January 29, 2005

The Biology, Theology, and Science Inquisition

The answers may be more bizarre than the questions themselves... I have tried to reproduce true conversations between me and my son.

Topic: Nose of the Almighty
Boy: Does God have a nose?
Mom: Well... I don't think he really needs one, but if he wanted one he could have one.
Boy: Why wouldn't God need a nose?
Mom: Because he already knows what everything smells like.

[this goes on of course with considerations of how God knows what everything smells like because he made everything, etc...]

Topic: The Intent of Flies
Boy: Can flies eat you?
Mom: No.
Boy: They don't?
Mom: Flies don't eat things that are... alive. [panic starts]
Boy: Why?
Mom: Flies only like to eat dead things. [this can't go to a good place]
Boy: Why do they only eat dead things?
Mom: That's their job. Something's gotta do it.
Boy: Why?
Mom: When things die something has to help it go back to the Earth.
Boy: Why?
Mom: [this answer will make a nice children's book] Well, you wouldn't want a bunch of dead animals lying around in the forest would you?
Real nice, Mom!!

Topic: Fascination with Electricity
Boy: How does electricity get into the poles?
Mom: It comes from the power station.
Boy: How?
Mom: Uh- the power station has conductors - giant coils of wires - that generate electricity.
Boy: But how do they get the electricity.
Mom: It's complicated. [meaning I don't really know for sure]
Boy: But what happens if you touch the power lines?
Mom: [Oh good, I was losing it.] You can get electrocuted and it's very painful.
Boy: Why does the electricity hurt you?
Mom: Well, the human body has a lot of water in it and electricity likes to travel through water.
Boy: Does it hurt?
Mom: Yes, very much. Or, you could die.
Boy: Why?
Mom: Look at that funny dog! (another tactic to change the subject - redirection)

Topic: Dolphins Have a Whole Bunch of Blubber
*I advise all parents and care givers to get their small children to say the word "blubber" as often as possible. There is nothing funnier.
Boy: Do dolphins, sharks and whales go way, way down to the bottom of the ocean?
Mom: Well, some go pretty far down but most sea animals can't go too far down.
Boy: [take a guess] Why?
Mom: Because the more water you have above you, the heavier it gets... like having more and more books stacked on your head.
Boy: OH!!!! And dolphins have a whole bunch of bih-lubber on their bodies - it's really thick - to keep them warm.

[Yes, son. I'm gladly you finally understand.]

So you can see... although I may have learned about some of this stuff in school, there is no way to find the language or in-depth understanding of each and every topic that is needed to be able to explain, in simple terms, the very fabric of the Earth. This is why I propose a mandatory 101 course in college called Essence of Matter, Time, and Divinity for Purpose of Explanation to Ages three through five 101, and the following year, Diversion and Redirection in Parenting. You would need another course (because you couldn't cover it all in the Essence one) called Creative Explanations on the Origin of Pregnancy which would include a two week review of Diversion and Redirection. It's not a prude thing - you try answering the "how does the baby get in the belly?" question to a child that wouldn't stop with the answer to it even if you gave it straight.


  • At Monday, January 31, 2005 at 6:49:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Many varieties of flies do bite the living. They don't really eat whole people; they just take tiny little bites because they are polite and want to leave some for other biting insects and their fellow flies. Horseflies are pretty nasty. Little tiny black flies can be very annoying.

    Regarding electricity: matter has little particles in it called electrons. Electricity is made of electrons. Power plants and batteries coax electrons to move through wires. Moving electrons are like moving water: they carry power and energy. Scientists use that energy to create laser beams that can fry people from space and blow up the whole planet with one pulse. Or they use it to make giant robots that can trample buildings and eat airplanes. Or the electricity can be used to run a Gameboy.

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