Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mysterious Ways, Indeed

In her recent column in the Washington Post sports section, Sally Jenkins makes the salient point that athletes seem to be in touch with something that the rest of us cannot grasp. Indeed, as is the case with the greatest actuaries and Perl programmers, super-athletes have a kind of ...
... knowledge the rest of us can learn from, bound as we are by our ordinary, trudging, cumbersome selves. Ever get the feeling that they are in touch with something that we aren't? What is that thing? Could it be their random, mutant talent, or could it be evidence of, gulp, intelligent design?
She cites specific examples, most notably, Joe DiMaggio.
And try telling a baseball fan that pure Darwinism explains Joe DiMaggio. As Tommy Lasorda once said, "If you said to God, 'Create someone who was what a baseball player should be,' God would have created Joe DiMaggio — and he did."
More than that, God designed us so intelligently that he programmed us to invent baseball, as if to allow us to set him up with a big alley-oop: BAM! Joe DiMaggio.

One might think that Ms. Jenkins with her gym teacher hairdo would have little time for a fruity sport like cycling, but in fact she co-authored Lance Armstrong's autobiography. How odd, then, that she should have passed on the greatest story of intelligent design in all of sports.

If you were seated on a bus between Shaquille O'Neal and Lance Armstrong you might not realize that the latter is just as much a physical freak as the former. With his oversized heart, enormous lung capacity, low muscle-to-tendon ratio, unusually long femurs, and mass distribution favoring his lower body, Armstrong was intelligently designed to win three-week-long bicycle races. But it wasn't always that way. Early in his career Armstrong sported the massive upper musculature of a swimmer. Indeed, he came to European road cycling from the world of triathlons. But this upper-body musculature is just dead weight when climbing Mt. Ventoux.

To the Darwinian, cancer is just random happenstance, unexplainable, without meaning. The Darwinian cannot explain how it is that Lance Armstrong's body changed in ways that made it possible for him to become the most dominant rider of cycling's most prestigious race. But could it just be that God designed Armstrong's balls so intelligently that they exploded with cancer at just the right time, a cancer that quickly metstasized to his lungs and brain, necessitating surgery and chemotherapy which would forever change his body type and prompt him to win seven Tours de France? It could be. Certainly Darwinians have no proof to the contrary.

Joe DiMaggio, Lance Armstrong ... what will God intelligently design next?

4 Comments:

Blogger Mr. H.K. said...

Pedro Martinez?

Cheers,
Mr. H.K.
Postcards from Hell's
Kitchen

And I Quote Blog

7:53 PM  
Blogger ME Strauss said...

So great to get a critical mass of your writing. What a nice work at that. Your voice is strong and credible raising a nice irony in the questions you ask. Beautifully written--a great morning read.

Thank you.
me-Liz

9:11 AM  
Blogger Trey Desolay said...

Thank you very much, Liz. That's very kind and gracious of you.

11:43 AM  
Blogger tom naka said...

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6:54 AM  

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