Intelligent Design Committee

Dramatis Personae

Michael – The archangel and chairman of the Intelligent Design Committee.

Brother Malthus – Member of the Intelligent Design Committee.

Brother Dembski – Member of the Intelligent Design Committee.

Brother Behe – Member of the Intelligent Design Committee.

Sister Goodall – Member of the Intelligent Design Committee.

Michael, Malthus, Dembski, Behe, and Goodall are sitting in a semi-circle in cheap plastic chairs. In the background is a whiteboard with complex diagrams of the Earth, as well as quotations and a sketch of an emu, or some equally ridiculous looking animal.. They are dressed in standard LDS Sunday fare, except they have white lab coats over their clothes. Each one has a binder full of important looking papers and notes. Michael has an especially large 2” D-ring binder that he shuffles through and writes on. Michael is furiously finishing writing something as the four other committee members finish up a chat.

MATLHUS: And then Mohonri comes up and asks me what the wildlife is going to be like in Mesoamerica when he’s down there and I say who cares? You’re going through the veil anyway! You should have seen the look on his face!

GOODALL: Speaking of Mesoamerica circa the Antiquity Era, have we gotten approval for the curelom and cumom designs?

BEHE: Held up with paperwork, but I’m pretty sure it’ll get through.

DEMBSKI: I don’t know. When I told some people about it, I thought they’d be excited about it, but they seemed kinda weirded out.

MALTHUS: Yeah, Sister Goodall. You keep making all kinds of weird animals. Can’t you make a normal animal for once?

GOODALL: Says the member of the vegetation committee who designed that ridiculous fly trap of a plant. A plant that eats bugs, Brother Malthus? That’s clearly animal kingdom territory; you’re seriously overstepping your bounds. And are you sure you’ve designed enough plant life to sustain human life? You haven’t made one in a while and we wouldn’t want everyone on earth starving to death because there isn’t enough vegetation.

MALTHUS: I’m working on it.

GOODALL: I’ll believe it when I see it.

MICHAEL: All right, all right, settle down. We need this meeting to start. Okay, this is the one hundred forty thousandth, five hundred twenty sixth meeting of the Intelligent Design committee. Could you read the minutes from the last meeting, Sister Goodall?

GOODALL: Right. Okay, last meeting we discussed the design and approval process of the following toads: Bufo alvarius, bufo americanus americanus, bufo boreas boreas, bufo boreas halophilus, bufo californicus, bufo cognatus, bufo debilis insidior, bufo canorus, bufo exsul, budo houstonensis – Okay, explain to me why we can’t just have all these toads diverge from a common ancestor toad, like we’re going to do with Adam and Eve?

DEMBSKI: What, you think Father can’t just create all these toads? Do you doubt his omnipotent power?

GOODALL: I didn’t say that.

DEMBSKI: I would hope so. Otherwise, you’d be no better than our brother-who-must-not-be-named!

MICHAEL: You mean Lucifer, right?

Dembski, Malthus, Behe, and Goodall cringe. Michael sighs and continues on.

MICHAEL: Please, continue, Sister Goodall.

GOODALL: Right. After discussing the toads and their slight tweaks according to their environmental needs, we then discussed all of the four million, sixty five thousand, one hundred seventy nine fly species with their respective differences according to habitat and genetic needs. I’m not reading all of those. Also, discussion of submitting proposal to create the earth as hollow, in case of necessity to hide people from others, as according to Father’s plans.

MICHAEL: Okay, good. Those fly designs are undergoing approval process right now. I haven’t heard much from Father about it, but we should expect to hear from him within six periods. Wait, actually, I’m sorry to tell you this, Brother Behe and Brother Dembski, that Father did reject the hollow earth proposal. But you already heard about that, right? (Dembski and Behe nod) Anyway, does anybody have any pressing matters to discuss before moving on to figuring out a global system of air movement based upon the eternal principles Father’s already provided us?

Behe and Dembski are whispering furtively.

MICHAEL: Brother Behe? Brother Dembski? Do you have something to add?

BEHE: Well, we do, Brother Michael. We were wondering what we were going to do about testing the Saints’ faith in the latter-days.

MICHAEL: Excuse me?

DEMBSKI: Well, we just feel that we could help Father along in His plan to test our faith!

MICHAEL: And what exactly do you have in mind?

DEMBSKI: Well, Brother Behe and I were thinking we could use dinosaur bones.

MICHAEL: I’m sorry, what?

BEHE: Well, you know how the other words Father created heretofore that have the ridiculous looking oversized lizards?

DEMBSKI: They’re called dinosaurs and we want to use them in our world.

MICHAEL: Well, I can send in an approval process to recycle old dinosaur plans for this-

BEHE: No, no, no. We don’t want live dinosaurs. Heaven forbid we live with such savage beasts.

DEMBSKI: We want to use dinosaur bones to test the faith of the Saints!

BEHE: We’ll put dinosaur bones with radioactive isotopes residing within them older than the actual creation that will take place soon!

DEMBSKI: Thus, the vital reason that we get used dinosaur bones.

MICHAEL: But…why?

BEHE: Well, the point of the whole plan of salvation is to be tested before we come back, right?

DEMBSKI: We want to make sure that we’re thoroughly tested.

MICHAEL: With dinosaur bones.

MALTHUS: That sounds like a preposterous idea. Where will we get these dinosaur bones? Approval may take, well, eternity! Are you saying we go down to the other earths created by Father and dig up their bones just to use in our earth?

BEHE: Oh no, Brother Malthus. We wouldn’t dig them up.

DEMBSKI: We’d blow them up.

MICHAEL: You want to blow up a former earth to use its dinosaur bones?

DEMBSKI: Actually, to make the dinosaur bones more realistic to really test our faith, we need to blow up enough former earths with different ecological systems which we would then layer as geological strata to mimic the progression of ages over a long period of time – preferably millions of years. We need to make sure the prevailing worldly theory is in irrevocable conflict with God’s reality and truth.

BEHE: We calculate we’ll need approximately…several hundred earths to feasibly do this.

MICHAEL: You want to blow up several hundred earths for their dinosaur bones?

DEMBSKI: Well, not the whole earth I guess. Maybe we’ll just blow up the crust since the core parts of earths wouldn’t have any dinosaur bones.

GOODALL: Why are we doing this again?

BEHE: To test ourselves, Sister Goodall! Please listen next time!

GOODALL: So you want to blow up already used earths millions of years old and use their bone materials to layer as geological strata imitating the passage of time. In order to test the Saints. I don’t know; that seems overly complex for a test. Couldn’t we send a plague or something instead? All we’d have to do is design an influenza virus instead of trying to win approval to blow up hundreds of earths to use less than 10% of the resulting rubble.

DEMBSKI: Well, we need it to be complex to have it thoroughly believable.

MALTHUS: Why do we want this so believable, if it’s just a test?

BEHE: Because, Brother Malthus, it wouldn’t be a test otherwise!

MICHAEL: What is this a test on again?

DEMBSKI: That the earth we are creating soon will actually only be several thousand years old instead of millions!

MALTHUS: I’m still not seeing how this has to do with testing our faith in Fath –

BEHE: Really, Brother Malthus, how small minded can you be?

DEMBSKI: Of course, if we want to make it really believable, we’ll have to go the extra mile.

BEHE: We’ll have to use more than just dinosaur bones. But we should have plenty of material from the several hundred earth fragments.

DEMBSKI: Along with dinosaur geological strata, we’ll need bones of organisms and arrange them in evolutionary order. First, we’ll start with the single celled organisms, and then progress to things like trilobites.

BEHE: Yes, we’ll need lots of trilobites. Lots of them.

DEMBSKI: Then we’ll introduce larger, more complex organisms in our artificial strata. Maybe some fish, or some creeping things. This will, of course, lead up to the dinosaurs. And then other organisms. And Sister Goodall, if you could, please make sure that in your submission of chimpanzee designs you make clear that we wish to use at least 80% human DNA for its genome sequence structure. Preferably higher, if you can get the approval.

BEHE: Yes, that will really test our faith!

DEMBSKI: Also, we’ll need to design thousands of variations of organisms who live in isolated environments like caves or islands, each decidedly different according to their environment, but also related so that it looks like they could have all had one common ancestor.

BEHE: Except there isn’t a common ancestor!

DEMBSKI: Yes, that is the trial.

Behe and Dembski look very pleased with themselves.

BEHE: And then we’ll have to get the paperwork for a foreordination approval as well. The paperwork will take a long time, but it’ll be worth it.

MALTHUS: A foreordination, what in heaven for?

BEHE: To send a man down to create the scientific theory to test the Saints!

GOODALL: Really, this is ridiculous. This can’t be necessary at all.

DEMBSKI: I nominate Brother Darwin. He always was such a punk. I’m surprised he didn’t follow you-know-who during the war-

GOODALL: Brother Dembski!

However, Behe and Malthus murmur in agreement.

MICHAEL: All right, all right. Let’s settle down, now. We haven’t got all eternity. Okay, any more um, interesting ideas for submission with our plans?

After a few seconds of silence, Dembski and Behe cough rather obviously. Malthus and Goodall groan softly.

MICHAEL: Yes, Brother Behe and Brother Dembski?

DEMBSKI: Well, we were thinking, when we create the lesser light, could we fix its orbit so that one side never faces the Earth we create?

MALTHUS: For what purpose would this be for?

BEHE: Well, in case Father needs to send some people there for safekeeping.

GOODALL: Safekeeping?

DEMBSKI: It’s right here, in the Plan of Salvation Summary. Page five thousand six hundred eleven, paragraph 3 – Ten tribes will be lost because of wickedness, who will then be prophesied to return at the Son’s second coming.

BEHE: Shouldn’t we create some places where Father could keep for safekeeping?

MICHAEL: Brethren, we’ve gone over this before last time with our hollow earth proposal –

BEHE: I know, I know, it ended up being unsustainable according to the natural laws Father commanded in the beginning of time, and we’ve scrapped that idea –

DEMBSKI: For now!

BEHE: – but we think this might work!

DEMBSKI: Plus, a bridge of ice as according to Father’s summary from the moon to the earth for the ten tribes to walk on would be pretty exciting, no doubt about that.

GOODALL: But we’ve already designated the lesser light to be – well, lesser. There won’t be enough mass to hold any kind of atmosphere at all, and with the latest designs for the human body, we just can’t meet all of the specifications Father has given us without powering it with aerobic respiration. Even if we rehauled all the specs, we would still need some kind of atmosphere to have prolonged anaerobic respiration! Please, Brother Michael, tell them why it won’t –

DEMBSKI: Sister Goodall, I find your lack of faith in Father’s omnipotent powers of creation disturbing!

BEHE: Yes, Sister Goodall, with Father, all things are possible.

GOODALL: But what if we fly there someday? Surely that makes it less safe from accidental discovery!

DEMBSKI: Are you proposing that man will someday travel to the lesser light?

BEHE: As if Father would allow such a silly idea!

GOODALL: It’s not just that! You are making it unnecessarily complicated –

MICHAEL: Okay, that’s enough! Sister Goodall, please put it in the minutes, I will send an approval, and if it too gets rejected like your hollow earth proposals, I would hope to hear no dissension among you, brethren. However, I will tell you, brethren, the likelihood of it being approved is very low, especially using previous earths. If you two were listening during the Council, you would know that the fate of every earth for the plan is to be celestialized, and I’m not sure if Father will take kindly for you to take an already celestialized earth and smash it to pieces for the dinosaur bones, let alone several hundred.

BEHE: Not even if we arrange the pieces with perfect statistical distribution to make up this future earth’s crust? It won’t go to waste!

MICHAEL: We’ll see. I’m just saying I can’t see Father taking warmly to the idea. But anyway, we really need to work on designing a realistic, practical weather system for this earth. Does anybody else have anything seriously pressing before we move on?

GOODALL: Actually, I do have a proposal.

MICHAEL: Go ahead.

GOODALL: Well, I was thinking and I came up with a really great animal idea –

This time around, Behe and Dembski make faces. Michael silences them with a look and then motions for Goodall to continue.

GOODALL: Anyway, I haven’t come up with a name for this animal yet, but I was thinking it could have a bill like a duck, right? And it’ll lay eggs like the fowls in the air, but that it’ll actually nurse its young like a mammal! And even though it’s got a bill like a duck and it lays eggs like a duck, it could have fur instead of feathers, because fur is cuter. And it’ll have these cute webbed feet and to protect itself, it can have poisonous spurs on its –

BEHE: Sister Goodall, you can’t be serious! First you design the ridiculous looking giraffe, then the cureloms and cumoms and now this…this…

DEMBSKI: Monstrosity?

MALTHUS: I don’t see what’s so bad about Sister Goodall’s design ideas.

BEHE: They don’t make any sense!

DEMBSKI: Yes! Why on earth will we need such a ridiculously complicated creature roaming around? And poison spurs? What in heaven for? You surely can’t be serious.

MICHAEL: I don’t see what’s wrong with the design either. I actually like it. Sister Goodall, please submit your design idea and we’ll come up with an appropriate name for it later. I’m pretty sure Father will like this idea, and if your streak keeps up, you’ll most likely get approval like the other –

DEMBSKI and BEHE: Oh, c’mon!

3 responses to “Intelligent Design Committee

  1. This is hilarious. I’m jealous– I wish I had written it.
    Btw there’s a spot early on when I think you mean ‘worlds’, but you forgot the l, so it ended up ‘words’.

  2. I find it hilarious too. I think I laughed through the first 2/3rds. But at the end with the discussion about the platypus for some reason it starts to peter out. It needs a better ending.

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