Thursday, 18 October 2012

Venn diagrams are fun

It occurs to me that the same people who enjoy fundamentalist bible stories cannot be the same people who enjoy detective fiction. Or at least, if you drew a Venn diagram of the two sets, those in the intersecting portion would constitute a small number, say, less than seven.

Example A (biblical story): the Earth was created. By who? By god. The end.

Example B (detective fiction): The detective walked slowly around the parlour, taking every one of its occupants in with a broad, sweeping stare. Many of the people gathered felt it hard to return the stare, and turned their gaze elsewhere; some to the lush persian rug, others to the ornate sculptures atop the mantel. But one man returned the detective's gaze levelly. The detective stopped before this man, and began to speak, outlining the events of the previous nights, and how he had accumulated evidence before finally deducing that the killer was the mad old widower from the town bakery!

Interruption by Example C (mix of the above two): The detective walked slowly around the parlour, taking every one of its occupants in with a broad, sweeping stare. Many of the people gathered felt it hard to return the stare, and turned their gaze elsewhere; some to the lush persian rug, others to the ornate sculptures atop the mantel. But one man returned the detective's gaze levelly. The detective stopped before this man, and began to speak, outlining the events of the previous nights, and how he had accumulated evidence before finally deducing that the lord works in mysterious ways and we really shouldn't question it or try and seek explanations, because that is the surest way to damnation. Beside him, Watson sighed and put his head in his hands. Nobody ever found out who the killer was, and they were content with that (except for Watson, who decided he needed to seek out better detective company; a move which, incidentally, turned out rather well for him in the end). The end.

I'll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions about which are the better stories, but imagine if there were true stories about nature and atoms and the beginning of the universe. That would be great, wouldn't it? I can't imagine anyone would ever be satisfied with an Example A ending to those stories. Can you?

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