the way things are

Sometimes I’m just overwhelmed by the power of the way things are. Just things.

Have you ever seen a butterfly jumping from one blossom to another, drinking the nectar of each using the strange straw-like protrusion growing from the middle of its face? It’s rather amazing, really. Butterflies just do this, apparently, without instruction or training.

What’s the deal with a butterfly, anyway? A hairy little caterpillar decides to build a cocoon and tuck itself away until it grows wings? Yeah, sure. The wings are abounding with the most amazing colors, by the way, and made of some organic material that can’t be duplicated with the best of science.

Someone will say the butterfly’s wings help it move quickly between flowers and hide, as if camouflaged, among the leaves and blossoms.

The thing that nags me about such statements is the way they make it sound like such intricate details were planned by the butterfly itself.

One day, a butterfly said, “I think sucking nectar from flowers would be easier if I grew a straw in the middle of my face.” Then it happened.

Or, maybe it was this scenario: A butterfly, at some time in the prehistoric past had a short, little, stubby nose. Somehow, the butterfly’s DNA realized the short, little, stubby nose wasn’t getting the job done and began experimenting with alternatives, until it accidentally stumbled onto the straw configuration.

Humans have not even come close to creating a machine with the unique capabilities of the human eye, and I have two of them that just happened to grow in my head while I wasn’t able to see anything at all from the darkness of my mother’s womb.

And why do I have two of them?  All the better to see you with, my dear:  two eyes allow sharper perception.

Have you used those incredible eyes to peer at the stars lately? I understand the ones I can see are a tiny fraction of those that exist in the unfathomable reaches of the universe.

Have you looked closely at a baby’s toes recently? They come pre-wrinkled in all the right spots. How does the skin on those little toe-knuckles know that it will need to be wrinkled to allow for flexibility?

Have you read a book on quantum physics lately? You’d be amazed at the stuff that holds the universe together. It’s really incredible, and we don’t even understand the half of it. The little we do understand is beyond phenomenal and beautiful in the meticulous order of its complexity.

I’m not trying to be dogmatic, or draw any conclusions, really, so don’t get all up in my koolaid about some agenda to gain support for whatever view you want to propagate. I’m just saying . . .

Sometimes you have to just wonder at the way things are. They just are. I’m just saying . . . it’s hard to believe it just happened, even if you give it millions of years of opportunities, but you can’t deny the way things are.

8 thoughts on “the way things are”

  1. You really had me until the quantum physics part. Then I began to wonder why my brain will never comprehend quantum physics. It was all down-hill from there.

    Great Blog. Thanks for the reminder to…… attention.


  2. i have wondered about the butterflies… but mostly i spend my days wondering why “life” is how it is. too complicated to even guess. 😦


  3. MMMMmmmm Koolaid mmmmm 🙂

    FYI, that’s called a “probocis”, that long butterfly “sipper”. I think the natural world is an excellent teacher, and in this case it can teach us that even tho the critters in the natural world all have different ways to exist, varied and perfect for the critters themselves. Just as there are varied and perfect ways for all of us to connect to the divine force (and everything else) as we do.

    Keep on pondering, brother.


  4. I love things ‘just the way they are’. All the beauty, all the pain, all the tragedy. My fear is that this line of thought will sink me steadily towards nihilism, then I wonder if that would really be so bad, then I worry that if it ends up being bad I won’t be able to come back to a place where I care enough to change, then I roll over and go back to sleep.

    So far so good.


  5. Dale, why do you have to be so gosh darn one sided in your blog posts? Don’t you know that everything is part of an elaborate plan that an “Intelligent Designer named Jesus Christ came up with just days before he used Charles Darwin to create evolution and that the eyeball really is a machine that doctors have implanted in our heads as a way of controlling us? If you start down this slippery path of questioning creation, then not only will you be blacklisted from the scientific community and never be able to publish any of your research again, but you’ll have to travel around the nation and speak at colleges in very one-sided debates against their Biology departments… Good luck with that, you’re gonna need it buddy. By the way, Michael Behe is speaking at Timberline in Fort Collins next week… do you want to go see him with me?


  6. Hi Dale,
    I miss you.
    I love to read your words, but I miss the sound of your voice.
    I love your insights, but I miss seeing the passion in your face.
    Things are just too intangible this way.
    That’s just the way things are.


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