“God made you!” is one of the more ridiculous claims made by believers.
We see a lot of making going on… Most of us live in cities – an almost entirely man-made habitat. So maybe it’s understandable that many people extrapolate that form of origination to explain everything?
Of course, the built environment is a new phenomenon. In the early days of mankind everything was natural. Nothing was made, except, perhaps, bird’s nests. Did Og and Ug think that their world was all made, or did they think that it grew or was hewn by nature? What were the forces that could bring about changes to structures and materials back then? Only fire, flood, wind, earthquake, eruption, waves, sun’s rays, freezing cold, etc. All natural.
The earliest made things owed a lot to nature. They were obviously fashioned from bamboo, plant fibres, bits of bone, stone, shell, skin or whatever. You could see the heritage – under the human attempts at modification or fashioning there was still a visible coconut or piece of horn. It’s harder to spot manufactured objects these days but it’s still possible.
So, how do we recognise something that’s been made?
At a simple level, we look for components made from materials that do not occur in nature – metals, glass, plastics, woven fabric and such like. Or we see if we can find witness marks of tooling – dents made by hammers or scratches made by chisels. Then there’s unnatural means of fastening – screws or glue, but there’s some, more recent, high tech difficulties…
Three dimensional printers have made it possible to steadily add layers of material and ‘grow’ a product instead of the old method of starting out with a big lump of stuff and chipping it away to get the shape desired, leaving a lot of waste to be disposed of. And manufactured items have become magical. If you could bring my father, who was an aircraft engineer in WWII, back to life he would not know how to begin to explain a car that can speak directions to guide you to your destination.
Nevertheless, it’s still possible to recognise made articles: they only appeared recently and don’t feature in the fossil record, for example. Prior to about two hundred millennia ago, Mother Nature had the planet to herself; she did all the ‘making’, with her natural processes.
We can’t allow city-dwellers to use their location as a reason for claiming that everything is made, because they are closing their eyes to city features like grass and trees and putting their fingers in their ears when the TV news reports natural disasters elsewhere. There can be no excuse for making such ludicrous claims as ‘God made you’!