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Re: [SACC-L] Re: crop circles and wallabies etc.

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  • Andrew J Petto
    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
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 27, 2009
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      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.

      Anj

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      Department of Biological Sciences
      University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "kent morris" <km52@...>
      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      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: < sacc-l@yahoogroups.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...

      G

      crop circles and wallabies

      Posted by: "Bob Muckle" bmuckle@... canadianarchaeologist

      Date: Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:36 pm ((PDT))

      In
      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
      circle
      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.

      Other
      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
      interesting archaeology.

      In
      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.

      Bob

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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