It has been said that when a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, a tornado might touch down in central Texas a few weeks later. A bit extreme, maybe, that something so seemingly insignificant & fragile could cause something so destructive, but Cause & Effect is something that must be considered, down to the smallest detail, if we are to make sense of this thing we call life. The Science of the matter, to be honest, is quite beyond this blogger, but to be honest, that's really not the point of this post! The point is; how often do we really think about how our actions, no matter how seemingly innocent or insignificant, affect the conditions around us? Can we really do anything without consequences of some sort?
In the past, the question of how a bumblebee can remain aloft has proved to be enigmatic for Science, though recent discoveries have somewhat lessened the apprehension & expanded the comprehension. Though maybe more understandable now, it is no less amazing, as are many enigmas that have been revealed to humanity through heightened Science & Technology. 'The size & weight of the bumblebee', 'the apparent fragility of its wings', to say nothing of its aerodynamics, seem to be more than enough to cast a shadow of doubt, or wonder, really, on how such a creature can fly.
Thanks in part to astronomical advances in Science & Technology, humanity has learned many things about the Creation that were previously regarded as some of life's great mysteries, though sadly, many of these discovers have been chalked up to mere naturalistic evolution, apart from an Intelligent Designer. The fairly recent discovery of the Higgs Boson, the so-called 'God Particle', is an indication of this. Adaptation might be a better word for the changes that the animal creation in particular goes through & has gone through, though plants as well have been noted in this phenomena. Evolution though, of a sort anyway, is hard to deny, though a better way to say it is that this Intelligent Designer, call IT 'God', 'the Creator', 'Source', 'Energy', even 'the Universe', if you will, has programmed into the marvels of biology the ability, even the propensity to adapt to any given situation.
If Life is nothing more than a series of unfortunate events, just a haphazard scramble of ingredients, then what IS the point of it all?! Every man, woman & child has been given a free will, a choice of whether to adapt to any given situation, or to die. Animals have this ability as well, though in most animals, we don't recognize the innate intellect, or the conscious ability to make these choices; we tend to chalk it up to instinct, but there again, 'where did that instinct come from?' Through the wonders of Science & Technology, humanity has begun to recognize that we are not the only creatures in this biology that have been gifted with intellect, however limited.
Speaking of animals, how much do we consider the effects of our actions on them? For instance, when we feast on them, as in the case of cattle, chicken, turkey, even wild game, do you ever wonder if how we treated them in their relatively short life might have an effect on our consumption of them? The way that corporate growers raise the meat we eat has begin to give many people pause as to whether its even consumable. We might ask ourselves, 'Do animals feel pain?' Most don't think twice about how cattle, chicken, etc. are slaughtered, much less how they are raised, for human consumption. For human beings, we know that close quarters often don't make for healthy living, but how does that translate when it comes to the meat we eat? To compensate for the unhealthy & unsanitary living conditions that we force most of these animals to grow up in, they are pumped with antibiotics & who knows what else: it just makes sense that this artificial 'healthiness' then transfers to us, the consumer. It might be asked, too, if the pain that the animals suffer is not somehow transferred to us, both physically & psychologically. Are WE ultimately responsible for our own health?
Dolphins, along with chimpanzees ( arguably, one of our evolutionary ancestors ) & certain species of dogs, have long been known to possess an intelligence above & beyond other animals ( even some humans ), but does it really stop there? Are these the only animals with the ability to reason? Ask pretty much any pet-lover & they will tell you their animals are smarter than a lot of humans! On the other hand, there are those out there called 'pet-owners', those who simply 'own' their pets. For this reason we now have what are called 'rescue animals'; there are whole clinics, even official organizations specifically designed for the purpose of rescuing these pets from their owners. Thankfully, not ALL owners of pets treat these animals in such a way that they need rescuing!
Life is NOT simply a series of events, no matter how seemingly fortunate or unfortunate! Life is what we make it & though there are certain things that seem to just 'happen' to us, beyond our control, even in these events, we still exert some control. We may choose, for instance, how we will respond or react to the event, or we may even choose to so order our own lives as to limit the chance of such & such ever 'happening' to us. No matter the case, whether you believe there is a Supreme Being who ordered the Universe, it is clear that we, along with the animal, even plant creation, are sentient creatures, with the ability to choose, to judge for ourselves.
Not being a scientist, I will not even endeavor to take a glimpse into the whys & wherewithals of how a bumblebee can fly, or why they were not designed with better aerodynamics: I will, however simply, say that without an Intelligent Designer, the bumblebee would not be able to wing its flight, much less exist! Much the same could be said of really any part of the material creation, maybe the human biology most of all.
Any action, great or small, WILL have some sort of consequences! There is nothing we can do that won't have an effect on the environment around us. We cannot take one step, for instance, without something feeling the effects of our weight. We leave footprints wherever we go! When we sneeze ( which the average is about 200 mph ), there is a transference of whatever germ caused us to sneeze, if germ it be, to countless surfaces, as much as 10 feet away or more. A butterfly in Brazil doesn't sound so strange now, does it?
According to the Hebrew Scriptures, Yahweh Elohim brought order out of the chaos that was the creation, about 6,000 years ago, give or take a few millennia. Although there are things, like the two Category Five hurricanes the Virgin Islands experienced several months ago, that seem to just 'happen', we must understand that NOTHING ever just 'happens; there is ALWAYS a Cause & there is ALWAYS an Effect! Again, I'm not a scientist, so I won't even try to explain the intricacies of how hurricanes are formed, or why they seem to strike at random targets. Events like these seem to make Chaos Theory plausible, but when you think of the Order behind it all, that all these things work together for our benefit, one still wonders why Chaos seems to reign supreme. Like, if the
Universe was Created & is controlled by a Supreme Being, then why do 'bad' things happen to 'good' people?
It's all about choice! Whether our own personal choice, or the choices of others, our actions most often determine the course of events. We know that if we do this, that will most likely occur as a consequence & vice versa; if this, then that. To an extent, we ourselves control the outcome of any given event. Even when it comes to the actions of others, which we can't choose for them, our own actions often positively influence their actions so that what we feared may never transpire. If, despite our most fervent efforts, though, something untoward does happen, we are yet faced with how we will respond to the Call. Will we respond in kind, or will we act ( or not ) in such a way as to stop forward momentum?
Charles Haddon Shank