Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fast Food

Sitting in the family room gazing out the patio window I see a swarm of damsel flies. I have nothing better to do so I watch in wonder at the speed and agility of these insect aerobats. As I watch their aerial dance, I see that they are not alone. There are small midge-like bugs flying among the swarm. Then a disembodied pair of wings flutter to the ground. A few seconds later another pair fall. Before long the number of small midges has fallen sharply. I concentrate my observation to discover what is going on. Then a damsel fly darts up from below and behind a midge and another pair of wings flutters free. The dragonflies, as we always called them, are making a meal of the midges. When there was no more 'meal-on-the-fly', the damsel flies flew off in search of better hunting grounds.

If we could design aircraft to mimic the speed and agility of these savage insects there would surely be no adversary in the skies to rival our air power. Such a feat would take a new way of thinking. Or put in the words of one of my favorite poems "The Calf Path": "A moral lesson this might teach were I ordained or called to preach, for men are prone to go it blind along the calf paths of the mind and toil away from sun to sun to do what other men have done. But I am not ordained or called to preach."

A greater moral lesson, to my thinking, is whether it is more probable to believe that life came about by chance from some primordial ocean soup without any intelligent organizing power or that there is a being with the intelligence and power to organize life into a myriad of creatures of such variety with amazing abilities, not the least of which is the ability to reproduce. But I am not ordained or called to preach

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