My New Year’s Resolution: Be A Proud Creationist

GOTTA LOVE a captive audience:

Throngs at Blues Point for NYE

Throngs at Blues Point for NYE

This was the scene in the late afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2008 at Blues Point on Sydney Harbour, just one of dozens of popular vantage points around Port Jackson. The audience assembled and impatient, it was an opportunity just made to be seized by advertisers with a special message. The medium? Skywriting!

There were two frankly bizarre messages for us to digest as we drained the first of many bottles of beer. The first one manically screamed, ‘CALL MUM TELSTRA’.

I think Telstra is a daft thing to call your mother, personally. Scratching my head, I realised this must be a new take on the tired ‘Yo mama’ meme, to be interpreted as:

Your mum’s so fat, bloated, arrogant and inept she can’t even submit a compliant bid for the National Broadband Network before the deadline for the tender process has passed!

The second message was even more bizarre. After the excitement of the first message and the realisation that there was only Australian beer left and the sun hadn’t yet set, we were rapt to see the skywriter trace out the word ‘THE’. We gazed on as he added, ‘CREATOR’. Intrigued, we cooed as the pilot scrawled ‘IS’… and waited for the payoff…

JESUS‘.

Fuck. I mean, that’s not even biblically accurate, surely! Jesus doesn’t come in until after the Triwizard Tournament! According to Genesis, Yahwehdidit. He was so clever, he managed to create the world twice in two different orders!

Yes, I know Colossians 1:13-16 states that Jesus made everything, but to me it smacks of retconning on Paul’s part.

Oh, I should probably mention that the theme for this year’s fireworks extravaganza was Creation. Sydney Council even seem to think that life was ‘created’ (which is news to me) but they don’t go so far as to tell us who did it or how. I’ve heard that one somewhere before…

The odd thing, though, was a sense of revulsion among my friends. Not at the Prosel-O-Plane, though that was mildly off-colour. No, some of us noticed an instinctive adverse reaction to the word ‘creation’. And that gave me pause for thought.

Creation, you see, is amazing. It’s one of the most special things about being a conscious and thinking animal. The glory of art and music, architecture and literature, design and engineering is a stupendously, gob-smackingly wondrous thing.

There is another very special type of creation, by the way. Making a model to fit the most baffling of observations, a model robust enough to withstand aggressive scrutiny, yet flexible and humble enough to adapt to new insights. It’s a scientific theory and it’s a beautiful thing.

As a species, we might fairly be described as a shameful cancer that is destroying the only life-bearing planet we know. But while we must take responsibility and grow up as a species, there is much we can rejoice in and be proud of. Paley’s watchmaker may have turned out to be blind all along, but digital watches are still a pretty neat idea.

So do be proud. The creator is… you!

The great irony in creationist thought is that it demands a lack of creativity, requires a shut-down in imagination, expects us to switch off our brain and accept trite dogma. Creationism is the Windows Me of philosophy, but our technology has improved. There are better ways to know our origins and fate.

So this year, my resolution is to reclaim the word creation for those who actually bother to contribute to it. Personally, I’ll be doing more songs, more recording, more impro, and more writing. But what every you do: code monkey, painter, poet, or yes, research scientist: do it creatively!

And if that sounds like a lot of effort, take comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone. Firstly: we can do this together!

And secondly, the last laugh was ours on New Year’s Eve: we had a clear visit from the True Creator. Shortly after midnight, His Noodly Appendage touched us all:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster and his appearance at the Creation-themed fireworks.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster and his appearance at the Creation-themed fireworks.

Deep gratitude to the wonderful friend who hosted us. It was a great party.

Peace and reason.

2 Comments

  1. Posted January 4, 2009 at 19:51 | Permalink

    You make a lot of sense, Dave. I had never thought of it that way before, but I love created things too! Music, art, literature and even the computer I’m typing this on were created, you could even say they are all ‘intelligently designed’, and they constitute some of the most important things in my life (after a beautiful girl and a naughty dog).
    I think it would be fun to try to usurp these terms for out own purposes, which would no doubt be a source of displeasure to the editor of ‘Creation Magazine’!

  2. Yitzi
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 18:02 | Permalink

    Holy shit, that was awesome! My favourite jokes and references, in the order they appear, are:

    * the Triwizard Tournament
    * Yahwehdidit
    * I’ve heard that one somewhere before…
    * digital watches are still a pretty neat idea.
    * the True Creator

    I was touched by Our Lord’s Noodly Appendage. Also, by Jesus. I preferred the FSM, he had a more delicate, sensual touch. And I’m going to wrap it up here before I get too involved in erotic spaghetti literature.

One Trackback

  1. By THC == The Happy Creationist? | zhasper2.0 on January 3, 2009 at 22:39

    [...] My New Year’s Resolution: Be A Proud Creationist: The second message was even more bizarre. After the excitement of the first message and the [...]

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