The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream


NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Creation Day Essay: Engineering, Manufacturing, and Management


Facebook urged me to do something about April 22nd, which some Do-Gooders decided to call Earth Day. I have no trouble calling it Creation Day.

My earned income is derived from teaching online, so I am fascinated by large computer systems, especially since I know people who run them. When I garden, I look at the horticultural enterprise in terms of engineering, manufacturing, and management.

Computers grew very slowly from the first efforts in the West. Babbage began them in 1850 or so, but did not build his model. That took until 2002. But early, Lord Byron's daughter, Ada, decided to predict how such an engine would work, so she invented the first program language, software for the hardware. She is honored today by a government software language called Ada.

For my computer to talk to your computer, there must be an Internet, which grew from the military's interest in creating a modular communications system in case of all out war. Once computers began to talk to each other, there developed a need for people to talk to each other through their computer connections. Many different technologies developed to make the first crude efforts work

All my online teaching was done through email servers, which were pretty basic in 2003. Now online teaching uses video, graphics, and many other tools. People need to learn how to use these tools, and others have to maintain the tools and systems or everything breaks down.

The Jackson Rose Farm
Everywhere is definite proof of engineering, manufacturing, and management - all from God.

Yesterday I wheelbarrowed two tree stumps from the backyard to the rose garden. One stump was already shedding its bark, so I peeled the loose bark onto the mulch. The space between the bark and the main part of the tree was damp, dark, and FILLED WITH CREEPY CRAWLY THINGS! Earwigs were prominent in the collection. As I pulled it apart, the creatures of rot began to dig into the soil to get away from the sunlight.

Earwigs, earthworms, mites, slugs, and many other critters have a part in dissolving a tree and making all its elements useful for other plants, including other trees.

Every single creature of the soil is engineered to do a job - and do it well. That one species started its life cycle at a point in time - let's say Creation. Ever since it has occupied a place in the soil and has always done its job with great efficiency, even though many other creatures participate in the same work in the same food chain.

 Earwig - By James Lindsey at Ecology of Commanster, CC BY-SA 3.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7205229

Which part is more astonishing? We tend to focus on Creation itself as rather static. Here is the earwig, above. It has various body parts that help it feed from rot and fight for its life. Like the earthworm or bird, every organ system is engineered to do the job to perfection. Hitler had his engineers design an enormous tank, the 100 ton Maus. Experts agree it was too clumsy to do its job well. An even larger tank was never built, only designed.

Everything in the yard is engineered to perfection, created, and also managed - without my help at all. The soil food web is so complicated that explaining the concept briefly is a major chore, not one that a writer can do easily or -  a reader can grasp once explained. And yet, basic trust in Creation can make this system work at its best, benefiting every segment - except the toxin aisle of the hardware store. Management means that a surplus of one creature will be met by the predation of another. The feeder will grow in numbers until its food is reduced, and then it will decline.

Ironically, the bacteria thrive because protozoa devour it, giving the survivors room to grow. Likewise, the bacteria seem to appreciate the earthworm, reducing food and releasing nutrition for the earthworm as the worm gathers organic material to reduce.

A well run grocery store is a marvel of management, because supplies must be ordered to match the needs of the customers. The supplies must arrive in an orderly way, be logged into the store, and put on shelves as space becomes available. A system of management keeps the right people on the job and doing what is needed most at any given time. Without the managers, this falls apart, because someone has to open the bay to let the delivery truck arrive. Someone must get the money counted and deposited. Someone must order up the workers or cut hours.

Therefore, gardening is not difficult but easy. The hard work is done and carries on without any human intervention. Do I want toads? Yes. They arrive to do their work if I have some water supplies and bugs to eat. They stay in numbers that match the food and water supply.

Hordes of beetles and cursorial  (non-web) spiders work the yard at night, even though many other creatures do similar work in getting rid of pests. I used to believe the myth that slugs were not eaten by other creatures - except ducks. In fact, many beneficial creatures are expert slug eaters, so the slugs keep that entire population primed to reduce their numbers. Kill slugs? Then I would removing the incentive for the slug-eaters to populate my yard. Poison slugs? That would poison many beneficial creatures and never reach the slug population, which is 2/3rds in the soil at all times.

This tiny flower fly has designed his own livery
to make predators think he is a bee.
Who told him a) this would work, and
b) how to do it?