The Purpose of Life is a Beach Part 1
By Pim van Meurs
Posted April 21, 2004
I am starting what I intend to be a regular contribution in which I will
share some of my almost spiritual experiences and insights gained when I was on
It was this unforgettable moment late summer, the first time that I realized
how special the beach really is.
I finally realized that the beach shows a remarkable CORRELATION between
HABITABILITY and PLEASURABILITY.
Isn't a beach well adapted for sun bathing, digging holes in the sand, beach
volley ball and wading. Isn't it miraculous that we go to beaches, which provide
for easy access to the ocean, with sand allowing us to spend our sun bathing in
relative comfort. In addition what better place to play beach games.
A slowly deepening bottom allows us to wade in the ocean without the
immediate risk of drowning. As icing on the cake, the waves seem to approach the
beach in perpendicular to the coast line adding to our enjoyment.
And in addition to all the beach, which by now must appear to the reader to
be an almost miraculous environment, also provide us with protection from
One cannot escape the conclusion that these beaches were designed with a
purpose in mind. A sceptic reader may object to the use of correlation to infer
purpose but I intend to use a "cumulative case argument" to strengthen my case.
By showing not only complexity but also a meaningfull pattern I will show how
design is an INEVITABLE conclusion.
Posted at April 18, 2004 12:34 PM
This is a very interesting post, and I feel I must add an important point (at
the possible risk or preempting part 2). If you take out any of the constituent
parts of a great day at the beach - warm sea, clear sky, clean beach, not too
crowded - the day ceases to be a great day at the beach entirely: ALL of the
constituent parts MUST be there for a great day at the beach.
Long-shore drift has long been a theory in crises: Isaac Newton was never a
LSDian, and I'm sure I can find a quote from Richard Dawkins, an prof at Oxford
no less, about saltationism which proves the transportation and deposition
Posted by: Steinsky at April 18, 2004 03:57 PM
Thanks, Pim. Now I've gotta spend the rest of the evening listening to
"A beach is a place where a man can feel
He's the only soul in the world
Posted by: Art at
April 18, 2004 04:06 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Yes there are many interesting directions in which
to take this. As a scientist I intend to explore as many as I can. I think in
the end we may come to a conclusion not too surprisingly namely that our need of
faith for purpose/design need not be at conflict with science.
But one can
take the argument in various directions that show how one may be using ‘self
selection' or cherry picking to obtain the conclusion one wants.
Posted by: Pim van
Meurs at April 18, 2004 04:57 PM
Moreover, geographers have found no credible transitional forms between
beaches and other localities - it is impossible to conceive of an intermediate
state between the beach and the ocean.
Posted by: Sean Foley at April 18, 2004
Following up on the critial insight made by Sean, and Steinsky (is that a
True Fightin' Fundy name? seems kinda' furin) beach qua beach is clearly
IC (iruduesidnessible complihood for those nonum igcognisintitites). For
there is no beach without water, sand, rocks, shells and other beachy stuff.
Posted by: Dr.GH at April 18, 2004 08:02
No one has ever seen a beach form!
WERE YOU THERE!
Posted by: Reed
A. Cartwright at April 18, 2004 08:04 PM
On the other hand, "nothing is planned by the sea and the sand".
Posted by: Art at
April 18, 2004 08:35 PM
What good is half a beach?
Posted by: Frank J
at April 19, 2004 03:09 AM
Once again this reminds me of Douglas Adam's analogy he often used in those
debates: a puddle of water admiring how well the depression in the ground, in
which it is situated, is well-suited to its existence. In fact, it fits so well
that it could only deduce that someone designed it for its enjoyment!
in This wonderful book.
Posted by: Matthew at April 19, 2004 03:36
Hold on. Are you sure this is a beach or merely something that appears
to be a beach? If it's the latter, you're all wet.
Posted by: DaveS
at April 19, 2004 05:24 AM
Naturalistic mechanisms provide no means for sand to appear from simple
molecules coming together by chance.
Weathering and erosion, supposedly the
mechanisms which provide the raw material for beaches, serve only to remove
beach material (as the National Trust for England, a notorious materialist
organisation admits, here
(near the bottom of the page)).
Sorry, I'm stealing your joke. Anyway, the nickname was inspired by the
Sugarhill Gang (who have a member named Steinsky) song that was on the radio
about 5 years ago when I needed an IRC nickname. It wasn't chosen for fundy
Posted by: Joe
Dunckley a.k.a Steinsky at April 19, 2004 11:06 AM
This morning I was calculatin' the distance from the tip of my nose to the
pillow when I had a bran storm. Returning to bed from that difficult momment or
two, I had a brain storm. I had discovered the newest ID high EF concept
"calculatin' thingy" the Sum of the Beach sums (SOBs).
I can promise no more false negatives cus' it only worked for positive
numbers (I got to get a new hand calculator at the bank to try
And as to that Steinway fellow, I knew he was furin, nad he even addmits
being in an English gang. Somebody call Asscroft, quick.
Posted by: Gary
Hurd at April 19, 2004 12:29 PM
Some additional thoughts:
The beach is composed of three main elements:
the sand, the hot sun, and the cold water. Each of these is held in equilibrium
by the other two. If you remove the cooling effect of the water, the heat will
turn the sand into glass. If you remove the warming effect of the sun, the cold,
water, and sand will combine to form a glacier. Removing the sand will result in
the negation of the cold water by the hot sun, leaving you with nothing.
Clearly, all of these elements must have originated at the same time, or the
beach could not have come into being.
Sean Foley at April 19, 2004
I can imagine nothing more perfect than a tropical beach with my
fiancee, some grub and a six-pack of beer. Something cannot be perfect if
it does not exist - it would only be the creation of an imperfect mind.
Therefore if I can imagine such a perfect beach then it must exist.
Posted by: Tom
Frank at April 19, 2004 04:36 PM
I think the beach is there so we can have this sublime conversation (logos)
about it. Every quintessence is a leverage point for realization, a teaching
only apparently waiting for comprehension, but in truth a hinge about the still
point, its almost inaudible squeak the rasp of the maker's pen on the canvass of
wind. The fact this is happening now is proof positive it was always already
Posted by: Alex at
April 19, 2004 07:58 PM
Originally posted at The Panda's Thumb.