I saw a picture of a honey bee sleeping in a flower the other day. Then a bunch of them (Do yourself a favor and Google ‘sleeping bee’). Apparently they can work so hard that they fall asleep on the job. It’s adorable: Their little pollen covered abdomen and legs hanging out of the flowers.
It reminds us of the incredible complexity, wonder, and beauty of the world. it can still surprise and delight us.
Bees have their own culture, language, and dances. They can recognize human faces and do advanced problem solving.. and we probably don’t even know the half of it. They are truly incredible and our world depends on them to keep our farms and flowers running. They keep plant life living. They make the world worth living.
Go eat a strawberry and watch the honeybees do their thing and be thankful.
How is there not a good and loving God that orchestrated all of this? The God who created a Universe ex nihilo. The God who either hand crafted these special little creatures or at least designed physics in such a way as to bring them about as if they had no other choice but to exist.
And then we have wasps. These a-holes will sting you until they die of exhaustion. They murder bees and really any other bug that gets in their way. They are vicious predators. Oh sure, that may suit you if you need some garden assassins (you horrible monster)… but if you get in their way they’ll come for you as well. They are the “Old Testament” of bugs. They were probably created as punishment for something.
That’s just the beginning of this horror show.
Introducing “Darwin’s Wasp”.. which inspired this wonderful quote:
“I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars.”
Theses creatures of pure darkness lay eggs in caterpillars. The hatching larvae take control of the caterpillar, make it do their bidding, and then eat it from the inside. Oh yeah, and the larvae eat each other as well.. turning the caterpillar’s insides into a horror filled battlefield. Some of these wasps even lay their eggs in other wasps. What the hell?
So, there we have it, the duality of nature. There is good reason that our human ancestors believed in both good and evil gods.
The problem with monotheism is that if we ascribe all the good of creation to a good and all powerful God. Where does that leave us with the evil creations? Yes, I’m talking about you too mosquitoes. Hell was originally created for you.
Christianity has the “shaitan” or “satan” or “Lucifer” the fallen one.. the accuser, the deceiver. The one who stands before God and goads him into challenges (Job). Did he have a “creative” hand in this? Did he hack the system? Or, is this truly his domain and the fact that there is any goodness at all just a remnant of the Garden before everything went sideways?
Or, was the Garden “good” but everything outside the Garden “wilderness”. I feel like this is a curious option that is overlooked.
When humanity “fell” by disagreeing with God and deciding with the “Accuser” that they probably wouldn’t die and that it might be worth it to be like God.. and know good from evil (seem like a good idea).. they were booted from their safe space. They were banished to the wilderness. This suggests that most of earth was actually some sort of horror filled waste land filled with weeds and probably wasps.. and they would surely die out there. There were also bands of people out there who were no good. So, clearly they weren’t exactly the first humans out there. So many questions here.
I have no problem with tossing most of the creation mythology of the Bible, but the problem with seeming evil in creation is hard to get past. Birds eating other bird eggs, chimpanzees murdering other baby chimpanzees.. it goes on and on.
It’s hard to create a non-nihilist worldview in light of this. And yet, we can always come back to the sleeping bees. There is a struggle of beauty and life vs. emptiness and death right to down to the bug world and beyond.
Maybe the struggle is the point, it’s our own battleground for growth and goodness. A flat world devoid of mountains and dragons makes for boring stories.. and well.. doesn’t really “make” anything. Maybe we need the bees and wasps and even mosquitoes to push us on..