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

Oh, The Irony

This article in the New Scientist magazine is hilarious in it's one-sided take on an experiment someone did with "teleological" statements. Basically what they did was ask a bunch of people "true or false" through a number of statements based on the subtle idea that there was purpose in creation. On the surface a statement such as "Earthworms tunnel underground to aerate the soil" may seem harmless, but the innocuous word "to" makes it a question that determines cause and effect, rather than a mere statement. If they had said "Earthworms tunnel underground and aerate the soil," it would have counted as a true statement.

As it turns out, regardless of a persons religious orientation, they reliably orient towards the subtly, purpose-tinged statements. The article notes that children have a stronger tendency towards this. However, New Scientist chalks this up to some latent ignorance that must be cleaned up through solid education (despite the fact that the test-takers had college degrees). One scientist seems to lament that even "Dawkins or Einstein or whomever... no matter how expert or educated they are, they might still make these mistakes."

First, I find it interesting that there even exists an experiment that seemed to show that we're "primed" (they changed the headline from "hard-wired" after people objected to it in the comments) for, not simply a latent belief in God, but for hope and a desire for there to be purpose in our world. Secondly, I find it funny, and a bit sad, that the people responsible for the article seem to think it a wrong thing to believe in purpose. I get the feeling that the "correct" viewpoint on our world is that nothing has purpose, it merely is, and the only option is to "educate" people to their innate bias so that we realize that there is only existence, and nothing beyond.

Having been taught faith from an early age, it's hard for me to get in the mind of someone who is purely existential. In the moments of doubt and struggle that have brought me close to the brink of hopelessness, I've stared in the cold, dark maw of a life without God and seen clearly that there is no life there after all. I can only pray that for the people who encounter this experiment, they will come to realize that they are indeed "hard-wired" for hope, a desire for purpose, and for God.