Sunday, November 13, 2005

Man Sees Intelligent Design In Family Tree

A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]
Harry Draper's parents always told him they met by accident.

"My mother was a ticket-taker at a movie theater," the Pittsburgh architect says. "My dad was from out-of-town, came in because a meeting was cancelled and it was raining. Pure luck, they told me."

But now, Draper isn't so sure. Since becoming interested in genealogy, he has come to recognize the movement of an invisible hand in his family's history.

"All the couples seem to have been brought together at a certain time and place for no apparent reason, and this always led to marriage. Every time. And I haven't found a single case where two of my direct ancestors married and didn't have children. What are the chances?"

Pretty slim, Draper concluded. This led him to the conclusion that a mysterious force has governed his family's development for centuries.

"Something brought all of my ancestors to this country, caused them to meet and marry and have children." Draper points to a large family-tree chart on the wall, with his name written in the center. "All with the purpose of bringing me into existence."

What is the nature of this invisible force? Draper declines to speculate.

"I don't want to say its God," he advises, "but you can if you'd like."


You know, even though this looks at it in a humorous way, you still can't help but be dazzled when you start researching your family tree and see all the "what ifs" that could have erased you from the future. My great-great-grandmother, for instance, was engaged to another man, but called it off. If she'd married him, a whole slew of her descendents wouldn't exist, but all these other people who don't exist now, would. It can really hurt your head to think about.


In case of parallel-universe-induced headache, take two aspirin, relax, and avoid watching the Back to the Future movies.

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