Friday, June 6, 2014


"To an anthropologist, the social reception of invention reminds one of the manner in which a strange young male is first repulsed, then tolerated, upon the fringes of a group of howler monkeys he wishes to join.  Finally, since the memories of the animals are short, he becomes familiar, is accepted, and fades into the mass.  In a similar way, discoveries made by Darwin and Wallace were at first castigated and then by degrees absorbed.  In the process both men experienced forms of loneliness and isolation, not simply as a necessity for discovery but as a penalty for having dared to redraw the map of our outer, rather than inner, cosmos."

-- Loren Eiseley --
from The Night Country

Perhaps among the majority of scientists and perhaps the general population, this might be true, but there still are groups of howler monkeys out there who haven't accepted evolution, even after some 150+ years of evidence.  Other groups, and there is considerable overlap here, still deny the existence of global warming, again in spite of overwhelming evidence.  Other groups, again with considerable overlap, still believe the world is only 6000 years old, having been created in 4004 B. C. 

I wonder how many members of these groups also belong to the Flat Earth Society.   Yes, they still exist and here's their web site:


  1. You know, beliefs and empirical evidence make strange bedfellows, but every now and then the marriage works. In other words -- what I am saying is this -- I am always wary of either embracing a belief or criticizing someone's belief, and empirical evidence either for or against may or may not undo my wariness. How is that for being a sufficiently vague waffler (i.e., open-minded) on all things great and small?

  2. Chuckle....yes, it's sufficiently vague.

    Wafflers, though, are not those who are open-minded, or so I think. Wafflers are those who change their minds when they receive sufficient evidence to cause them to reverse an earlier decision. It's usually a term used by Republicans (in the past decade anyway) against others who change their mind from positions sanctioned by Republicans to ones held by godless, unpatriotic Americans.

    I also try to be open-minded but sometimes I wonder about my "open-mindedness" and have to ask myself the following-- when does open-mindedness become obstinacy or a simple refusal to accept overwhelming evidence on one side?

    (no virus)

    1. No surprise. Creationists will say anything to justify their delusions.