O Man, How Wondrous Thou Art

Will there ever come a time when we stop attempting to turn ourselves into gods? Whenever a crisis looms, whether it be on a relatively small scale as in, for example, a war, or a global catastrophe like climate change, the human race looks for home-grown miracles.

Last week it was dumping tons of iron filings into the sea to combat global warming. Not so long ago, the idea of firing mirrors into space to reflect the sun’s hot rays was all the rage.

Today, the media are attempting to fill us with wonder by pushing the concept of a new “miracle poly-pill”, designed to help us all beat heart disease, and live forever – or, at least, until cancer sees us off.[1]

The reason this planet is warming so quickly has everything to do with the number of humans it’s forced to house. Yet, we want to breed like Drosophila and age with the rapidity of Giant Sequoia.

Unfortunately for our self-centered Grand Design, we haven’t yet mastered pumping up the planet like an almighty football to make room for us all. In fact, by sucking all the oil from its innards, and gouging all the mineral wealth from its subcutaneous tissues, our home is more likely to collapse in on itself – and us – rather than expand to accommodate our need to hang around forever, procreating.

Despite these rather obvious facts, we still believe we’re important enough to warrant immortality, and are prepared to queue up at the doctor’s office given any hint of an available drug cocktail that may help us achieve that goal. We’re blind to the drug companies’ past disasters, that have been marketed as medical miracles and resulted in lots of bereaved families and class action lawsuits.

God knows, if there’s one branch of human society that’s already gained immortality, its lawyers.

We’re the only species on the planet to have successfully spawned and reared a Deity to maturity, and sent It to prepare a post-mortem home for us somewhere beyond the clouds, yet we fight tooth and nail not to claim our own little Heavenly Bedsit until the very last moment. Logic dictates we mimic lemmings, to reach that better place the sooner, but no, we’d rather take a pill to keep us on our overcrowded planet a few years longer.

It won’t work, of course. It never does. There’s a price to be paid for our home-grown miracles, and the cost is always just that bit too high. The lesson we really have to learn is that we can’t behave like spoiled brats, getting our own way and doing whatever we fancy doing, whenever we fancy doing it. That attitude has taken us to exactly where we are today.

We can’t sidestep heart disease by taking a pill, anymore than polluting the oceans with iron filings will avert climate change. The planet’s heart disease, global warming, will only be treated by removing the poisons that caused it in the first place – our pollution.

The circulatory problems we suffer will be cured in the exact same way: by boycotting McDonalds and all the other high-cholesterol fast food outlets, getting out on two legs rather than four wheels, and shedding not only the spare fifty-odd pounds around the belly, but the heart-stopping stress factors of modern day living. In other words, by removing the pollution we daily stuff into our own bodies.

Planet Earth can’t afford us living longer. We are multiplying at an unsustainable rate, which the churches encourage and politicians do nothing to prevent. We’ve reached that point in our evolution where we firmly believe we are gods and can do anything – secure in the knowledge that our divinity will miraculously overcome every obstacle, cure every ill.

Unfortunately for we ‘Divine Monarchs’ of the planet, nature has consistently proved itself the more powerful Deity, and will inevitably do so again.

[1] “Polypill ‘could become a reality'” BBC, March 31st 2009

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5 Replies to “O Man, How Wondrous Thou Art”

  1. Gaia will shrug us off for the pestilential fleas we’ve become, breeding and burping and barfing our way to oblivion.
    Bravo, RJA, well said!

  2. Surely you don’t begrudge the science of genetically engineered designer babies. Now parents can finally choose the features of their offspring in advance, all with the ease of ordering from a menu. Since we all know that looking good is better than feeling good, isn’t this cure for ugly children something to celebrate?

  3. Twilight – many thanks.

    WWW – ah, but we are God’s fleas and don’t have to do anything accept continue to enjoy ourselves and make pots of money. God won’t let anything nasty happen to his fleas.

    Alison – absolutely not. I’m all in favor. In fact, I have a dream that we can create one legged babies to grow up and become one-legged athletes competing in a new ‘Hopping Olympics’. After all, there’s a limit to how fast man can go on two legs, even with steroids, and we’ve almost reached it. Interest in athletics will decline once records stop being broken. Imagine the fun of all those swimming and track events with one-legged competitors hopping their way into the record books.
    And, need it stop there?

  4. Hmmm… one leggers would be a hoot to watch, especially since dwarf tossing and power eating competitions have lost their novelty. We could even call it the Extra Special Olympics.

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