© 2023 Warren L. Johns. All Rights Reserved.
La Sierra College (1948)
Bachelor of Arts
Loma Linda University School of Medicine (1953)
Los Angeles County General Hospital (1953)
Armed Forced Institute of Pathology, Washington DC (1954-1957)
Director of the Medical Museum and Laboratory
Peter Brent Brigham Hospital in Boston (1957-1958)
Specialty Training – Internal Medicine
Barnes Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis (1960-1961)
Specialty Training – Internal Medicine
Completion of Residency and Fellowship (1961)
Specialty Board Certification
Internal Medicine (1965)
Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (1975)
Los Angeles Country General Hospital (1973-1976)
Last night we were watching a TV nature program on flowers. Jasmine, sweat pea, bleeding heart. The orchids, so many orchids. A fully-spread red rose. All the zooming-in on quivering pistils and arrays of prongs and threads. Fragrances maddening or calming, overwhelming or subliminal. Textures suggestive, private, alarmingly sensuous and shapes and patterns fractal and confounding or merry and playful. Colors deadeningly intense and dreamily delicate. Passion flowers and primroses. Suddenly the narrator stopped and blurted that old question: “Why are flowers so beautiful?”
Funny how flowers do that, make you blurt out, for no reason, except simply because of their beauty.
We remember the first time, long ago now, that we brought a bouquet of spring daffodils to our wife, for no particular reason1 except we thought we were supposed to, and she looked both startled and delighted, to us a startling and delightful combination, and she gasped, “Oh! Flowers!” Just to hear her say that in that certain way and to see her face blossom into such loveliness, and how that made us feel, are the simple reasons, the best reasons in the world, why we are still bringing her flowers. But usually there is already a vase of fresh flowers, frequently dusky orange alstromeria, that she bought at Kroger, arranged in a vase on the coffee table.
Then it’s our turn to say (at first awkwardly, now it seems so natural): “Wow! Those – what are they? – are really so beautiful!” She and the nature narrator say it better.
Meanwhile our narrator was answering himself. “For no reason, none at all for mankind,2 no reason except for flowers to reproduce themselves, by luring insects, only certain insects, luring them and ingeniously loading …”
What a letdown. But we knew it was coming. We’ve heard this kind of Evo locution all our life (long before TV nature programs). It’s sad. We’re old now, and the sadness is getting to us – how sad it is, the void, the hollow feeling that must come to an award-winning expert-in-his-field Evoean forcing himself to clamp his eyes shut against beauty, simple astounding beauty, and having to mumble, “For no reason…”
To Evoeans beauty, as mankind senses and uses it, is a gosh-awful stumbling block, more embarrassing and appalling than any fossil gap, any mere scientific or philosophical challenge. Evo has enough trouble just explaining how a couple of quarks collided and aggregated and crawled out of a black hole as microtubules and eventually, as a fish, sprouted legs and crawled out of the swamp onto dry land, and from then on wildly sprouted anatomy all over the place, much less how the soul and the perception of beauty sprouted. That’s when Evo’s troubles really begin, to the embarrassment of our TV nature narrator who, caught of guard, ejaculates, “Why is a flower so beautiful?”
For no reason, Evo answers, none at all for mankind. But why then, please tell us, why is mankind involved at all — as he, and especially she, just looking, smelling, touching, receiving, knows in her heart? There’s no Evo sense to it.
Evolectuals tend their unsustainable weed patch and throw together, at random, a corsage for you, “aesthetics” – that’s Evo’s plastic substitute for what you feel when you see an orchid. That’s all you get, aesthetics, dry, wilted, rattling around inside a fatuously beribboned presentation box, sans even the baby’s breath. Like a bee lured to an impotent daisy and leaving cross-eyed and unsatisfied, we’ve buzzed the blighted Evo hothouse, not a pretty sight, storms of mutant pollen, we’re allergic – ca-ca-CA…CHOO!
We don’t know any professional Evolectuals personally. But we wouldn’t be surprised if a good many of these academicians, especially the ladies, after a hard day at the glassed-in Evo office escape and rush outside and, of a summer evening, smell the real roses, maybe tend their own in their own high-rise urban rose gardens.3 We hope so. Or nurse their prize rare orchid collection. Or arrange ikebanas, thus to exercise, and enjoy, the full powers of intelligent oriental artistic design. We really hope so.
Explaining the existence of beauty, and human craving for, and appreciation of, beauty, comes naturally, in our case joyfully, to a Creationist because it’s so basic to Creationism. A Creationist sees the beauty of a flower as even more irreducible than the complexity of DNA, which nobody has ever actually seen, no doubt exquisite just to behold if we could. A Creator (skip the theology) would be expected not only to be in command of every molecular intricacy of what He created, and how to get insects involved, but also to really enjoy creating, like you would, and enjoy what He had created, (“And he saw that it was good” Genesis 1:124), and enjoy passing it on to us to enjoy too, like a good mother or your grandfather who gave you, when you were a child, a birdhouse he’d built himself, whom, yes, He also created.
When not denying the existence of beauty altogether as just another Eurocentricity, or otherwise ripping its petals off5, Evolectuals say the perception of beauty is only an odd confluence of molecules that register certain vibrations, nothing personal. That beauty is a perception in the eye of the beholder, we have never denied. What we’re saying is, the Creator created that too. Beauty is an attribute of God Himself (skip the theology), which He has shared with us, after His own image.
Again thanks to the Creator’s intent, flowers can be hybridized to create even more beauty. Hybridizing Evo and Creationism cannot. Stretching the days of Genesis into eons; letting God toss a few seeds into the air and then sending Him or him or Her or her or it off to play somewhere else, or just letting Him insert a soul into a promising hominid like a bee inseminating a waiting petunia, or weeding Him out altogether – yields only something uglier and thornier.
Meanwhile, back to watching TV nature programs. For well over a half a century we’ve especially enjoyed nature films, and now it’s our very favorite, almost exclusive, media entertainment. The quality of the photography has improved so incredibly, but the sound, alas, has become increasingly degraded by noise and static — irrelevant Eco and Evo propaganda — as annoying as commercials, actually are commercials. The zapper solves our problem. But what about the narrator’s? Our advice to Evoean documentarians is to stick to waltzing with wolves and sharks. At least you won’t be blurting out that 64-million-year question, why so beautiful? And on your way home don’t forget the “Oh flowers.”