Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I have this fantasy of arriving at the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter checks his online ledger: "Yep, you're in," he says.

I look over his shoulder and see a vast white building stretching into the distance. A big sign on the roof reads "ID Inc."

"Is that building what I think it is?" I ask.

"That's where we design creatures for new planets," he responds. "I see here you have degrees in physics and engineering. Would you be interested in a job?"

"A job? In heaven?"

"We find that a lot of folks find they have too much time on their hands. Eternity, you know. Some folks volunteer in the cafeteria. Other's baby sit in Limbo. With your tech background, I just thought you might be interested in Intelligent Design."

"I've forgotten most of what I used to know," I said.

Peter smiled. "Once you're inside, it will all come back."

I said: "That ID building looks humungous. It seems to go on forever."

"Well, bear in mind that countless new planets are coming into existence all the time, requiring complete floras and faunas. We tried outsourcing some design to Foxconn, but found them too -- how shall I say it? -- mundane. They wanted pandas everywhere."

"Well, it sounds like fun," I said. "Maybe when I get settled. As a matter of fact, I have a few ideas. The Lord in his wisdom made the fly…"

"…and then forgot to tell us why. Yes, I know. We tend to get a lot of complaints. You can't please everyone."

"Musca domestica. A superb design, but needs some color. Perhaps iridescence. New dietary habits…"

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," said Peter, somewhat impatiently. "The Boss rather likes the common house fly. One of his personal designs. It's not all about you, you know."

"I have some other intelligent ideas," I said. "For example, why termites? Why viruses? Why senescence? Why…"

"Yes, yes," said Peter, tapping briskly at his keyboard. "We'll start you out in the cafeteria, and take it from there."