A meeting in heaven


The scene is a top-level meeting of President God with all his cabinet officials. The time is 2.6 million years ago.

God: All right, we have an item on today's agenda concerning evolution on planet earth.

Minister of Evolution (MoE): Yes sir.

God: Well, how's it going?

MoE: Well, I have received a report that a primate species has evolved towards greater self-awareness, and they are starting to make stone tools now.

God: Excellent! All is proceeding according to our best hopes. You know, for eons we've had nothing but the highest hopes for this planet. We've coaxed the evolution of mammals, we've coaxed the development of primates, and now this! Self-consciously aware beings are finally developing! This is what we've waited 14 billion years for. I think we should have a celebration! Here's to the new rulers of the planet, the bonobos!

MoE:. Uh, sir...

God: Think of what a wonderful world the earth will be in a couple more million years of evolution, after they've spread out over the earth and established harmonious universal love in a glorious Kingdom of God.

MoE: I'm afraid I have some bad news. The bonobos aren't the primates who developed self-awareness. It is their cousins, the australopithecines.

God: What?

MoE: Yeah. The upright walking ones. My staff has decided to give them a new genus classification now that they've become more intelligent. They are now designated as homo habilis. They are also called humans.

God: Oh f***.

MoE: Excuse me?

God: Do you realize what has happened? That species will totally screw up the planet. They will wreak untold destruction. They have no self-control, they are violent, domineering, and polluting. If they take over, the whole evolutionary experiment on earth is doomed! How could this have happened?

MoE: I'm not sure, sir. Maybe the Minister of Temptation had something to do with it. [MoE looks over at Lucifer.]

God: Lucifer!

Lucifer [cringing]: I thought you wanted a species who could be easily tempted! How do you tempt a bonobo into doing evil? After the slightest conflict, they just hump one another and then they are all nice again. I can't work with such a cooperative and peaceful bunch of characters.

God: Lucifer, that's not my problem. I wanted a species that would bring harmony, peace, and love to the planet. Now we've screwed everything up.

MoE: Well, it could have been worse. It could have been the chimps. They are even more violent than humans are.

God: MoE, can we somehow turn humans into an evolutionary dead end so they'll die out or something?

MoE: Not likely. Their intelligence is going to give them a huge evolutionary advantage now.

God: Jesus Christ!

Jesus [who had been sleeping]: Wha?

Lucifer: Go back to sleep, Jesus. This doesn't concern you.

God: Well, actually Lucifer, it does. [Turning to Jesus] Son, I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that when we incarnate you, you'll be fully bipedal instead of a knuckle-walker. The bad news is that you aren't going to be a bonobo. You're going to be a human.

Jesus: Dad, you promised me that I'd get to be a bonobo!

God: I know I did, but there's been a screw up. I'm afraid that the life of endless sexual orgies and carefree living isn't in the cards.

Jesus: That sucks.

God: I guess we'll have to work with the cards that we've been dealt. Sophia, what do you think about all this?

[Minister of Wisdom] Sophia: Well, they will have free will and all. It isn't all bad. They do have the potential for loving kindness and compassion. But frankly, it is going to be tough.

God: Hmmm. Okay, Jesus, here's the deal. Your assignment is going to have to be a little different. When you make it to earth in a few million years or so, my guess is that the planet is probably going to be in bad shape. Domination systems, oppression, poverty, the works. So I will want you to non-violently resist the powerful imperial systems in place. Hopefully, people will emulate your lifestyle and message, they will bring down empires and establish a Kingdom of God. The absolutely worst case scenario is that after you are tortured to death they will worship you as being divine. Hopefully, that won't happen.

Jesus: Did you say tortured to death? Dad, did you say tortured??? That doesn't sound like the endless sexual adventures you promised me.

God: Don't worry, son. There's a planet over in the Andromeda galaxy that I'm holding out high hopes for. There's an intelligent species there that would make the bonobos look like prudish monks. If you agree to do this for me on Earth, I promise you I'll let you incarnate over in Andromeda.

Jesus [sighing]: Well, okay, dad....

And the rest, as we say, is history.