copyright © 2005 Jeff Goode

Intelligent Design Flaw

by Jeff Goode

(Lights up on PEPE, a scientist.)

Tonight, I’d like to talk a little bit about Intelligent Design.

This is the theory — and maybe you’ve heard of it — a hypothesis really — that Life is too complicated to be the result of a happy accident. And that it was - in fact — in theory — created by some supernatural… I’m not saying God. Probably not God. But, let’s face it, "god-like" intelligence.

An "Intelligent Designer", if you will, who - like God — though not necessarily God per se — set the creative wheels in motion which have resulted, ultimately, in the universe that we have today, take it or leave it.

The theory of Intelligent Design is very simple to demonstrate and if you will allow me I will attempt to do so, at this juncture.

(He takes out three rolled up socks.)

Say I take these three objects — they’re just ordinary rolled-up socks. You can find them in any sock drawer - and I throw them up in the air and let them land in a seemingly random pattern.

(He does. They do.)

But when you look at the pattern they have formed on the floor, you see that these three random points could be, for example, an eye — and a nose — and another eye. So they’ve formed a smiley face.

(He cocks his head a little.)

Or maybe if you look at like this: It’s a hat.

(He crosses around to the opposite side of the stage.)

And if you look at it from this side, it’s a stealth bomber. (Excited about the discovery:) Which, if you think about the current political situation vis a vis Iraq - where we’re sending our stealth bombers after these people with big smiles - that’s kind of a big coincidence, that there would be a political message woven into the socks.

(Moves off to one side.)

Or if you come over here, it looks like a teepee. (Confused, at first, but then:) …Which makes sense because the Native Americans don’t really have anything to do with the situation in Iraq, so they’re kind of off to one side.

Now when you start to see all the complicated pictures and multiple layers of meaning that are contained in the pattern formed by these three random objects, you start to realize that there’s no way something this complicated could have happened just by coincidence, obviously somebody - and I’m not saying God. Probably not God. But somebody - must have guided these socks into this exact position.

Now suppose we extrapolate what we’ve learned from these three dots, and multiply it by a billion times. Like the stars in the sky.

Again, seemingly random. But when you look up at the stars… (He does.) …You can see that this set of stars over here is a picture of a bear.
And this one’s a… little bear.
And over here is a man on a horse carrying a jug of water.
And if you look at just these 12 constellations, it forms a perfect circle.
And if you divide the year into 12 parts, then it’s the same number of months in a year!

And it’s not just that one person is seeing this and making stuff up. Because in ancient times, everybody could see it.

There could have been a woman down in Crete who looks up and sees a minotaur.

And someone from Athens can look up and see a picture of Athena with a spear.
And there’s a gay guy in Sparta sees Orion. Ooh, and he’s got a belt!

And when you see that all these different myths, from different people, and all different parts of the Mediterranean - are all captured in this one incredibly intricate tapestry of stars - and some of them overlapping and intertwining - You start to realize that somebody - (And I’m not saying, it’s Zeus. Maybe not Zeus. Maybe somebody else.) (Maybe the God of the Chinese is just really fascinated with Greek mythology.) - But somebody must have spent a lot of time designing that exact pattern that would tell all these complicated stories in one sky. Which, also provides rain to grow crops!

And that’s just the billion or so points of light that are visible to the naked eye.

Now imagine those are atoms. Because there are a billion atoms in just one grain of sand. And a billion grains of sand on just one beach. And how many beaches are there in California alone? And that’s just one state in one country on one planet in one solar system.

Now multiply that by the billions of solar systems that are visible to the naked eye. Times a billion more that aren’t visible. And that’s how many atoms there are in the universe.

And what are the chances that out of those billions of billions of billions of billions… (calculates briefly, in his head) …of trillions of atoms. That sometime in the first hundred billions years or so. That one group of atoms on one of those planets would accidentally form a single-celled organism?

The odds have got to be astronomical. It’s got to be like, one in…. One, I guess. A little higher than that. It’s way more than 100%. In fact there’s almost NO chance that something like that wouldn’t happen. I mean, it’s pretty much a sure thing. God or no God.

But that’s not the point. The point is — whether there is a God or not — The Universe is just too Big and Complicated for life to have begun on it’s own by accident. You don’t just throw three balls up in the air and they come down and form a… (looks at the socks) …triangle.

That’s not how it works.

And that’s what Intelligent Design is: Looking at the evidence that’s right in front of your eyes and jumping to the most logical conclusion.

I hope that clears things up. (Starts to pick up the stocks.) I’m sorry, I made a bit of a clutter here. I’ll just pick up my socks now. One... two… three…

(Looks at his three socks. Looks at his two feet. Starts to panics.)

Oh… Oh my… Oh my God!
Where’s my other leg? Where’s my other leg?!? (…etc.)




I'm not entirely certain that Intelligent Design Flaw and Intelligent Design Flaw, part II are actually parts of the same piece because the character's point of view changes significantly between the two monologues. But both were originally written on the same day, and with the same characterization (nerdy scientist) in mind.

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