The Creationist Crabs of Clicking Cave

There’s no news tonight, dear reader, so this is what you’ll have to contend with.

Imagine that while exploring a remote valley, which the natives in the next valley never visit and warned them to avoid, researchers discover a cave from which a mysterious clicking sound can be heard. Clickity, clickity, clickity!

They enter. The sound gets louder. Clickity, clickity, clickity! They proceed further, but their study of the cave is cut short when — oh the horror! — they see that thousands of crabs are assembled, their antennae waiving and their claws clicking furiously — Clickity, clickity, clickity!. The crabs are advancing menacingly toward the researchers, so they grab a couple as specimens and hastily retreat.

Back in the lab, the researchers are amazed to learn that the crabs are intelligent, and communication with the two captured crabs is established. The crabs believe that their cave is the whole universe — made specially for them because they are the apex of creation. The cave provides shelter, has sufficient fungi and other food, and they know nothing of the outside world. Their reaction to the humans who discovered them is complicated.

The crabs are in shocked disbelief. And they’re angry. Everything they’ve ever believed is being challenged, so despite seeing them, they deny that the humans exist. They warn the humans to stay away from their cave, because if they return, they’ll be attacked again. So what should the humans do?

Our advice is to behave the same way we react upon encountering creationists — stay away from them. Creationists’ view of the universe is the same as that of the crabs, and they insist that anyone who disagrees with them is evil. Fine. As with the crabs, we should leave them alone in their little world as we go on about our business.

But if the crabs ever come swarming out to attack us, claws clicking, there’s no choice — we’ll have to stomp on them. And if the creationists attack us? Well, they’re not crabs, but there are times when it’s difficult to tell the difference.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “The Creationist Crabs of Clicking Cave

  1. Interesting essay.

    But you failed to acknowledge the assistance of your twin muses, Ernest and Julio!

  2. Was any particular crab named Plato perhaps?

  3. You might want to check out the “Eyeballs in the Sky” sequences of the comic strip The Perishers. There’s a not very good summary here: http://britishcomics.wikia.com/wiki/The_Eyeballs_in_the_Sky If I have time tomorrow I’ll find a better link.

  4. Any crab named Plato would have to be special. It would be a Crab Plato Special.

  5. The crabs may have waived their rights, but they would have waved their antennae.

    That aside, they have good reason to feel special. After all, they have their own constellation up there in the sky, not to mention an entire nebula named for them.

  6. I’m confused. I thought this was a parable in which the crabs represented creationists–but that unravelled at this point:

    the researchers are amazed to learn that the crabs are intelligent, and communication with the two captured crabs is established.

  7. @retiredsciguy
    Excuse me for stepping on your humor with pedantry:
    The Crab Nebula is not a large assembly of stars, a galaxy, but something much smaller, the remnants of a single star which was a supernova.

  8. Actually, creationists give me the crabs.

  9. TomS, I believe you’re forgetting Cancer, which is a vaguely crab-shaped assemblage of stars. The Crab Nebula is inconveniently placed in Taurus, immediately rendering that constellation non-kosher.

  10. And there is the astrological sign of Cancer, and Wikipedia tells us that Cancers tend to be religious and to go by intuition.

  11. Sorry, but the more I have thought on it, the less satisfactory this parable seems to me.

    In lieu of crabs, the Creationists should have been represented by an infestation of tapeworms that produce nothing but live parastically. Were they like this story’s crabs–that is, benighted creatures living in isolation–then they and their weird beliefs could be ignored, just as one ignores, say, Jehovah’s Witnesses or other bizarre religious cults. Freedom of personal belief is not–and should not be–at issue.

    And frankly, does anyone really care what the Discoveroids believe? What is of consequence is what they are attempting to do, in waging their war on science and their attempt to reverse the hard-won values of the Enlightenment. But you know all that…

  12. But the crabs ARE attacking. They cannot be ignored. And now they have a sympathetic ear in the White House. He is not be a creationist himself but he is perfectly willing to pander to them.

  13. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time. Most recent U.S. presidents seemed to have sympathized with creationism to one degree or another, which says something pretty depressing about the American voting public.

  14. @Eric
    Your link seems to be busted. I’d be very grateful for the correct one, pretty please!