All things bright and beautiful (and bin Laden too)

Considering the notion that all Nature is the benign creation of a loving God, Charles Darwin wrote: “There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.”*

(The Ichneumonidae in question being a family of wasps that inject their eggs into a host body; upon hatching, the larvae devour the host from the inside out. Or as William Blake asked of another fearsome creature: “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?”)

The blind processes of evolution, on the other hand, explain the existence of such horrors nicely. If Darwin made witty music videos, he might have put it this way:

(via Richard Dawkins)
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*To be fair, Darwin did struggle with the implications of this line of thought, and confessed: “Not that this notion at all satisfies me. I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect.” Which is not to say that others after him wouldn’t take his thinking further than he himself dared, as is often the case.

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