Life in Color

June 7, 2010

Ah Cheese. Somehow we humans figured out how to take moldy milk and turn it into the best food on the planet.

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” – Jesus, Gospel of John 10:10

We all have this sense somewhere down deep that our lives are important. But life isn’t really important in the scheme of things. We are just one of six billion humans. Humanity is but one of many species. We all have a sense of love but love is really just an illusion. Humans evolved the love instinct so that we would protect each other and sustain the species. Romantic love is nothing more than the drive to procreate. We all have a sense of fun and laughter. This one is harder to explain. It is a quirk of evolution. Why do we laugh? Perhaps it functions as a stress reducer? Science is not completely sure. But it is certainly an evolved trait that likely serves some function. We all love good food. Think of grandmother’s house on thanksgiving. Think of your favorite restaurant.  But this too seems to be an unnecessary or confused instinct. It would be better if we only craved the most nutritious foods and only to the point of having a healthy body mass. Most of us enjoy a good drink. I personally love wine. I like beer as well. But this is a strange instinct too. Why do we love this stuff ? It seems like it might hurt our chances of survival if anything (although it has probably helped make a few new little lives as well).   Our love for fine cigars….what is that about? What instinct caused us to cut down a tobacco leaf roll it into a stick, light it on fire and smoke it? Weird. Life is not important. It is a strange mix of chemicals and neurons in our heads. Evolved instincts and quirks of nature that we probably will evolve past some day.

Or…..it is all real. We are important. Love is not an instinct but a real emotion that has weight and eternal significance. Laughter is a gift by which we can enjoy each other, the world around us, and most of all God. Food is not just sustenance. Our love for cuisine is not just a quirk of the hunger instinct. Our love for food is a reflection of the fact that God is the Creator God. He didn’t create a pragmatic stingy world but a excessive and profligate world. He could have created rice cakes, prunes, and powdered protein drinks and we would all be just fine. But instead he created a world where almost everything is edible. And what is not edible, people probably have figured out a way to make edible. Wine is a gift from the Creator to make the heart glad (Ps 104:15). Cigars? They are real too. Our lives are important because the Creator who made us gives our lives importance.

I like the second option. But that is just me.
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2 Responses to “Life in Color”

  1. jen smith Says:

    I love cheese. Indeed it is the best food on the planet, with the exception of ice cream, another genius food invention.

  2. Peter Says:

    Indeed, cheese is good.

    Thank goodness western humans are mostly in possession of the evolutionary step that allows them to continue to digest milk into adulthood, otherwise cheese and wine would be a little rough towards the end of the meal.

    Vida, I appreciate your posts, though sometimes I feel that you look at the world from the complete opposite angle to how I do in some ways.

    For example, the section beginning, ‘Or… it is all real’ describes what I would call the illusion. You could say that the scientific viewpoint takes the magic out of it but I don’t see it that way.

    The magic for me is in the knowing the physical reason why we love those things, what makes us like them, including deciphering the complexities of life’s driving necessities and how our very existence has been tailored around the extremely complex interplay of billions of different types of life. Does a plant enjoy the feel of being pollinated? Does it get a sense of satisfaction out of the sun we could never understand?

    Is our attribution of such sensations to a higher cause simply an indicator that humans are, ironically, brilliantly idiotic?

    Illustrator


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