Does the Designer Care If You Become Fertilizer?

Things are stranger than ever at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute. They just posted Turning Our Dead into Fertilizer, written by Wesley J. Smith, whom they describe as a “Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.”

Does the title of Wesley’s post sound like it has anything to do with Darwin’s theory of evolution, or the Discoveroids’ “theory” that their intelligent designer — blessed be he! — created the universe, the Earth, and our own splendid species? That’s the question to keep in mind as we go through his post. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Oregon is the third state to legalize the composting of human bodies — called natural organic reduction — as a means of disposition of remains. From the KOIN story:

[Wesley quotes from a TV station in Portland, Oregon:] Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed House Bill 2574 Tuesday. The bill will legalize what’s known as natural organic reduction, or what some refer to as human composting. It also clarifies rules surrounding alkaline hydrolysis, known as aqua cremation. The law goes into effect July 1, 2022.

We know what you’re thinking: What in the world does this have to do with intelligent design? Stay with us. Perhaps we’ll find out. Wesley says:

Aqua cremation is liquifying remains [link omitted] to be poured down the sewer. Supposedly, composting the dead is a way of honoring the environment:

Wesley quotes again from the TV station:

Fournier [She owns a funeral service] hopes having the option of natural organic reduction readily available in Oregon will be a desirable option for many people. “This is Oregon! People love their parks, people love their trails, people love their nature, people love their composting and that idea that somebody can become a tree… I think that’s really thrilling for people to know that their remains can absolutely help the environment,” she said.

Thrilling indeed! Wesley then gives us his view of things:

This seems very different from cremation, a practice that has been with us for thousands of years. Cremation is usually carried out with great respect. People place the urns of loved ones in cemetery niches, in home shrines, or respectfully scattered at sea or in rose gardens. (Yes, the cremated end up in closets, too.) I know that some faiths oppose cremation because it is perceived as denigrating to the importance of the body in the totality of the human person. To say the least, being turned into compost or sewage takes that issue to a wholly different level.

He then tells us his opinion of this sewage situation:

Look. I am not against legalizing these means of disposition. But it strikes me that pouring our dead down sewers or turning them into a form of fertilizer [Link omitted!] tells us something about our view of human life and its meaning. Indeed, these methods send a powerful symbolic statement that we are essentially nothing more than carbon atoms gathered temporarily in a rational and animated form. [Ooooooooooooh! That’s Darwinism!] Here today and gone tomorrow without so much as a trace to mark that we ever existed, or ultmimately [sic], that it mattered.

Now we see the connection — a bit tenuous — to the Discoveroids’ activities. Wesley continues:

At some point, why not, “Soylent Green is people!”? That would be the ultimate in enviromental body recycling.

That was a quote from a novel that was turned into a movie — about cannibalism. See Soylent Green. Does it seem that Wesley is getting carried away by this news from Oregon? It doesn’t matter; he’s a Discoveroid. Anyway, here’s the end of his post:

Hyberbole aside, to say the least, this trend is not metaphysically neutral. It tells us something about the current state of our culture.

Yes, the culture is collapsing — and it’s all Darwin’s fault!

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

10 responses to “Does the Designer Care If You Become Fertilizer?

  1. Derek Freyberg

    As I understand it, this “human composting” is merely accelerating the natural processes that would occur if you placed an unpreserved (i.e. not embalmed), relatively uncontained (i.e. not in a metal or concrete vault) body into the ground. Kind of like a natural burial except that at the end, you “dig up” the remains and the soil around them (actually wood chips) and use them as compost; which the relatives can either take for that purpose or leave at the cemetery for them to use, whereas in a natural burial they stay undisturbed. Seems like a good idea to me, though I don’t think I’d take the compost home.
    Why cremation (or burial in a box) is any better to Wesley is hard to understand.
    And what would Wesley think of burial at sea?
    Of course, natural burial (no preservatives, no coffin) long precedes the Discoverrhoids, so Wesley’s argument makes no sense; but why should we expect otherwise.

  2. I always thought using a chipper/shredder and spraying over a large area was good use for rotting meat & bones.

  3. I was very much surprised by that post by Wesley Smith.

    I would have assumed that he was some sort of dualist, claiming that their is a human spirit independent of the body. But his post seems to be saying that the physical body is all that there is.

  4. How would anyone ever be able to reincarnate into a discoveroid if they are in the sewers?

  5. Dave Luckett

    I have already left instructions to bury my body enshrouded but without a coffin, as is permitted here, but this is better. I’ll write to my local member, asking that at least natural organic reduction be permitted. It would please me perhaps in my last moments – if there is anything left of my mind – to know that my body would become of immediate use to the living world.

  6. Retired Prof

    To help finance college, I worked on several jobs digging up graves (the boss called the job “disinterment”) to remove remains from a river bottom about to be flooded by a dam. What we found at the bottoms of the oldest graves without vaults was a layer of compost with nails, coffin hardware, any grave goods (I recall a gold watch, china doll heads, clay pipes, and a shaving mug, for example) interred for sentimental reasons, and a skeleton. The flesh, the wood, and the fabrics had all turned to compost. We left the compost in the ground and transported the other material to a new cemetery on higher ground.

    To my mind, the only important difference between this process and cremation (at one extreme) and and mummification (at the other) is the length of the delay in returning atoms to circulation in the biosphere. Reincarnation happens, at least in the purely chemical sense. Sooner or later it’s gonna happen.

  7. Ecclesiastes 12:7, KJV: Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Why Smith has a problem with this is beyond me

  8. @Paul Braterman in fairness there are too many contradictions to keep track of in their heads. For instance how could the walking Jerusalem zombies have happened if they were all dust?

  9. @richard “How would anyone ever be able to reincarnate into a discoveroid if they are in the sewers?”

    Isn’t that where they come from in the first place?

  10. As a devout Seventh Day Aardvarkist, my ultimate immortality is completely assured, and I will not have to undergo this unpleasant death thingie which you poor mortals are obliged to endure.

    Instead, when my time does come (several centuries from now) I have total faith that I shall be miraculously transported on the back of Braterman’s Unicorn to the celestial Abode of the Blessed Cosmic Aardvark and the Eternal Beer Fountains of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    I’ll let my executors take their pick of options for the disposal of my earthly remains. Internment in a freshly-built pyramid to dwarf that of Kufu is one option, but if needs must a Viking longship set alight and adrift in the North Sea will do.

    And no more than a Month of International Mourning is called for.