Consider the Divine Amoeba

Your Curmudgeon is having a bad time of it today. There’s no news for us to write about, and the usual creationist websites aren’t providing any good material for us to ridicule. It’s days like this when we get into trouble by offering our own thoughts. But that’s all we’ve got.

Because nothing else is going on, we’re going to wander into theology. We have absolutely no expertise on that topic, but that won’t stop us. If the creationists can opine about science, about which they know nothing, we can do the same about theology. So let us consider the amoeba. According to Wikipedia:

The amoeba is remarkable for its very large genome. The species Amoeba proteus has 290 billion base pairs in its genome, while the related Polychaos dubium (formerly known as Amoeba dubia) has 670 billion base pairs. The human genome is small by contrast, with its count of 2.9 billion base pairs

The genome of the amoeba has 100 times more base pairs than ours! It’s clearly far more complex than we are. Not only that, amoebae are everywhere, and they’re invisible without special equipment. Further, they are countless in their numbers, rather like the stars in the sky. Additionally, because of their mode of reproduction — they divide asexually — each of them is virtually immortal. They were here before us, and they will undoubtedly be here long after we’re gone — from everlasting to everlasting, so to speak. Think about it — the amoeba is omnipresent, invisible, immortal, boundless in its numbers, and complex beyond our comprehension.

Do those characteristics sound familiar? Sure they do. And there’s more. Amoebae reproduce rapidly, given appropriate conditions. Let’s assume that they do it only twice per hour. That’s 50 generations per day. Humans require about 20 years per generation, so 50 human generations require 1,000 years. In terms of evolutionary potential, a day for amoebae is like a thousand years for man. Does that sound familiar? Hint: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” — 2 Peter 3:8 (King James Version).

What are the mightiest human works to an amoeba? Is an amoeba impressed by — or even aware of — the Great Wall of China? The pyramids? The Panama Canal? Such things mean nothing to the amoebae. Man’s greatest monuments are utterly insignificant to them. Humbling, isn’t it?

Now consider the much ballyhooed intelligent designer. We scoff at the concept because there’s no evidence for his (its?) existence, and there’s no demonstrable way the designer could do the things that are attributed to him. But the amoebae — or some other microbe under their direction — function at the cellular level and they have the ability to interact with other cells. We have no idea how they do whatever it is that they may do, but they unquestionably exist and they’re always in a position to do the job. Ponder that, dear reader!

If you are beginning to dimly sense The Truth, the question arises — what should you do? We don’t think there’s much you can do, really. As is befitting an exalted deity, the amoebae are aloof from your thoughts and cares. They’re unlikely to take any notice of your incantations or your candles. It seems to us that the best one can hope for is to join them when our clumsy, multicellular lives are over.

How can we do that? It’s obvious — by allowing them to incorporate your carcass into themselves. Probably un-prepped burial at sea or in the ground is the best way to go. We have no idea what the next phase of our existence might be — but the world belongs to them, and it’s better to be with the amoebae than to be separated forever. Or so it seems to us.

Now that we’ve done our Curmudgeonly best to satisfy your spiritual hunger for the weekend, we’ll soon be returning to our regularly schedule blog.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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19 responses to “Consider the Divine Amoeba

  1. You say you have no expertise in theology but how much study is required to believe things that are not true? You seem to have mastered the topic!

  2. If the amoeba is the Intelligent Designer, then who designed the amoeba?

    That’s what the Discovernaughts would say to your hypothesis.

    Of course, when Dawkins asks an analogous question, they call him an intellectual lightweight.

  3. I still believe in a Divine Being..GOD….I find it very hard to think how amazing life is…600+ Billion Base Pairs..amazing…. I find it very hard to think it all could have happened by itself. I also believe that 90% or more Atheists will doubt their own beliefs when a life Crisis occurs….I know I did.
    GOD Bless,
    Jim E.

  4. Jim, unless you can prove that you have unfettered access to the minds of everyone on this planet, or that you are literally Joe Schmoe, the aggregation of all possible perspectives, you can’t tell us that a “life crisis” will convert atheists just because it converted you. And superficial descriptions of an object is not a statement about its origin.

  5. Teddy, I don’t really think people are very different anywhere on this planet. Look at me brought up in Waltham, MA. but married to a Philippino raised on a coconut farm. It’s amazing how easy we laugh with each other. One more thing I’m confident about,”When we Die..and we all will, nobody knows what will happen. If we do have a spirit and an After-life then at some point we will think what we can do in this life to improve it.. ..Something to think about. GOD Bless

  6. Here it is folks. You and I did not ‘morph’ from a bacterium. It’s by David Rives and is 2 minutes long. Better get over there:

  7. Ian Hyland says: “You and I did not ‘morph’ from a bacterium.”

    Regardless, you should be making plans to merge your essence into the Amoeba Amalgamation.

  8. Jim, what does your marriage say about whether people react to crises in the same manner? How are the two related?

  9. SC: In terms of evolutionary potential, a day for amoebae is like a thousand years for man.

    True, but without sexual reproduction, there’s not going to be much evolution happening. Evolutionary change in the amoeba depends entirely on genetic mutation, whereas organisms that reproduce sexually re-shuffle their genes with every generation, making it possible to rapidly adapt to new environmental challenges. (And, I might add, have a lot more fun in the process!)

    One amoeba to another: “Hey, babe — nice lobes!”
    (First occurrence of asexual harassment.)

  10. retiredsciguy says: “True, but without sexual reproduction, there’s not going to be much evolution happening.”

    I think they do some gene transferring with other microbes.

  11. @SC — sounds kinky! I wonder if that’s the way sexual reproduction evolved.

  12. Teddy not sure what you’re trying to say. Men and Women both consider death and if there’s an afterlife. and they have a tendency to think about when they are close to death..

  13. From one who has dyslexia, DOG bless all of you.

  14. Ceteris Paribus

    @Jim – Yes, many humans do very seriously consider whether there’s an afterlife. According to some philosophies what we get in the next afterlife depends on what we did in the present life. Good Karma or bad Karma matters.

    And many good people do think about their personal responsibilities as a way of everyday life, rather than just when the Grim Reaper is near. A variation on Pascal’s wager: It’s better to personally buy a meal for a vagrant alcoholic today than plan for a week to gather down at the Planned Parenthood clinic to carry a sign opposing birth control. That sort of thing.

  15. Always thought it was Filipino not Philippino.
    Salamat Jim. Check your spelling please.

  16. I wandered onto this site via a link someone posted at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I couldn’t be happier.

    Excellent take on the amoeba. I personally haven’t figured out how I wanna pass over. I don’t like the idea of being fed upon in the out-to-sea method, or with burial for that matter. I think I’m partial to open-air cremation. Spread my ashes around an oak, or bald-cypress.

    Looking forward to visiting in the future.

  17. Jim,
    As a frequent reader but infrequent poster to this blog, I’d first like to ask you what your belief, ” 90% or more Atheists will doubt their own beliefs when a life Crisis occurs” has to do with the topic at hand, how did you come up with that number, and why did you capitalize atheist? Secondly, if you want to extol the virtues of faith, this really isn’t the place to do that. What I’ve read from other posters as well as The Curmudgeon himself is that this is not the place to debate / promote theism or atheism, there are plenty of other places for that. Lastly, as someone who doesn’t share your beliefs, I find your “god bless” signoff as rude and insulting. You may be able to BS others into thinking you’re being cordial, but you aren’t and I think you know that. I’m also willing to bet you wouldn’t think others were being cordial if they signed off with “Praise Allah” or “Sieg Heil”
    May the Curmudgeon forgive me.

  18. Needed to be said, Paul S. Nicely done, no flames, no insults, but fairly states what I would judge to be close to a position that the large majority of the commenters here would be comfortable with.

    The creation cultists love to paint anyone who observes the evidence of the natural world to gain an understanding of the workings of the universe as an atheist. I think it’s fair to say they do this because of the extremely negative connotation of the word “atheist” in this country. They evidently think that science is a matter of popular opinion, that somehow reality is subject to majority rule.

    This site is about science, not religion. Religion only comes into the picture when people allow it to cloud their view of reality, and insist that the rest of us put the same veil before our eyes as well.