Saturday, June 23, 2007

Inordinate Fondness For Beetles

I was poking around, looking for the context of J. B. S. Haldane's quote about beetles, and discovered, on, that it is apocryphal. Haldane's quote is often expressed thus: The Creator, if He exists, has "an inordinate fondness for beetles." Now, it seems to me that fondness for the species-rich insect order Coleoptera could never be inordinate. Look at these gaudy chrysomelid beetles, possibly Dogbane Beetles, Chrysochus auratus. Who could help but be fond of them?

In my searches I also found a website called An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles, and a theological speculation on The Real Reason for the Fall. This dialogue suggests we might still be in Paradise if Adam and Eve had shown a bit more interest in the details of Creation.

God:  And here's the next species, one I'm particularly proud of...
Adam: Beetle.
God:  Excellent. Now here's another...
Adam: Beetle.
God:  No, you just named the last one "beetle". This one is quite
      different -- look at the pattern on the wing cases, and the shape
      of the antennae...
Adam: Beetle.
God:  Well, OK, though they certainly look different to Me. Now, the
      next species is --
Adam: Beetle.

(credits: Ken Cox)

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

There is a good book by Arthur Evans, entitled An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles. It's about beetles, of course.