I find this passage in the book, Creation – The True Story of Charles Darwin, particularly fascinating. It is written as an insight by a contemporary clergyman on the flourishing micro-organisms on a single frond of seaweed. Something to ponder about:
“Their name was legion… A legion of God’s creatures doing good, actively employed in doing his will, and consequently happy. Though they had never been seen by man, God would not have lost his praise, for he gave them life, and rendered that life uninterruptedly happy… If one frond is the habitation of a million happy creatures, how great must be the amount of happiness which God is giving every moment to the utterly uncountable myriads of his creatures that inhabit the deep!”
I was just wondering what significance did the part describing how these micro-organisms have escaped the limited sight of man’s naked eye have on whether God will have praise for them. Although he did proclaim that ‘God would not have lost his praise’, there seems to be an underlying notion that whatever that is not captured or acknowledged by man or creatures of ‘higher order’ is deemed insignificant, as emphasized by the subjunction, ‘though’. I don’t know if I’m making sense here but if someone can understand my point could kindly enlighten me, I’ll be grateful.
And what exactly does the word ‘happy’ encompass in this context? How do we know whether the million tiny little inhabitants of the frond are living with satisfaction? Is this happiness merely owed to their existence bestowed by God, or does it have a deeper meaning to it? It is not easy to fathom religion without the basis of faith and true understanding, and especially when you are introduced to scientific concepts and theories that may contradict the age old religious theories. How do people live with this conflict; learning science and living religiously at the same time? Perhaps there is some form of reconciliation that I have yet to learn about?
I’m drawing closer to this intriguing debate between science and religion. I think I’ll needed to read on further for answers to my questions, perhaps they have already been answered or refuted by other modern day naturalists and those of that time.