What Is A Trichoplax?

A Trichoplax is one of the simplest organisms you can find. It has no discernible organs or structure, and is basically a flat blob of tissue that moves around. Is it alive? I don't know. But I thought I'd ruminate on other conundrums in this space.

I Agree

Dr. Manhattan vs. God

I saw the new Watchmen movie the other day and enjoyed it, at least in terms of the oodles of technical showmanship the movie has (though if a glowing, computer-generated penis, or a meat cleaver embedded in someone's skull turns you off, stay away). I was particularly struck by the presentation of one character, Dr. Manhattan.

In the film Dr. Manhattan is the stage name of Jon Osterman, a man who is subjected to a horrible accident that imbues him with god-like powers. He is able to see and manipulate reality at a atomic level, can see into the future, teleport himself or others at a thought to anywhere in the universe, and so on. Because of his quasi-omnipotent/omnipresent/omniscient qualities, Dr. Manhattan slowly but surely begins to loose touch with the human race, and even with his own essential humanity. At one point, when confronted with the death of a former friend, Dr. Manhattan calmly states that, "A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles. Structurally, there's no discernible difference. Life and death are unquantifiable abstracts. Why should I be concerned?" At the climax of the film, one character is practically begging Dr. Manhattan to use his considerable powers to control a crisis, but Dr. Manhattan is not at all convinced that humanity matters. Dr. Manhattan walks around naked most of the movie as an example of how he's lost touch with human sensibilities. He simply doesn't care.

With this picture of a man-turned-god on my mind, I was reading through the Gospels the night after I'd seen the movies. In the passages I was reading, Jesus was healing the crowds and teaching his disciples in his early ministry. I read in John, when at the very beginning of his ministry Jesus overturns tables in his anger and zeal at what man had done to keep other men from worshiping God. I read that Jesus expresses exasperation when his disciples cannot understand the meaning behind a simple story about a farmer and his seeds. He is compassionate when clothing the newly freed demoniac, loving the unlovable. He touches the leper, the first human contact that man would have felt since being declared "unclean". He wades in our filth and mire, sees the condition we are in, and embraces us without restraint.

The way I see it, God could have sent down a Dr. Manhattan. He could have seen us all as the swirling debris of atoms, walked among us as a glowing, awesome, spectacle of a man, not caring for the things that make us human: culture, emotion, dignity, and so on. But we didn't get that. Instead we got Someone who cared more deeply for us than anyone before or after. Jesus didn't recoil or tire at the turmoil of human nature, He paid the ultimate sacrifice to make a way out.

Watchmen was written by an atheist, and it makes sense that an atheist picture of a god-like man would be the antithesis of Jesus. But I'm glad for the truth of Scripture: "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

*UPDATE* For those of you who stumble on this post from Google, I've got a question for you here.


Megs said...

Amen and amen. Is that going to be my only response to all your posts? Maybe.