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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
How It Probably Happened 
Wednesday, April 16th, 2008 | 12:25 pm [fiction, humor, religion, writing]
Having existed alone for all of eternity (or at least for as far back as he could remember), God created for himself an interlocutor. With a wave of his mighty hand his friend appeared, blinked his eyes, looked around and realized momentarily that God was all there was to look at. So he looked at God.
“Hey,” said God’s new friend.
God nodded cordially. “Hi.”
His friend glanced to either side, up and down, all around himself. He returned to God with a sigh. “Well, I’m not sure what I expected, but it’s all very . . . you.”
God gave a shrug. “I’m sorry, I know there isn’t much to see.”
“Then why give me eyes?”
“So you could see me,” said God with a benevolent smile.
“Good call. . . . Soooooo . . . what can I do for you?”
God folded two of his tentacles across his chest and wrinkled his uppermost brow. “I need your opinion on something.”
“Oh!” God’s friend looked down at himself to see that he was presentable, felt the top of his head to be sure his hair wasn’t all over the place. “Well, I’ll try my best to help.”
God waved one of his all-powerful tentacles and two chairs appeared there with them, one behind God, one behind his friend. God motioned for his friend to sit, then God himself settled back into his chair, folding his hands in his lap, crossing his hooves.
“I’ve been thinking about creating a universe,” God said.
God’s friend straightened against the back of his chair. “A universe? That’s . . . I see. A universe, eh?”
“You’re wondering what one is, aren’t you?”
“Yes, thank you. I was too embarassed to ask.”
“That’s all right. You’re only a few minutes old, I wouldn’t expect you to know everything.” God raised a fist to one of his mouths and cleared that throat. “A universe is a continuum of physical existence, made of matter and energy, governed by natural laws, where events unfold through space and time in a linear fashion.”
God’s friend narrowed his eyes and looked aside, nodding his head slightly as he considered what God had said. “And . . . what would be the advantage of creating a universe?”
“I don’t really know,” said God. He looked at his friend and shrugged his two outermost shoulders. “Something to do. And eventually it’ll be full of all sorts of fascinating things, like galaxies and stars and baseball.”
“So why not just do it?” asked God’s friend. “Why create me to ask my advice in the first place?”
“Well,” said God, tapping his fingers on the arm of his chair, “there’s this problem of life.”
“Okay, I’ll just ask this time: What is life?”
“It’s what happens when matter becomes able to reproduce itself, and metabolise, and respond to external stimuli.”
“Sounds pretty cool.”
“Oh, yeah. Very cool. The problem is that once the universe reaches a certain age and size, the evolution of life will be inevitable. And once there’s enough life around, it’s also inevitable that some of it will evolve over time into self-consciousness. And once that happens, it’s only so long before it splits into tribes and starts murdering itself.”
“It’s unavoidable? The murdering, I mean.”
God nodded. “No way around it, I’m afraid.”
“Hmmph.” God’s friend scratched his chin. “If that bothers you, couldn’t you just . . . I don’t know, intervene to prevent it?”
“Sure,” God said, “I could. But what’s the point of creating a universe with natural laws if I’m just gonna reach in and tinker with everything I don’t like?”
“Why create it at all, then, if it’s only going to upset you?”
“I’m bored with how quiet it is around here, I guess. There’s nothing to do, no one to talk to — present company excepted — nothing to look at. Creating this universe will at least give me some diversion for the forty or fifty billion years it’ll take to implode and destroy itself.”
God’s friend shifted in his chair, crossed his legs, folded his arms. “Couldn’t you create a universe where life won’t evolve? I mean, if it’s all governed by natural laws, couldn’t you rig the laws so life couldn’t arise?”
God shrugged. “Sure I could, but why buy a fishtank if you’re not gonna buy any fish? Besides, even if I tweak the laws of nature to prevent one form of life from developing, that doesn’t prevent some totally different kind from popping up. It’s pretty adaptable stuff. There’s also the risk that if I change things too much, it’ll keep stars and galaxies from forming, too. I mean, come on. Without the stars and galaxies, why even bother? Do I just want a bunch of elementary particles floating around loose? That sounds exciting.”
“Well . . . okay. What if . . .” God’s friend touched his chin to his chest. “This is a tough one. . . . Oh! I’ve got it. Who’s to say that the tribal murdering phase of life will be the final stage? I mean, if your universe is big enough, and if it’s going to last for forty or fifty billion years, isn’t it possible that some of the life that evolves will be able to overcome the whole self-annihilation thing and reach a more peaceful stage of existence?”
God took a few seconds to think about that. He looked at his friend and nodded the largest of his heads. “You’re right, you know. If I create this universe, there will inevitably be wars and genocide and cruelty and suffering and religion and football and motorcycles, but there will also be love and orgasms and humor and music and science and Willie Mays and Buster Keaton. It’s not really fair to deny existence to the good stuff just to avoid the evil stuff.”
“Right,” said God’s friend, “and besides, it’s not like even the suffering and genocide will last forever.”
“Nah,” said God. “The lifespans of even the most longlived organisms will be like a single flash of lightning compared to the fullness of time.”
“Maybe you could even create some kind of immortal afterlife for the self-conscious organisms to go to after they die, to make up for the suffering they experienced.”
God raised his left eyebrows. “Oh, I don’t know . . .”
God’s friend sat upright in his chair. “So, has this conversation helped you to decide?”
“Oh yes,” God said. “Thank you so much, you’ve been a big help.”
“So,” said God’s friend, leaning forward, rubbing his hands together, “are you?”
God nodded. “I am.” He waved his mighty fin and there appeared before them an entity so tiny they could barely see it. God looked at his friend and smiled.
“What is it?”
“An infinitesimal,” God said. “All the matter and energy, all the forces, all the space and time of the entire universe is contained within this singularity. Billions of years from now, one of those self-conscious organisms will call it the primeval atom.”
“What’s an atom?”
“Wait and see.”
God reached out and touched the infinitesimal. It erupted into every dimension, quickly inflating to many, many times its original size. God and his friend repositioned their chairs to watch. God’s friend turned to him after a moment. “So, they will have knowledge of their ultimate origins someday?”
“Some of them will, eventually. And they’ll have hope, which is most important of all.”
God waved his hand and produced a bowl of buttered popcorn. He took a few bites for himself, then passed the bowl to his friend. “It’s a little dark and hot at first,” God said, “but a few hundred million years in, it’ll start getting really good.”
They sat there, munching popcorn, and God’s friend looked at the universe, and God was right.  It was good.
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