While reading this node, something that Oneiromancer said hit me, 'Lab students'.
Now I'm far from religious myself, but I still have an interest in the various religious texts and customs, ever since I noticed the many similarities between them.
One of those similarities that keeps coming back is that the live we lead on earth is a test, to test if we as humans are ready to go to heaven or wherever your religion's good guys end up, usually this is in the form of spiritual tests like the 10 commandments.
Now the 'lab students' triggered a memory of a type of test that was popular with several teachers and professors back when I was still learning and doing those tests myself.
In that test, a case is presented where something is missing or broken and your task is to fix it so it works perfectly. For example a piece of code with a command missing, so that it looks like it would work, but when you tried to run it, it wouldn't.
What if the God of your choice gave us a similar test?
"Here's your body, if you don't fix it, you'll die young, if you do eventually manage to fix it, you'll become godlike yourself. And if your done with your own body, there's also extra points to be made by fixing nature and that planet earth your standing on."
That 'heaven on earth' could become quite literal then, a planet like the garden of eden populated by plants, animals and humans that don't or rarely get sick, know little suffering and live in harmony with each other.
Judging by the current level of medical, biological and other technology, we're well on our way to graduating, if we can just make it before the global warming and pollution catches up with us.