The Family Circus cartoon on Thursday showed two little children on the beach watching the tide go out. And the young girl, perhaps five years old, said to her younger brother, "God lets a little water out every day so we can play on the beach."
I suppose that typifies the saccharine cuteness the cartoon endeavours to achieve. And it may even reflect the thought processes of a god-believing five-year old explaining something she does not understand. But I doubt that many adults think that God controls the tides by letting some water out of the ocean. Even those that don't understand how the moon affects large bodies of water, and who are not clear on where the water goes when the tide goes out, generally recognize it as a natural process not requiring God's personal intervention.
What the cartoon illustrates for me is the ease in which lack of understanding turns into crediting a deity for the deed.
It is understandable in a five-year old.
But why do adults still do the same thing, even for questions to which science has provided the answers? Creationism and Intelligent Design are no more than that little girl standing on the beach explaining the tide by saying that God lets the water out.