For a long time it's baffled me when I bring up evolution and someone says something like "We didn't evolve, we were created!" It's struck me as a very silly false dichotomy. Because basically I'm saying "God's process of creation is evolution" and then they're saying "No, God's process of creation is creation." They act as if they're presenting an alternative theory when in fact they're not even explaining what it is. What is "creation"? Even if, for the sake of argument, the inconsistent creation accounts in Genesis (and the Pearl of Great Price and the endowment ceremony for Latter-day Saints) are taken as entirely accurate factual accounts of literal history, they don't give any appreciable level of detail. "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Okay, but how? What physical laws and processes did God employ to do this? In place of mutations and natural selection - what?
I may need to reevaluate my position a little, though, since my recent discovery of an apocryphal document that, while still confusing, expands on some aspects of the Genesis narrative and answers some of those questions. It's obviously very old and valuable but someone clearly didn't realize that, because it ended up at the used book warehouse where I work. I translated it during break one day. (If a manager reads this, no, I didn't take it home in violation of company policy. I put it back on the belt.) I don't actually know Hebrew or whatever language it was in, but I do have an English degree, and any translator will tell you that it's more important to be fluent in the target language than the source language. So without further ado I present this fascinating and, I believe, essential contribution to the ongoing debate.
The Pamphlet of Achu-Hesh-Kabaz
Now it came to pass that after God had created this world, he looked it over and noticed that it had no wars, pollution, police brutality, or unnecessary franchise reboots. And he decided to change that because he was bored.
So God passed through an airlock in the dome above the Earth, pausing on the other side to admire the stars embedded in it, and descended to the ground.
And God gathered a lot of dust, and he used static electricity and tree resin to stick the dust together in the approximate shape of himself. And when this was done, he gave the dust doll mouth-to-nose resuscitation, and it transformed into a living man with bones and organs and everything.
But God noticed that the man's anatomy incorporated several flaws and quirks that would have made sense if it had been the product of descent with modification from earlier life forms, but which were quite frankly embarrassing as the direct product of an omnipotent being working from scratch. And God said, "Oops, let me start over."
But it was too late; the man had instantaneously achieved sapience and the abilities to walk, talk, and count on his fingers. And the man asked, "Why isn't my spine built to support a bipedal gait?"
And God said, "None of your business, that's why." And he decided this was good enough for now after all, and he named the man Adam. But Adam wouldn't stop asking questions.
So God planted a garden eastward in Eden, a beautiful perfect paradise where no death or suffering existed, which rendered its existence somewhat superfluous because no death or suffering existed in the entire world. And when God had finished planting, he picked Adam up between his thumb and forefinger and carefully deposited him inside the garden.
And God said, "Run free, Adam, and name the animals and stay out of my way until I'm ready to deal with you. Help yourself to the fruit from any of these trees, except for this one tree that I put here even though I don't want you to eat from it."
And Adam said, "Isn't that entrapment?"
And God said, "Yes, but entrapment isn't actually illegal. Just don't eat it or you'll die."
So Adam ate the fruit of all of the trees except that one. And because he didn't actually need sustenance, he ate only because he was bored. And because death had not yet entered the world, every cell of every piece of fruit somehow remained alive as he chewed, digested and excreted it, which is pretty horrific in a "I have no mouth and I must scream" kind of way.
And Adam made friends with all the animals, and named them. His favorite was a Velociraptor named Tiffany. She was a cunning predator who used her speedy legs, sickle-shaped claws, and serrated jaws to eat grass. He trained her to fetch sticks and told her she was a clever girl.
But it came to pass that Adam grew lonely. Even though he inexplicably had at least 98% of his DNA in common with chimpanzees, transcription errors and all, he still didn't have much in common with them, and his dates with them never ended well.
And Adam said, "God, I'm lonely."
And God said, "Are you talking to me or just moaning to yourself?"
And Adam said, "The first one."
And God said, "I'll see what I can do."
And God gave Adam knockout gas. And God said, "Kali Ma... Kali Ma..." And God reached right into Adam's torso with his bare hand and pulled out a rib without even leaving a scratch. And God said, "Hocus pocus, flippity flam, arazzamatazz, and alakazam!" And the rib expanded and morphed into a real life honest to goodness living breathing woman.
And the woman asked, "Why isn't my spine built to support a bipedal gait?"
And God said, "Shut up."
And Adam woke up and saw the woman and his eyes got really big. And God said, "Ta-da! I hope you like her, because she's all you're getting."
And Adam said, "Wow, compared to those chimpanees, she's beautiful!"
And God said, "Smooth."
And the woman said to Adam, "Get lost, creep, I wouldn't date you if you were the only man on Earth." And Adam's face fell.
And the woman said, "Psych! It's a joke, get it? It's funny because you literally are the only man on Earth. Try this one: I want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world."
And Adam said, "Haha! It's funny because you literally are the only girl in the world!"
And Tiffany the Velociraptor's face fell. And Adam scratched the feathers behind her earholes, which she had for some reason despite not being in any way related to birds, and said, "I didn't mean it like that, Tiff. Who's a clever girl? Yes you are! Yes you are!"
And the woman continued, "Mister, I feel like I've known you all my life. It's almost as if we were made for each other. Let's make this a world for two."
But God found her "jokes" so lame that he flooded the entire planet in a fit of rage, which created a momentary nuisance for all the immortal plants and animals but left behind no geological evidence. And he apologized, but wouldn't promise never to do it again.
And it came to pass that Adam and the woman sat in the Garden of Eden doing diddly squat. And they loved each other very much, but as the years went by the woman became so bored that she decided certain death didn't sound so bad.
And one day she ate the forbidden fruit, and after she had eaten the forbidden fruit and saw that she was still alive, she cast her eyes to the heavens and cried out, "Will this beautiful perfect nightmare never end?"
Little did the woman know, however, that the moment her teeth pierced the skin of the fruit, it released an oscillating wave of variable-frequency hypertronic alpha radiation particulates into the atmosphere, which immediately altered the subatomic structure of every living thing on Earth, introducing death, sin, pain, disease, and conspiracy theories into the world.
But the fruit tasted exquisite, so she took it to Adam. And he asked why she had eaten it, and she made up a ridiculous story about a talking snake, and he laughed and fell in love with her sense of humor even more.
And God made them put some clothes on, leave the Garden of Eden and get real jobs.
And God said, "Oh, also you can have kids now, which you couldn't do in the Garden of Eden because I want to get the deposit back."
And Adam said, "Well, I guess if we're going to have more humans running around, I should give the woman a name."
And God said, "Wait, what? You never bothered to give her a name?"
And Adam said, "It seemed unnecessary. She always responded to 'Hey, you.'"
And God said, "Oh, for the love of me. Fine, give her a name then."
And Adam said, "Hmmm... how about Steve?"
And God said, with inexplicable discomfort evident in his voice, "Um, I don't think so. Try again."
And Adam said, "Okay, just Eve then?"
And Eve said, "I see myself as more of a Jessica," but no one listened to her.
So Adam procreated with the woman made from his own DNA, and then their children procreated with each other, which actually explains a lot about the state of the human race today.
And Tiffany the Velociraptor had to be put to sleep after she tried to kill their infant son Cain. And Adam cried for days. But at least Cain was all right.
And it came to pass that one day Adam and Eve were going for a nice romantic stroll through the miserable wasteland when they caught God planting bones of Australopithecus, homo erectus, homo habilis, Neanderthals, anatomically modern humans more than six thousand years old, and various other imaginary creatures.
And Adam watched in astonishment and asked, "God, why are you doing this?"
And God said, "To test the faith of future generations."
And Eve said, "By lying to them?"
And God said, "It's not lying! It's... um... it's... look, don't question my ways, okay? My ways are not your ways. End of discussion."
And it was.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.