Saturday, August 06, 2005

Ralph and Shirley

I thought about making this post one of my ponderous and pedantic ones, but decided to make it one of those down home personal essays I am famous for all across Blogland.

Let's assume there is an Intelligent Designer helping nature along. Let's call this designer Ralph just to give him a name. Ralph does not have an address, telephone number, e-mail address, and doesn't hang out at places like Starbuck's or Pippin's, so you cannot ask him questions when you get confused about a subtle scientific question. Since devotees of intelligent design claim they are not Creationists, I assume I have not committed a blasphemy by calling our master engineer Ralph.

Ralph is a pretty smart guy. Nature goes about her merry way. However, when Ralph thinks there's a better way of doing things, he tinkers around, finds a better design, and implements his new design. Some people say Ralph is a bumbling fool because some things seem ill conceived and badly executed. Well, let's give Ralph the benefit of the doubt. Let's assume he is very smart and well intentioned.

Now let's say there is a virologist called Shirley. She studies the mutation and adaptation of viruses in various species. She helps produce vaccines used to combat those viruses that have evolved to where they are deadly to humans. It's hard work, don't you know? If you are not very smart and highly educated, you need not apply for the job.

OK, where's Ralph while Shirley is busting her fanny trying to get all this essential work done? Simple answer, he's no where to be found, and worse yet he's totally unlisted, and never calls in sick or anything.

Ralph screws around with some stuff, but when he's done, he takes a mighty long vacation. Ralph cannot be bothered with the drudgery of isolating and combating deadly viruses.

I would say to Ralph if he were one of my employees, "you have done some good work in the past. But lately you have been resting on your laurels. It wouldn't hurt if you got off your ass and helped out once in awhile. I'm sorry, Ralph, but you have been screwing the pooch big time lately. Do it again and you're fired."

"Potential is nothing; performance is everything." Bud Wilkinson


At 3:20 PM, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

What a great post!!!

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Lynn said...


Thank you.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger curtis said...

Seems like a bit of a strawman argument to me, although I must say, I found it very entertaining! ;)

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Lynn said...


I admit it lacks a certain amount of rigor, but I am glad you enjoyed it. Good to see you back in Blogland again.


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