Saturday, 29 September 2012

Something's Missing

A cursory glance and all one sees is an attractive middle-aged woman in a bikini enjoying a swim. One might not even notice it without the indelicacy of looking more closely at her body but this woman has no belly button! Her name is Patricia Heaton and from what I can gather from the internet, she has had a 'tummy-tuck'. Although why she would want one that removes her belly-button I don't know. After all, it rather draws attention to the fact that she has had some sort of surgical procedure - they don't disappear spontaneously. So its absence is sure to set people talking. Then again, perhaps that's what people in show business want. Many have done more extreme things to their bodies precisely for that purpose.

However, it gets me thinking of something quite different: Eve. Did Eve - from the Garden of Eden story - have a belly button? She was not born but created from Adam's rib. Neither she nor Adam were born in the usual way - neither grew in utero and so neither were connected to a placenta via an umbilical cord. Therefore, no belly button.

This may seem a rather trivial point to raise but it has been a contentious topic in the creation debate. It has even given rise to something called the omphalos hypothesis. (Omphalos being Greek for 'belly button'.) If Adam and Eve had belly buttons then they had to be created with them. If created with them then they were created with a false history. However, that would, in effect, make God a deceiver. That is simply not on as that goes against at least one of the basic qualities of being God: being truthful. Apparently, there are creationists that believe that Adam and Eve had no belly buttons and that the trees in the Garden of Eden had no growth rings! These people hold to a doctrine called omphalism which holds that the universe was created with apparent history.

And yet the belly button is such an insignificant thing - until that is, it isn't there.