The Plecostomus Principle

Do you remember those stories of little Johnny juniors who had cute baby alligators as pets? And two missing dogs later they released it into the sewer system of the city where it became responsible for terrorizing amphibian tales? Well, there’s another pet problem just like it that involves a fish – the hypostomus plecostomus to be exact. These home aquarium dwellers are also known as sucker fish or sometimes they are affectionately called ‘garbage eaters’. It seems that fish tank owners have tossed this bottom feeding catfish into Floridian waters and have cause quite a mess.

Recently while in Apopka, Florida I was informed by a river guide that the plecostomus have taken over parts of the Wekiva River. Hundreds and hundreds of these former tank residents have grown into large sized adults and now rest happily on the river floor eating whatever meals come their way. What makes this particularly interesting is that I discovered this factoid in the middle of a conversation with a river guide. She was a twenty-something college student working for the park service who has an affinity for all things save-the-planetish. While talking about the park animals and nature in the area she began using Darwinian phrases and told me about how much of a nuisance the plecostomus are and that they simply spear them and throw them in the woods. The sucker fish make it unfair for other fish in the area to feed and so they gig them and toss them in the trees. That got me thinking.

There are signs all over the park telling us about the preservation of the black bear. There are signs telling us we cannot disturb the archeological native American artifacts that are in the park. And there are various other signs directing us to all sorts of conservationist things; however, no one gives a rip about poor Mr. Plecostomus. He is a nobody in an arbitrary species protection world and as a result, he is a great example of the inconsistency of those who claim to love nature and all that is in it.

I asked her why she was a species racist and why it is that we can’t just let survival of the fittest play itself out. We humans are diverting and interfering all the time with the survival of the fittest by protecting species that can’t hang with the rest of the world. If the black bear can’t survive because we are kicking him out of his habitat, then good bye Mr. Bear it was nice knowing you. Why should we care? Why mess with how things have ‘evolved’? Is this not ‘nature’ at work? But that’s just it isn’t it?

‘Care’. Now that’s an interesting word because it is exactly what the bear and the plecostomus don’t do. Is anyone really prepared to say that a fish cares about whether or not the bear exists? Is anyone going to propose that the deer hold round table discussions on the impact their indiscriminate feeding has on the crop growers of the area? Caring implies a moral code and we have no reason to believe that fish have one. So where did that notion of morality come from?

I challenged Ms. Twenty-something by asking her why it is that she protects one animal over another and why she has no qualms about gigging one to death and yet will march the courthouse to protect another. She said she had no idea. And so from there I sought to erode away her fraudulent mindset and nonsensical worldview that had been fed to her from the university and beyond with truth, science, and logical consistency only to have her end up in a blank zone.

She had no idea why she believed what she did. She said that she had never thought of things as I had put them and when I asked her where the new DNA information came from so that the new species in her evolutionary chain could be made, she had no idea and responded with a whimsical, “From thin air?” Indeed.

So I asked her to consider an alternative view of the world. I asked her to ponder that perhaps there is a God who has made all things and from Himself he has made man from one blood. And suppose that this God has created all the species you see today in wondrous beauty and glory as a self-evident monument to His deity. Perhaps all that you see and hear before you was actually created with all the appropriate genetic information needed to produce the variances per species as per His design and that the process of natural selection by like-kinds is refuted by no one, but is rather His plan for survival variation. This would explain all things without a need to grab thin air and it would acknowledge the One to whom we must give an account. And it would be rational, consistent, and fit well with our current science.

I wasn’t able to direct the rest of the conversation to Christ and I took that as a Divine intervention signaling that her head and heart could only bear so much. Yet, I did find a connection to her through knitting and crocheting, two things that my wife loves, and I got her email willingly after asking if I could have my wife email her some patterns and links for yarn as well as sending her more information on what we had discussed.

Presuppositionalism works with evidence. Ballista proofs shatter folly. Proper worldview creates road sign to Christ.

I pray that her heart finds the Savior.


About ostrakinos

Pastoral sojourner in the world. Raising up four daughters. Citizen of earth. Resident of heaven. Taking ten looks at Christ.

Posted on November 15, 2006, in Apologetics, Evangelism. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I have been unknowingly using presuppositional arguments for many years now. You just did a far better job than I could have.

    Glad to hear you were able to use moments like that for the Glory of God.

    What’s that text now? “Let your speech…”

    Great post!

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