I live in the American midwest. I can go into my backyard and see on the surface the world as it is now; fenced and flattened, seeded with short grasses, surrounded by paved roads and houses. But it takes only a little effort to observe the past.Read more here and be amazed at PZ's breathtaking work.
In ditches and pioneer cemeteries and dry unplowable ridges, traces of an older world, the prairie, still persist. I can find clumps of tallgrass, scattered forbs, rivers fringed with cattails, turtles like primeval tanks on the banks, frogs and salamanders lurking in tangled undergrowth, fragmented bits of the pre-European settlement. I can see relics of a changing human presence; there are places where flint arrowheads turn up regularly, and to the south are the native pipestone quarries. I can walk along the increasingly neglected railroads, and trace how they contributed to our presence here; small towns sprinkled along the railroad right-of-way, acting as central depots for tributaries of wagons on dirt roads, hauling corn to the granaries. It’s all here if you just look; it’s not a story told by fiat, poured into books that we accept as gospel. That history lies in scars in the land, observable, testable, falsifiable.
Friday, January 25, 2013
A beautiful form of science and historical observation by PZ Meyers
PZ Meyers of Pharyngula came out with a wonderful post which describes how the past leads to the present and the present leads to the past, which is a whole lot better realistic form of science and history than making up fairy tale stories and claiming them to be true events, in direct response to Ken
Dumb Idiot Ham's attacks on Zack Kopplin while rambling about what he thinks science should be all about. In all his rants, propaganda, and literature, whether it comes from Stupid Dinosaurs of Eden or The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved, Ham claims there are 2 forms of science: historical and observational. According to PZ, however, unlike Ham's pseudoscience which is made up of only ignorance and make-believe stories falsely paraded as "true eyewitness accounts", science and history as we know it is both historical and observational. To confirm it to be so, get load of what PZ wrote in his post.