It’s amazing what people can get excited about. I get excited when the Atlanta Falcons play well enough that they don’t have to buy tickets to stay in the stadium. I get excited when I get on a bream bed. In Argentina, some folks got excited when they found the fossil of a snake-like creature that had legs. Obviously they don’t watch much football.

It has been commonly accepted through the years — not counting people who interpret the Bible literally — that snakes began as sea creatures.

This discovery has now separated the world of paleontology into two camps — those who believe snakes originated in the sea and came onto land and those who believe they were first land lubbers. And there’s probably a third group who think they originated in law schools and evolved into Congress where they lost their spines over time.

This newly discovered creature is named “Najash rionegrina.” I can’t pronounce it, but I’m guessing it means “snake that has legs.” Actually, we are told that the creature’s name comes from a Hebrew word for snake and the Rio Negro province of Argentina.

Olivier Rieppel, a fossil expert at the Field Museum in Chicago, said in an Associated Press story that this is the most primitive snake known to man. I once visited the Field Museum in Chicago, and I respect those people who can dig up a bunch of bones and reconstruct them into the infrastructure of a gigantic creature that once roamed the earth. I have trouble putting together a gas grill, so I stand truly amazed.

But what is going to happen when this news reaches the Southern Baptist Convention? There is no mention of the serpent in the Garden of Eden having legs. All artist renditions give us a slithering Satan that spoke to Eve who in turn convinced Adam that he should eat the forbidden fruit. That’s where we get the saying that “Eve ate the apple and Adam ate the core.” That saying, of course, is a figurative interpretation of Genesis. It could have been a persimmon tree.

I’m thinking some of my fellow Baptists at the convention are going to lamblast this finding as blasphemy.

This kind of finding does not interrupt my breakfast nor my Sunday afternoon nap.

However, there is something that concerns me just a bit. It seems that in South Florida, Burmese pythons are being found in the swamps and the Everglades. It is a theory that people who had them as pets turned them lose once they discovered that they could eat you while you slept.

Now South Florida already has some problem with poisonous frogs that were imported to eat insects in cane fields but now have become a nuisance of sorts — not to mention people who have moved there from New Jersey and have changed the landscape by wearing socks with sandals and plaid Bermuda shorts.

The question is, will these pythons (so big they can capture and eat a small deer) migrate northward? Keep in mind that there was a time when we did not have fire ants in South Georgia.

But then I know a few bubbas who would relish the chance of having something else to hunt down and shoot. I can envision a pickup truck coming through downtown with a 25-foot python strapped to the hood with its tail dangling over the back bumper, partially obscuring that sticker that says “Kill them all and let God sort them out.”

Which brings me back to the Southern Baptist Convention. It could be that the brethren will surprise us and accept this finding as fact and note that since Satan had two legs, then it stands to reason that the first snake would have had the options of slithering or walking. The twain shall have met in Argentina — a land not even mentioned in the Bible.



Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. E-mail: dwain.walden@gaflnews.com.

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