The proof is in: Loose women cause earthquakes. Boobquake, the world's most rigorous geophysical experiment yet designed to elicit God's wrath under controlled conditions of pulchritude, provides long-sought scientific evidence.
The buxom babes of Purdue University jiggled their comely flesh, and lo! Taiwan experienced an earthquake. Also, I nicked my chin while shaving that day, and my wife broke a fingernail.
What more proof could anyone want? Certainly not senior Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi. He's the boob who touched off Boobquake by telling followers at Friday prayers, "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," as reported by the Associated Press.
Purdue science student Jennifer McCreight responded by organizing Boobquake. She thought maybe a few dozen of her friends would respond. Instead, more than 100,000 women rocked the world with their lascivious reveal. And we all know what followed. Here McCreight makes a full confession on camera:
So, what should we make of the fact that an earthquake shook Taiwan on Boobquake Monday? The same thing we should make of the fact that tornadoes ripped through the Bible Belt on Saturday, crushing at least one church. Sh*t happens. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, lightning strikes, volcanic eruptions, and tornadoes are all part of the price of living on Planet Earth. You do not need to invoke God to explain natural disasters, and you cannot find a consistent moral pattern in them.
Yet, time after time, clerics of all collars thunder denunciation and doom in the wake of disaster, and all too many people believe them. Typically, the religious explanation for disaster is God's wrath about sex. Why? Well, of course, scriptures are chock-a-block with divine wrath over sexual promiscuity. But that only sets the question back a step.
Perhaps God truly hates sex. It disgusts him, and so he confines it to the absolute minimum required to make babies. Call it the traditional theistic explanation. But really, how absurd! If the Almighty doesn't like human sexuality, it's not for lack of choice. He could have bypassed Adam, created Eve, and then said, "Let there be parthenogenesis!" (That even sounds biblical, doesn't it?)
Parthenogenesis is a handy form of asexual reproduction. All the mother needs is an egg and a decent health plan. It is employed by various reptiles, a few birds, and the occasional shark. So why not people?
Of course, all parthenogenic offspring are female, and while that might be fine with the WNBA, it would lead to shortages in certain fields. Let's face it, women just aren't suited for certain jobs, like, uh ... being a pimp! We would definitely not be able to fill the nation's pimping needs in an all-woman world.
God had other choices at his fingertips. Instead of icky sex, he could have endowed humans with external fertilization equipment, as he presumably did with fish. Granted, there is an ick factor even with fish reproduction: When you wade into cloudy waters, you are experiencing the ichthyological equivalent of a semen bath. But people are clever creatures. We would have eventually overcome this problem by inventing the sperm bank.
So if God had choices, why did he go with the one he hates? The answer is simple: he didn't, and he doesn't. God didn't choose sex; it evolved. It's a very costly form of reproduction. (Just ask ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer!) It requires a spare sex, the male, whose whole life, in some species, is devoted to one quick act of copulation. Among certain spiders, at least, the male provides a healthful post-coital snack for the mother-to-be.
Why does nature support this expensive second sex? The best analysis points to parasitic disease as the answer. By constantly shuffling genes through sex, plants and animals are able to stay just that little bit ahead of the micro-organisms that prey on them.
Great, but why our particular kind of sex? Again, evolution can explain. Like all primates, we are a social species. Within our complex social structures, certain fundamental reproductive interests exist. Understand that these are broad generalities that over time will tend to emerge, not programs uploaded into each individual. Males "want" to control the reproduction of as many females as possible. Females "want" to attract and manipulate the most reproductively fit and resourceful males. The imbalance of interests results from differing reproductive potential. Males have no practical limit on the number of eggs they can fertilize; females have a strict limit on the number of times they can give birth. But human males and females are united in one thing: they need to invest a lot of time and care to assure that their offspring reach adulthood. Wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am males who contribute only sperm risk being ejected from the gene pool.
All that said, human individuality and institutions both cater to and modify the underlying evolutionary trends. And no institution plays a greater role in modifying the expression of sexuality than religion. All societies have rules for sex, and in most those derive from religion. Sex within marriage is the general rule, though societies nearly always provide exceptions for the elite. They award themselves, formally or informally, the privilege of having multiple sexual partners.
Whatever the variations, however, marriage emerges as a key human universal. Christian or pagan, Jewish or Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, animist -- you name it. There are no societies, and never have been throughout recorded history, that lack some kind of institution of marriage regulating sexual conduct and the raising of children. Yet none agree on which God wants what.
If follows, therefore, that marriage does not depend on God for its existence. Neither does sex. That being so, it's safe to presume that clerics, rather than God, are the sex-haters. And for good reason. By exploiting people's fears of unregulated sex and by raising the specter of divine retribution, they greatly expand their own power. In fact, as Iran's Supreme Council, the Vatican, and certain other religious institutions demonstrate, sex-hating clerics will, if allowed, claim absolute authority.
But thanks to 500 years of science -- and to Jennifer McCreight's Boobquake -- we are free to laugh off such primitive superstition. If God is out there, I feel sure he's sharing in the joke.
Follow Clay Farris Naff on Twitter: www.twitter.com/claynaff