Copyright © 2000, 2003 Robert G. Ferrell


It has come to my attention that some of my readers may be uncomfortable with the concept of a Supreme Deity. My instinctive reaction is to suggest talcum powder, but in the interests of parity I'll supply a couple of alternate configurations. If you're an atheist, substitute "NATURE" or "EVOLUTION" for "GOD." If you're an agnostic, try "WHOMEVER."

IMPORTANT-READ CAREFULLY: This End-User License Agreement ("EULA") is a legal agreement between you (either a single- or multi-celled terrestrial life form) and the manufacturer ("God") of the carbon-based biological entity ("ORGANISM") with which you acquired the operating system ("LIFE"). If LIFE is not accompanied by a carbon-based biological entity, you may not use or attempt to reproduce LIFE. LIFE includes biochemical processes, reactions to stimuli, reproductive capabilities, and energy transference; in more advanced models LIFE may also include self-awareness and knowledge of the system's eventual obsolescence. Documentation for LIFE is self-generating and may not be reproduced without permission from God. No warranty, express or implied, is provided concerning the accuracy of this documentation or its suitability for use. By participating in activities that contribute to the bioreproductive process, you agree to be bound by the terms of this EULA. If you do not agree to the terms of this EULA, God is unwilling to license LIFE to you. In that event you must cease making use of LIFE immediately, and promptly contact God for instructions on returning the unused components of LIFE for a refund.

LIFE is protected by planetary and universal natural laws, many of which have yet to be elucidated. LIFE is licensed to you, not granted without restriction.


This EULA grants you the following rights:

(a) Installation and use of LIFE.
You may install and use only one instance of LIFE per ORGANISM. LIFE must be installed and operated according to God's instructions, as set forth in prior documents (see "COMMANDMENTS," et al.).

(b) Storage/In Vitro Use.
LIFE may not be installed, dissected, reproduced, created, disrupted, imitated, or simulated by any ORGANISM whatsoever except as outlined below. Notwithstanding the foregoing and except as otherwise provided below, any number of ORGANISMS may make use of LIFE, if compatible.

If LIFE is desired in an ORGANISM manufactured using non-standard reproductive techniques ("IN VITRO"), all conditions and requirements applicable to ORGANISMS manufactured using standard ("IN VIVO") techniques apply equally to IN VITRO instantiations of LIFE. The components necessary for LIFE may be stored cryogenically, so long as their eventual use is wholly in accordance with the principles and practices set forth in this EULA.

(c) Back-up Copy.
God provides a back-up copy of the algorithms necessary for LIFE encoded in each fundamental component thereof ("CELL"). This copy is intended for use by the subsystems of LIFE itself and may not be reverse engineered, duplicated, or otherwise used except with the express permission of God. Storage of one or more of these back-up copies for archival purposes is permissible, so long as any use made of them is wholly in accordance with the terms of this EULA.


(a) If LIFE is installed in a self-aware ("SENTIENT") ORGANISM, the following additional restriction(s) apply. LIFE may not be reverse engineered for the purpose of installation and operation in any ORGANISM whatsoever, except under the terms of this EULA. Doing so voids any and all warranties, express or implied, incumbent upon God, and may result in civil and/or criminal penalties being assessed against the actor, up to and including Divine Retribution by God or one of God's designated agents (you don't want this, believe me). Since God is both omniscient and omnipotent, customary preliminary legal proceedings are unnecessary and will be waived in toto.

(b) ORGANISM Version Selection.
The genetic information necessary for operating LIFE is stored on templates residing in each CELL ("DNA"). DNA may contain instructions for expression of a large number of functional components ("GENES"), not all of which are necessary for proper operation of any given ORGANISM. You may install and express only those GENES intended for use by the ORGANISM in which LIFE resides.

(c) Language Selection.
LIFE will support any number of types of ORGANISM-to-ORGANISM communication ("LANGUAGE"). Acquisition and use of these LANGUAGES is the responsibility of the individual ORGANISM, however, and no guarantee of interoperability or mutual comprehension is offered by God. God does guarantee, however, that all communications between the LIFE user and the manufacturer will be monitored and acted upon as appropriate, without limitation based on choice of LANGUAGE.

(d) Limitations on Reverse Engineering, Decompilation and Disassembly. You may not reverse engineer, deconstruct, or disassemble LIFE, except and only to the extent that such activity is expressly permitted by God notwithstanding this limitation.

(e) Separation of Components.
LIFE is licensed as a single product. Its component parts may not be separated for use in more than one ORGANISM, except as detailed elsewhere in this EULA.

(f) Single ORGANISM.
LIFE is licensed with the ORGANISM as a single integrated product. LIFE may only be used with the ORGANISM as set forth in this EULA. Astral projection is a violation of this agreement, besides being downright silly.

(g) Rental. You may not rent, lease or lend LIFE to any other organism, although you may contract with God or God's agents for a new lease on your own LIFE at any time, subject to availability and your past performance as a LIFE user.

(h) Termination.
Without prejudice to any other rights, God may terminate this EULA if you fail to comply with the terms and conditions of this EULA or for any other reason, for that matter. In such event LIFE will cease to operate immediately.

(i) Trademarks.
This EULA does not grant you any rights in connection with any trademarks or service marks belonging to or commonly associated with God or any of God's agents. So enough with the fish-shaped automobile emblems already.

(j) Component Sharing.
The ORGANISM may contain multiple redundant components, any of which may be transferred to one or more other ORGANISMS in order to sustain or enhance the quality of LIFE. This transfer must be voluntary and in accordance with all applicable provisions of this EULA. An ORGANISM that ceases to make use of LIFE may permanently transfer any or all of its LIFE components to another ORGANISM without penalty. It is the responsibility of the ORGANISM to ensure that the uninstall, transfer, and reinstall are carried out properly, although both the ORGANISM performing the transfer and the ORGANISM receiving the transferred component(s) are entitled to contact God for technical support before and/or during the procedure.

There are no upgrades to the basic LIFE package currently authorized by God. Any addition, deletion, or modification of LIFE or any of its subsystems voids the limited warranty provided by God, and the ORGANISM bears the responsibility for all philosophical, sociological, biological, or psychological damage/injury sustained as a result of this action. Technical support will be limited to the components of LIFE supplied by God as part of the original package, although God or God's agents will, if requested by or on behalf of ORGANISM, make every reasonable effort to provide comfort and solace following said damage/injury.

4. SUPPORT. Technical support for LIFE is available toll-free at all times by contacting God or one of God's agents by whatever means is most expedient. All communications are monitored for the sake of quality control. All inquiries will be addressed as soon as possible, although the response to any given communication may not be immediately obvious to the ORGANISM. Questions regarding the proper means of contacting Technical Support or interpretation of the answers received thereof may be directed to any of God's technical representatives, conveniently located in houses of worship planetwide.

You agree that you will not export or re-export LIFE, as there is no place outside the territorial jurisdiction of the universe to which to export it (as far as you know). If you find one, you're looking too hard.