This is the Bug Museum. I know that Ruthless Reviews is not a travelogue, but I simply must comment on a fascinating place that I encountered in my travels to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Some of you may have noticed this on my FaceBook page, The Harrell House of Natural Oddities, or The Bug Museum. I’ll leave the contact information in the poster at the bottom of the page. The place was fantastic; it’s a tiny shop located in a Mall, but you will not be disappointed if you pay the $5 fee and visit the collection. The Bug Museum has a nice collection of spiders, scorpions, millipedes and other harrowing creatures, both alive and pinned.
We were fortunate enough to be visiting at feeding time and the young kid who worked there gleefully allowed us to watch the carnage. If you are a live animal in here, you have it pretty good, that is, unless you are a cricket. If you are a cricket then your short life is a living hell as you will soon be administered your last rites by a terrifying and venomous giant centipede, a scorpion that glows in the dark, or something far more sinister. The giant centipede has very poor eyesight and there are hiding places, but there is no escape. There are also thousands of other bugs, spiders, moths and butterflies, mostly quite dead. What an amazing testament to the power of natural selection and evolution. The comparative morphology of some of these animals (and we human animals) cannot be denied, neither can their evolution. If you are ever in the area, it’s a don’t miss, see it, yada yada, but that’s not why I’m here.
It’s been years since I’ve written my Fuck Creationism rant and not much has changed other than the number of Religiously Impaired Creationists, which has been slowly shrinking. With this inevitable phenomena, the shrinkage has been accompanied with even more shrill and cartoonish desperation, in an attempt to make the scientifically literate among us as miserable as they are. There are a lot of natural phenomena that give Fundamentalist Christians trouble such as dinosaurs, Noah’s impossible flood, the undeniable fossil record and the equally undeniable antiquity of the earth. But what about bugs?
“And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help mate for him.” Genesis 2:19-20
The Encyclopedia Smithsonian makes a conservative estimate that there are over 900,000 known species of insects on and in the Earth. Estimates of total number of species range from 2 million to 30 million different species; that is a lot of insects. That is just the number of species as the number of individual insects reaches quantities that are hard to assimilate. Consider the number 1.6 x 10^15. That is a huge number and that is only the estimated number of aphids on this planet. The estimated actual number of insects is over TEN QUINTILLION -or- 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. There are approximately 2 BILLION insects for every human being. Yet, we are supposed to believe (if we are supposed to believe the Bible) that God gave humans favored species designation and dominion over all the others. Yeah, deal with it, Adam. With only a 6 thousand year old Earth, he wouldn’t have even gotten around to naming the bugs, but that’s not the only problem with the Genesis verses.
That’s enough numbers, I think the point has been made. Considering these numbers, if the Holy Bible is true, then God created a lot of things…a whole lot of different things. The significance of this, when taken in the context of the Holy Bible, is staggering. God was indeed a Master Builder/Creator, there is no question about that. I do wonder why, even after creating what we now estimate to be the ancestors of 2 BILLION insects per human being, 2 to 30 million species of insects alone, not counting other animals and plants… he still did not manage to create a mate for Adam? What was going on in God’s mind? Why did God need to create all these things and if God did not, did they just
evolve after the Fall? I mean, you have the basic template of Adam there with the same circulatory, pulmonary, endocrine and alimentary systems available, already blueprinted. The skin is mostly the same and there will just have to be some modifications to skeletal and muscle tissues, but most of the work is done, is it not? The only really heavy lifting is with the brain and the reproductive system, but God is the Master Creator, so after what already has been accomplished, this should be a walk in the park. It is very strange, not to mention creepy, that God would have chosen to “open Adam up” to get raw materials to make a suitable mate for him instead of just using dirt, or firmament or MAGIC or whatever else God used as his materials for creation of kinds.
Like most of the other absurdities in the Bible, the absurdity outlined above is not a minor mishap, it’s a belief-bursting blockbuster of a whopper. Of course, the Fundamentalist’s responses to these oddities and impossibilities are defensive, vacuous and childish at best. The most common are deflections such as “God works in mysterious ways” or that “One cannot know the mind of God” or dare question God’s perfect plan. There is also the sort of bull-headed Apologetics that try to make sense of the bizarre behavior and methods of The Creator, but none of the “explanations” makes a lick of sense in light of what is written in the Bible and what we observe on this planet, and we observe a lot of bugs. I guess that a lot of people turn a blind eye to the absurdity of the Biblical claim that Adam named all species of the insects; that would be upward to 30 MILLION names and I just don’t think that old boy was that smart, not to mention that God had not yet opened his eyes to the world.
One needs to go not much further than the Bug Museum to have their eyes opened to the total absurdity of the Biblical account of creation, but incredibly, tens of millions of Americans believe this childish account without a question or a whimper. There may very well be a favored Species, Genus or Class, and I’m betting on Insecta, not humans.