Sunday, August 23, 2009

Would a Loving God Make a Creature Like This?

Tom Smith wonders about parasitic wasps and God.

Just found one of these guys in the pool.  I've blogged about them before;  everybody needs their little obsessions.  These creatures sting spiders, paralyze them, carry off the still living bodies, lay an egg on them, which hatches into a larvae, which then eats the paralyzed spider alive, avoiding key body systems so as to make sure it stays alive until the last possible moment.  You really have to hope spiders have no awareness, or else that they are reincarnated Nazis or something.  As I have said before, Darwin apparently found the existence of God and parasitoid wasps incompatible.  An alternative that worries me sometimes is that God did create parasitoid wasps and thinks they're really cool.

It is an interesting question. When a human does something bad, we can chalk it up to free will. These insects, though, have to do this. It is their essential nature. If one believes in God, what does it mean that God created a creature whose existence is based on torturing other creatures? As fascinating a thought experiment as it is, however, I don't see how any conclusion other than "ineffable mystery" can be reached. It's just one of those things that is beyond human ken.

Weekly Secret


I wonder how many people are in similar situations.