The Babel Fish

Douglas Adams said in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy about the origin of the "Babel Fish".

Babel Fish "The Babel fish," said The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy quietly, "is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy not from its carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.

"Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindboggingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.

"The argument goes something like this: 'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, 'for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'

"'But,' says Man, 'The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'

"'Oh dear,' says God, 'I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanished in a puff of logic.

"'Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

"Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best- selling book Well That About Wraps It Up For God.

"Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloddier wars than anything else in the history of creation."

Very clever, witty little snippet of one of the best selling science/humour fiction. I watched the 2005 Hollywood remake on DVD last night, and really enjoyed it. I think I shall start reading the series. I will also review the DVD later this week.

But the argument for the non-existance of God? Flawed right from the beginning, as proof has never denied faith, but rather, it can be an important building block to strength faith.

Nor can the absense of faith diminished God into nothing, as God is never a product of mental exercise. God, as the creator of this universe, reigns regardless how much faith his creatures have.