So, it’s still December 2020, at this writing. On this day, a week or so before Christmas Day, I found it difficult to sleep, heading for the kitchen and my coffee maker at about 4:15 am. I know that many people are always up at this time; I can hear cars already being driven down our street. Still, I am recently retired, and I think it’s actually illegal in Vermont for retired people to rise at this hour in the day. Anyway, today I took my chances. In addition, the thermometer says it’s five degrees outside, and that alone should, and probably does keep sane Vermonters in bed.
When one of these early morning situations happens to me, which they occasionally do, I tend to eventually head for the recliner, mug of coffee in one hand and phone in the other. I’m one of those ‘dull’ types of people who enjoys short, documentary type videos online. (Please don’t stop reading here, regardless of that fact.) Today I happened onto one video about the complexities and quite high intelligence of the octopus. (Yes, this all happened at about 4:30 am. My wife would have literally killed me if I had tried to share this gem with her, especially at this time of day/night.)
On this video it was repeatedly stressed that the octopus developed its high intelligence, its ability to rapidly blend in with its surroundings, and even its ‘inking’ and water-jet propulsion systems as multiple means of self-protection, over 140 million years ago. I’m not sure if the protections were developed first, or the high intelligence to be able to develop them was. The video didn’t explain this and I did wonder how either could have happened without, or before the other.
I enjoyed this video, but, as a person who believes in God, (and one who can’t seem to even control his own weight,) I have always had problems with the idea of animal evolution and self-development and of it happening ‘hundreds of millions of years’ ago. My ‘favorite’ suggestion mentioned in one such video was that the giraffe’s food is at the top of trees and that he decided to grow that long neck in order to reach it. Something tells me that there must have been a lot of short-necked, hungry giraffes before that.
For me, and hopefully for all my family, the idea that someone with great intelligence created this amazing place in which we live is where the truth abides. I have lived nearly seven decades on this glorious and life-filled beautiful planet, and still marvel at the immense complexities of it all.
I’ve always believed that very much can be learned about any creator, whether he be a sculptor, artist, writer, or the maker of the universe, by spending time examining that creator’s handiwork. In the case of what has been made by the supreme creator, the handiwork seems to literally shout out the unspeakably high intelligence involved.
Anyway, I’m not much of a convincer and am not here to try to dissuade others if their beliefs in these things of nature differ from mine. I am no one’s judge, to be sure, and hope my writing is never insulting or abrasive to the reader in any way.
It is true that after I watched that quite short online video, I offered an even shorter prayer of thanksgiving for the time that I have had here on this big beautiful blue ball, and for all its intricacies, marvels, and mysteries, including those of the very intelligent octopuses.
A brand-new year is nearly upon me today. Time, space, and other things have ways of making that happen. Just ask Isaac Asimov.
In many ways, 2020 was so difficult and disappointing. Lingering political disputes, lingering racial strife, and a terrible lingering virus will likely carry on into much of the new year. Still, it is my hope (and prayer), that each of us would take the time to truly appreciate the profound complexities and brilliant beauty of this place we call the Earth. Our time here is immeasurably valuable. Let’s not waste it.