Molluscs are Marvellous! — as regular readers of “Squid-a-Day” will know.

The recent presentation there of Celebrate Squid Babies brought to mind the following, from Darwin’s notebooks:

How far grander than idea from cramped imagination … that since the time of the Silurian, he has made a long succession of vile Molluscous animals — How beneath the dignity of him,  …. whom it has been declared "he said let there be light&there was light."

That has prompted some theological thoughts, but first a zoological one.

It was quite natural in the 19th century to regard molluscs as ‘vile’.  Then, most people’s acquaintance with that phylum was limited to the fishmonger’s slab (none of us would look that good as items for sale in a butcher’s) or to destructive garden gastropods.  These days, with television and intrepid cameramen, we can see how beautiful sea slugs are among the coral reefs, not to mention the colour carnival of the cephalopods.  Or one can simply take a visit to a nearby sea life centre.  So, we can better appreciate the molluscs.

However, the theology is completely topsy-turvy.  The Incarnation was all about God setting aside his dignity.  As a meditation in a book I was reading put it:

God becoming man is worse than man becoming a slug.

An “orange slug” (species?)  from Wikimedia.