Photo: The Cherbourg Carcass in 1934 after something goes seriously wrong with its 40 million year nap.
By Anthony James
Copyright 2007 by Anthony James and s8int.com
1900: “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now, All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”Ã¢â¬Â¦ Kelvin“So many centuries after the Creation, it is unlikely that anyone could find hitherto unknown lands of any value.” – Spanish Royal Commission, rejecting Christopher Columbus’ proposal to sail west.
There is something in every generation and perhaps every culture that causes it to feel that the sum of its knowledge and scientific sophistication is such that it can see the end of scienceÃ¢â¬Â¦ that everything worth knowing is pretty much known. If we now know everything, then those before us knew nothing.Whatever else flows from this Ã¢â¬ÅhubrisÃ¢â¬Â, one consequence is that historical scientific data and observations will probably be discounted.
If some prior generation reported on phenomena, particularly that which doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t fit the current paradigm or mode of scientific thinking, such phenomena is easily discounted, even if dutifully reported by scientists and other learned men of that generation.
If we find hundreds of reports of men of giant stature found throughout parts of North, South and Central America, even in the scientific literature of the day, we might wonder why they couldnÃ¢â¬â¢t have taken more care with measurements.
And if we find that there were hundreds of reports of Ã¢â¬Åsea monsterÃ¢â¬Â sightings in the rivers, seas and oceans and washed upon beaches in bygone eras, be it printed in the popular press or in scientific journals, we marvel at their naivetÃÂ© and superstitious beliefs, no matter the number and character of the eyewitnesses.
Of course, they likely had it coming, haven taken the same condescending attitude towards the historical and eyewitness accounts of the generations that preceded them. How can we take seriously the accounts of such phenomena when we know that the scientists of bygone eras believed that vermin could spontaneously generate from old rags and filth?
Maybe because this generation of scientists believe that the entire universe spontaneously generated from…Ã¢â¬Â¦.nothing! How will future, presumably more enlightened generations evaluate our eyewitness accounts?
Notwithstanding the foregoing, a brief outline of certain articles of interest from the recent past follows. IÃ¢â¬â¢ll have to admit at the outset that clearly the testimony of people who wore such funny hats, dresses and pants, and bathed maybe once or twice a week, has to be discounted.