Vendor table at Cabela’s yesterday. This was mostly a hands-on teaching tool for kids, sponsored by the Texas State Rifle Association in conjunction with Texas Dept. of Parks and Wildlife. These gentlemen were extremely knowledgeable about every animal on that table and they were eager to share that knowledge.
The man sitting down spent about 10 minutes with us. He explained the difference between wild hog, domesticated pig, and javelina. Then he picked up the alligator skull and hand and started talking to us about their opposing thumbs, why they only have claws on three digits, how the female of the species can determine the number of eggs she needs to lay and how many males and females are needed to best populate for the year, and how she can actually decide what sex the eggs will be by positioning the eggs and altering the water temperature.
After telling us all this, and us responding with genuine enthusiasm at having learned something new, he leaned over and said
“Isn’t that amazing? That she knows how to do all that? I mean, how can you not believe that is the work of some kind of divine guidance?”
I smiled and Steve smiled and we didn’t really respond. And I suspect maybe he felt the vibe shift in the smallest way, and so he finished up with us and moved on to the young boys approaching the table behind us.
And as I walked away, I remarked to Steve that I can’t help but find it deeply fascinating that he can tell us all that and find it to be proof of god and we hear all that and find it to be proof of evolution and science and nothing more. And that kind of stuff doesn’t annoy me or offend me. It fascinates me.
I also mentioned to Steve that although he may not remember me saying so, I used to believe the same thing for a similar reason. What I mean is, 13 years ago, when I took anatomy and physiology in college, I spent some time looking at cells and tissues through a microscope. And when I saw how organized and patterned everything in the human body is, down to the tiniest level, I thought at the time that it was proof of some kind of higher power. Truly, I wondered how anyone could believe otherwise when they saw the layers of beauty and order in our physical creation.
Funny what 13 years can change. At 40, I don’t believe any of that anymore. I am extremely content as an atheist. But I don’t look back on my prior beliefs with disdain at ALL. I allow for other views and I also allow for the possibility that I may be totally wrong. I find it genuinely interesting and intriguing that other people see the world and their journey through this life and beyond it in an entirely different way than I do. May I always be so open.