Significance of Rivers

My earliest memory of a river is the one behind Bobby Rorey’s house. At the bottom of his large sloping backyard, a brown river rolled slowly through this suburban neighborhood. It was about a stone’s throw across (one of mine mind you) and I do not remember ever swimming in it, although I do remember wading through riffle areas–places where the river turned shallow and ripples danced lightly over buried stones. Along its banks we would play, following paths possibly made by deer, although we did not know that then, or more likely made by adventurous children following the meanders through the neighborhoods and surrounding farmlands. This river seems to be one that appears in my dreams at night at times, and to be honest I’m not sure if some of my memories are not in fact dreams of this place. I remember going down the river further than we had ever gone and watching a giant bull through a fence, but there is a dreamlike quality to the memory that brings into question if it is the memory of an event or the memory of a dream. Continue reading Significance of Rivers

In an act of shameless self promotion

I offer you Ronan’s review.

Explaining Fossils (reprise): Many worlds smashed together to make this one

Continuing my Summer break I offer this:

I keep hearing that fossils came from some other creations out there in the far reaches of space–that our Earth is a conglomerate of the remnants of these previous creations. My kids have actually heard this in seminary. Apparently the story goes something like this: God made lots of worlds though special acts of creation. Then to make this Earth he took all these other creations and put them together into this one. This story is nice because it explains why we have fossils millions of years old on a earth that is just a few thousand years old. It answers the age old question, “How do we get rid of Godless evolution.” So dinosaurs lived in these extra solar planets which furnished the material for this earth. The great thing about armchair speculation like this is that you don’t have to deal with any messy things like data and evidence. Continue reading Explaining Fossils (reprise): Many worlds smashed together to make this one

When Hobbits Walked the Earth—Science in Action.

JRR Tolkien described hobbits as short, large footed and about a meter high. It is almost like he’d seen one, because apparently they were real and living on the island of Flores in Indonesia. In 2003 archeologists discovered the bones of a hominid that stood about a meter high. It had large feet. They also lived in caves, or holes in the Earth. Not nasty, dirty, wet holes, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet dry, bare, sandy holes with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a Homo floresiensis-hole, and that means comfort. They lived from about 17,000 to 95,000 years ago. They hunted, used stone tools, made fire, but their brains were small, almost 1000 cm smaller than a human brain. Clearly, they overlapped in time with humans (anatomically modern humans show up about 200,000 years ago). And they might have even been humans, a debate still rages. Continue reading When Hobbits Walked the Earth—Science in Action.

Remembering also we are part of one world

In continuing my blasts from the past, this seemed appropriate to remember on the 4th of July.

This event occurred last year at a conference hosted at the UN in Vienna.

I just had dinner at a small heurigen deep in the Austrian countryside. There was a group of about twenty of . . . → Read More: Remembering also we are part of one world