I’m doing a mini-blogathon today for Secular Students Week!
This week is Secular Students Week, when people around the Internet are celebrating the fantastic work the Secular Student Alliance is doing to empower students. Their goal is to get 500 donations now through June 17th: if they do, they’ll receive a $20,000 challenge grant! Help them keep up their amazing work by giving this week. A gift of $5, $10, or $20 will go a long way towards helping them reach this goal and empower secular students: please give today!
In today’s mini-blogathon, I’ll post a new blog post once an hour, from now (a little after 9:00 am Pacific time) until 5:00 pm Pacific time. In addition, for every donation that’s made today via my blogathon, I’ll post a new cat photo!
This hour’s post: If atheism were true, why do cats have pretty stripes on them?
A reader sent me this picture a few months ago. They didn’t know where it came from, but they thought — very much correctly — that it would spark my interest.
It’s a flyer with Christian propaganda. The readable part reads thus (it’s cropped, so not all of it is readable):
…doctrine of evolution, was enough to spawn a Hitler, a Stalin, a Margaret Sanger, the horror of Columbine, etc. Imagine what evil will come of atheism if it is allowed to blossom in society! It is foolish as well as sinful to attribute the beauty, order, design, intelligence, conscience, etc. of the universe to a mere “nothingness.” If atheism were true, why do cats have pretty stripes on them? Why do the millions of insect species have such startling beauty? Why does man feel guilty when he sins? Why does anyone have a will? Where did personality come from? On top of all this, it is considered (of course!) scientifically impossible for nothing to create anything, much less, for nothing to create everything!
There’s a lot here to unpack. But I’m going to go straight to the heart of the matter: If atheism were true, why do cats have pretty stripes on them?
Well, the obvious answers are obvious. Cats have stripes on them because of evolution: cats with stripes are harder to see in tall grass, making it easier for them both to hunt and to evade being hunted. The stripes on cats are pretty because of both evolution and cultural training. Human brains evolved to find certain kinds of images pleasant, especially images with balances of regularity and irregularity (such as cat stripes); then different cultures and sub-cultures have different standards of beauty, so if we’re brought up to think of certain kinds of images as pretty (such as cat stripes), and to have pleasant associations with them (such as pleasant experiences of petting or playing with cats that have stripes), we’re more likely to see those images as pretty.
But that’s evading the key issue here. The real reason cats have pretty stripes is that Talisker is a cat — and Talisker has all the stripes. All of them! It stands to reason: Talisker is our stripey baby; Talisker has all the stripes — and this means all the stripes. Every stripe. Therefore, cats have pretty stripes as a natural consequence of Talisker having all the stripes. My logic is unassailable. Check and mate!
I’ve explained this before, people. I really expect you to keep up.
Once again — please support the Secular Student Alliance! Help them get their challenge grant of $20,000 by reaching their goal of 500 donations now through June 17th. Even small donations help. Please support them today!