My contribution to theobiology.

Theology will never be a true science until it becomes more precise. For example, did you know that God has yet to be put in the binomial nomenclature used to classify species? That's right, we have everything from balaena mysticetus, the bowhead whale, to branta albifrons, the white-footed goose, but no God. While this may be acceptable to so-called "intelligent design" theorists who want to separate God from Creation, as good scientists who believe in evolution we need to put God on the evolutionary tree just like everyone else. Of course, we have no fossils or DNA evidence, which complicates the task, but as I shall show in this essay, we have something which, in this case, is equally useful - the Bible. While the Bible has generally been off-limits as a source of scientific since the mid-sixteenth century outside the state of Tennessee, I think we can accept, in this case at least, its expertise in the subject area.

For example, take the broadest and most important question in developing a divine taxonomic classification - what kingdom is God in? One possible answer would be that He is in Animalia - after all, He created Man in His own image, and Man is an animal. Further, God possesses the sort of advanced intelligence typically associated with the animal kingdom. However, the Bible clearly rejects this. In the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says: "If those who lead you say to you, 'look, the Kingdom of God is in the sky,' then the birds will get there first. If they say 'It is in the ocean,' then the fish will get there first." By this, Jesus seems to be implying that birds and fish are not in the Kingdom of God - thus, the Kingdom of God cannot be animalia. Since God cannot reasonably be considered a plant, a fungus, or a protist (and even suggesting Archaea is getting dangerously close to blasphemy) we must ascribe God to a completely new kingdom. In retrospect, this is not surprising, since God's evolutionary origin seems to be completely different than that of lower beings, and since He lacks hallmarks common to all kingdoms such as composition by cells.

If God is in a new kingdom, what other life-forms can be said to inhabit it? Are the angels a member of this kingdom? What about the souls of the blessed? The souls of the damned? Again, the Bible provides an answer. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus proclaims "Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the Kingdom of God." (Matthew 5:3) Since we know that the poor themselves, as members of Animalia, cannot be literally in the kingdom of God, Jesus must be referring to their souls, or their lot in the world to come. Thus, we know that the souls of the blessed are in this new kingdom. The angels, being more closely related to God than the blessed, can also be placed therein. And the souls of the damned? According to Jesus in Matthew 19:24, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Since we can suppose that the difficulty Jesus referred to in this metaphor was that of becoming blessed, he seems to mean that those who are not blessed will not enter into the kingdom of God; thus, the damned are part of a different kingdom entirely. Because the defining feature of the kingdom of God seems to be blessedness, we will give it the Latin name Benedictia.

The Bible is strangely silent on the subject of God's phylum. We have equally little information about His class. Thus, to determine these categories, we must work back from the first category we do have some knowledge of - the level of orders.

6th century theologian St. Dionysius the Areopagite developed the theory, based on St. Paul's allusion in Ephesians I, chapter 21, that there were nine angelic orders - the seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels. This classification is later supported by St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa. Further, these angelic orders are subdivided into a higher grouping - three angelic choirs, each with three orders in them. What St. Dionysius called choirs seem to be what we today would call classes, seeing as they are groupings of orders based on resemblance. If there are three different classes of angels, we can assume that angels themselves must be a phylum. Therefore, we know that God is differentiated from the angels, and thus also from the blessed souls, at the phylum level. Let us call His phylum Divinia, to emphasize that it contains only divine beings and not the other varieties of blessed life-forms.

At first glance this leaves us with very little for the class, order, family, genus, and species level to do, but in fact nothing could be further from the truth. It is still necessary to differentiate God from all of the other gods in the phylum Divinia, including pagan gods, primitive tribal gods, and even His closest living relative, Allah.

Here we must turn from the Bible and head into modern theology, in which the term "Abrahamic family of religions" is used to describe Christianity, Islam, and Judaism (for example, religious scholar Huston Smith begins an essay with "Of all the non-Western religions, Islam stands closest to the West-closest geographically, and also closest ideologically; for religiously it stands in the Abrahamic family of religions"). Thus, we can ascribe the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim gods to the family Abrahamia, leaving us with class and order to get from all gods to those three species. God's order would then be Divinia again, in order to class Him as a true God rather than just a minor tribal spirit (rather in the same way humans are homo sapiens sapiens, to class us as true humans rather than mere hominids) and His class would be Monotheistica, excluding the class of pagan gods (who then divide into the families of Nordica, Graecia, Hindustania, et cetera. We can confirm that we are correct at this point by noting that the gods of a particular pagan religion were always referred to as families, cf. this site on The Olympian Family)

At the genus level, we come to subdivide particular religions. Thus, the family Abrahamia contains genera islamia, christiania, and judaica. We could expect each of these genera to contain a single species, deus.

It should be noted at this point that some Christian theobiologists would prefer to separate out christiania deus into three separate species, christiania pater, christiania filius, and christiania spiritussancti. However, this has been denounced by mainstream scholars as a version of the Arian Heresy, and the official scientific consensus as formulated at the Council of Nicaea is that pater, filius, and spiritussancti are merely local subspecies of christiania deus.

It should be noted by conservationists that all species in the order Monotheistica are critically endangered, with only one known specimen and zero surviving females. Theobiologists were briefly encouraged by the preliminary success of a program to clone the last surviving specimen of christiania deus and implant the embryo into a human surrogate mother, but the offspring was killed shortly after release into the wild. After this disaster and the strong feelings it engendered, further research in this field has been postponed indefinitely.