Re: [SACC-L] Re: crop circles and wallabies etc.
- No, I think Bob is onto something. The problem we see with the acceptance of, say, human evolution is that people do not understand the process and nature of scientific inquiry. So, they think that any argument about human origins is valid. It is, we can all agree, a little messier than pure logic, but it takes more than coming up with some apparently plausible explanation that you like better than any other.
It is not the stories per se, but the pattern that they represent in the culture of accepting as scientific certain explanations that are not. For example, people often confuse temporal sequencing with causation.
Me, I want to go to Australia and watch some wallabies get stoned. I wonder if they DO run in circles, or ovals, or rectangles, or figures-of-eight. I wonder it if is clockwise or counter-clockwise.
So much to learn.
Andrew J Petto, PhD
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
PO Box 413
Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.
"There is no word in the language that I revere more than teacher. None. My heart sings when a kid refers to me as his teacher and it always has."
-- Pat Conroy
The Prince of Tides
----- Original Message -----
From: "kent morris" <km52@...>
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 4:50:52 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Re: crop circles and wallabies etc.
get a life...
----- Original Message -----
From: "George Thomas" < broruprecht@... >
To: < email@example.com >
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 9:24 AM
Subject: [SACC-L] Re: crop circles and wallabies etc.
Ooh, yes, thanks. I'm trying to decide the best way to conflate
the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett (only a day or two
after Ed McMahon) on June 25th, which only a little over a century
earlier hosted Custer's Last Stand. Could there be a
connection? It'll either produce excited discussion or yawns.
Or innovative blather about aliens...
crop circles and wallabies
Posted by: "Bob Muckle" bmuckle@... canadianarchaeologist
Date: Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:36 pm ((PDT))
my archaeology and biological anthropoplogy courses I cover how
scientists evaluate competing hypotheses, including the notion that it
simply is not valid to accept one hypothesis by merely rejecting the
others, using crop circles as an example.
Whenever a news story about crop circles appears, it seem like the crop
experts always explain them (the crop circles) as being related to
aliens. When reading the story it invariably goes like...."We have
ruled out wind (hypothesis 1), a hoax (hypothesis 2), electro-magnetic
activity generated by the earth (hypothesis 3), and earthworms
(hypothesis 4). Therefore they were created by aliens." That is such
faulty logic, but it is also very common.
I was very pleased to
see another story on crop circles today. It comes out of Australia,
where Reuters reports the mystery of the crop circles, at least those
in poppy fields, as been solved. According to the story "stoned
wallabies are eating the poppy heads and hopping around in circles."
Accoding to the one "We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy
fields, getting high as a kite and going around in circles. Then they
crash. We see crop circles...from wallabies that are high.
animals have also been observed to "act weird", including deer and
sheep. One poppy producer reports that after the poppy harvest, they
(meaning the sheep) all walk around in circles.
I am adding this explanation to my discussions of bad science, and
my recently completed archaeological project, where we found some
evidence of late 19th and early 20th century opium use and an early
21st century marijauna growing operation at the same site, we also
found two dead squirrels nearby. I wonder if the drugs, dead squirrels,
and unusual features are related. Not really.
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