by John A. Ward

“Hello, I’m Allison Sugarcakes, your science correspondent, and my guest today is Professor Emeritus Thor Nalgas from the State University. Professor Nalgas is our foremost proponent of the theory of intelligent design. Would you please explain your theory to our audience, Professor.”

“We believe it is implausible that such marvelous structures as the mammalian eye could have developed through natural selection alone. This is evidence that an intelligent agent must have been involved in the design.”

“What is the evidence, that you find it implausible?”

“Absolutely, very well stated, just like you, many good Christians see the merit of the theory as soon as it is presented.”

“I’m not Christian.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, what are you?”

“I’m Wiccan.”

“Can you give me some lottery numbers?”

“We don’t do that, Professor. Getting back to intelligent design, the eye is indeed a marvel of nature, but how do you explain such useless anatomy as tonsils, appendices and mammaries on a male javelina?”

“The intelligent designer has a sense of humor.”

“Do you claim that the intelligent designer is God?”

“Probably, but we don’t intend to make an issue of that. It could be an alien from a galaxy far, far away.”

“Doesn’t an alien being just beg the question?”

“What do you mean?”

“If life on earth was created by an alien being, who created the alien being?”

“Obviously another intelligent designer did it.”

“So it’s turtles all the way down?”


“In Asian and Native American creation myths, the earth begins on the back of a giant turtle. So, you’re saying if one turtle isn’t enough, just add another turtle underneath that.”

“This isn’t a creation myth. It’s an alternate explanation to account for the shortcomings of evolution by natural selection.”

“Shortcomings such as?”

“Missing links.”

“Actually, the fossil record is remarkably continuous and all living things share the same genetic code and the same biochemistry.”

“It’s not just the problems with evolution. Science is too materialistic. We want new experiments added to the curriculum, such as the weighing of souls.”

“Shoe soles?”

“No, immortal souls.”

“How can you do that?”

“I was hoping you would ask. You have to weigh thirty souls. Statisticians consider thirty to be a large sample. You want a good estimate of the mean weight and its ninety-five percent confidence interval. Then we’ll make the soul the basic unit of measurement. You can just as well say a ten pound bag of kitty litter weighs twenty souls or pick me up ten souls of sugar at the grocery store or I’ve been on a diet for only a week and lost fourteen souls.”

“Really, what diet is that?”

“Well, for breakfast, I eat Ghost Toasties and evaporated milk, but that’s not important.”

“You seem to think the soul weighs half a pound.”

“Yes, we’ve already measured it.”

“How did you do it?”

“First we weigh a living person. Then we kill the person and wait for the soul to leave the body. It’s best if you keep the body on a recording scale so you can see the drop in weight when the soul takes off.”

“Killing people doesn’t bother you?”

“No, there are lots of good reasons to kill a person, just so long as it isn’t mercy killing.”

“It sounds like your plans go way beyond introducing intelligent design into the biology curriculum.”

“Yes, once we’re successful there, we intend to get equal time for alchemy in chemistry courses and astrology in earth and space sciences.”

“Thank you, Professor Nalgas. Now we will return to our coverage of wars and natural disasters.”

Author bio:

John A. Ward was born on Staten Island, attended Wagner College in the early 60's, sold his first poem to Leatherneck magazine for $10, and became a biomedical scientist. He is now in San Antonio running, writing and living with his dance partner. He has published in Doorknobs & Bodypaint, Toasted Cheese, Green Tricycle, Apollo’s Lyre, Alighted Ezine, Clockwise Cat, Cenotaph Pocket Edition, The San Antonio Express-News, Antithesis Common, Wild Child, Idlewheel, Sentence, Sun Poetic Times, Byline, Quirk, ken*again, R-KV-R-Y, The Smoking Poet and Long Story Short. Links to his work can be found at http://www.geocities.com/jaward04@sbcglobal.net/dancfool.htm.

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