Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Which Came First, the Dragon or the Egg?

There are scientifically inclined monotheists who say that certain, arbitrarily chosen parts of the Bible or the Quran are “poetry” or “metaphor,” and they accept most basic scientific premises. However, for them there is still the “problem” that the universe can’t come from nothing (a claim made by no scientific theory), therefore God had to do it.

I call this the dragon and the egg dilemma. Which came first? We can’t know… or can we?

For one thing, are there even dragons? I can’t just find an egg one day and say I have proof that dragons exist. Something as large and powerful as a dragon should be easy to find and demonstrate as being real, but we don’t see them and they don’t appear to exist. And yet… I have this egg, and there’s clearly no other possible explanation other than “a dragon laid it.”

If I open it up or wait for it to hatch and there is a dragon inside, then I have my proof. But, if I open it up and there’s no dragon, I just have yolk on my face. At least, that’s how it was for thousands of years.

These days, however, I might take that egg to a scientist. They can analyze the egg in ways no one could until the 20th century. Assuming it’s an egg they had never seen before and couldn’t identify by appearance alone, they can now test what is inside and we might be able to determine what it is.

Ah ha, it’s an ostrich egg, so there goes our dragon theory.

But a scientifically inclined monotheist wouldn’t stop there. They would then pervert science, pointing out that ostriches are birds, which evolved from dinosaurs, which are sorta, kinda, almost like dragons… so therefore dragons are real, and they want us to show up to a building once a week to sing songs about them.

It’s a very strange rationalization.

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