(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Copyright© 2017 Angharad
This is a work of fiction any mention of real people, places or institutions is purely coincidental and does not imply that they are as suggested in the story.
It was still dark when I woke. I staggered off to the loo and as I weed, I recalled the weird dream I’d just had. I was explaining to the Virgin Mary that she couldn’t be a virgin if she was pregnant. She insisted that she was both. I told her it was impossible and she insisted it had happened because it was a miracle.
“Okay, so you’re pregnant by the holy spirit.”
She didn’t recognise the term—she was a Jew and the term I had used was Christian. I told her that if she had a baby without the help of a man, which didn’t occur in the higher mammals, it would be a girl because it would be by parthenogenesis. She looked at me as if I talking a foreign language. When I pulled out my iPad to explain the genetics of the situation, she really lost it denouncing me as a witch. Which was when I woke up.
That’ll teach me to watch Richard Dawkins’ videos before coming to bed. He was arguing with some Australian born again kangaroo, I mean preacher, who refused to listen to any reason having made up his mind, he just politely rebuffed, but without reason, other than the bible, the facts that Dawkins was making. It was an object lesson in wilful ignorance a bit like arguing that there are no recorded incidents of genuine transgender people behaving inappropriately in a ladies loo, to a Texas congressman. I’d probably have a better chance with the BVM.
It’s not just in Texas that these things happen. Dawkins also spoke to a science teacher who worked in a state school in the UK. This man refused to accept evolution by natural selection or that the world was more than four thousand years old. That was all theory, the bible was god’s word. I wonder if the teacher found himself out of work—he should have been. Evolution is a fact, evidenced by the fossil record and mutations in DNA, we can actually now see where something changed and one species went on to eventually become another.
If a monk like Gregor Mendel could see genetic variety and William Bateson could see it a hundred and fifty years ago, why couldn’t the idiot teacher do so? Because he had been indoctrinated with religious ideas which usually includes—don’t believe the scientists, they’re all agents of the devil—who sound quite reasonable but are trying to break your faith. All of which is nonsense. The scientists couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss whether you have a religious faith or not, they’re just trying to pass on facts, which needn’t stop you believing. Dawkins spoke with Rowan Williams, who was then Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr Williams accepted Darwin and evolution but claimed it was just how god worked, using nature. Tosh, but then the C of E fudge everything, no wonder William Bateson was an atheist, something that he had in common with Darwin, Dawkins and even the Attenborough.
I suppose in reality, that’s my position as well but I prefer agnostic, it sounds gentler or sometimes I use the term, no faith, because I don’t believe in any supernatural theory. How do I explain the blue light stuff? I can’t, not beyond all shadow of doubt but it doesn’t fit in with physics, so it has to be some sort of illusion or maybe delusion. Or the phenomenon is just one science has yet to explain, it won’t be sky fairies, just physics.
Mankind, the cleverest of the apes, might one day explain everything by science, though I suspect, Brexit or Donald Trump, will raise a few eyebrows in incredulity, just like they did the morning after the votes were counted. It’s also highly likely that we will have annihilated ourselves before then as some of our species aren’t especially clever except at bullying, lying and starting wars. These are usually politicians, who often claim a belief in god but act as if that’s as far as it goes. They usually have more faith in themselves and their desire to steer other people’s lives.
My job is to help people think for themselves and to question everything, especially people’s motives for saying or writing something. It’s called education which at higher levels uses critical thinking. In it theories fit the facts, not the other way round, which is the Daily Mail approach. Actually, it doesn’t so much alter the facts to fit the theory, it sort of plays with reality in the minds of its readers. But then even the dear old Guardian publishes as much bilge as decent articles—though for some reason it also carries a very high percentage of transgender stories from around the world, some of which are truly heartbreaking.
It was on waking to the radio alarm that I heard about the bombing in Manchester and lay there for several minutes in total shock, especially when I realised that the victims would be relatively young women. Hannah likes Ariana Grande, though personally, I think she sounds like Minnie Mouse and has need of some enunciation lessons—she mumbles to music in a little girl voice. But Hannah likes her and the audience would have been full of people her age when some monster detonated a bomb full of nuts and bolts, killing twenty two plus himself—all for the glory of some Arab sky fairy who, were he to exist, would more likely be horrified at the death and maiming of so many young women.
Then I wonder if the RAF or the USAAF dropping bombs on people or using drone strikes are much better. I know they try to avoid civilian casualties, and ISIS or al Quaeda are known to surround themselves with human shields just as the IRA did thirty years ago, to stop troops returning fire. I don’t know how we stop wars or deal with those who want to pursue them against innocent young women, but just like the mad preacher and the schoolteacher, they don’t want to listen, they know they’re right, anything else is the devil’s works.
It seems us clever apes need to knock seven bells out of each other before we sit down and talk, because in the end that’s all that ever works, so why we can’t short cut to it in the first place, baffles me—but then I’m only a dumb woman university professor, the ones doing the talking are usually men and they know what they’re doing.
I showered and went downstairs after rousing the girls, once they heard the news they were all shocked. Hannah was really upset, but then I found out she had a friend who was going to the concert. Apparently the girl was staying with her grandparents in Manchester and travelling back today. I suggested she text her and she looked much happier when she discovered the friend was safe.
My other girls knew the girl too, so they were all relieved. They’re too young to have to deal with death like this—the world of men is such a cruel place.
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