Friday, 21 September 2007

That's just the way things are."

Really the solid-sphere-fixed-size model of the Earth has more to do with the "it just is" factor than reasoning. We "know" that the Earth is a solid sphere of fixed volume because that's what our teachers told us at school. We have little or no means to test this theory personally seeing as NASA and the scientific and astronomical authorities control all the data from space, the USGS and similar organizations control all the geological data. The polar regions are uninhabited and have a very hostile climate; together with the tight military control it's impossible to know if there are holes at the poles or not. Through this process theory magically becomes fact.

It reminds me of the scene in the movie "Babe" where the little pig asks his sheep dog step-mother, Fly "Why aren't pigs allowed in the house, Mum?" and Fly replies: "That's just the way things are." Of course when Fly was a puppy she asked her own mother the same question and got the same answer. Analyse what that means: Values and paradigms are upheld groundlessly from generation to generation because they go unquestioned. Children are discouraged from challenging them and when they grow up they reprimand their own kids for challenging them. So let's do away with these imprisoning phrases: "It just is" and "that's just the way things are." Let's pretend we're all children and all accepted values are open to scrutiny. How many of them exist for a good reason and how many are there just out of habit and dogma?

The SSFS model of the Earth is just one example. If you can think of any more post them as a comment. I can name one already: "Being a hospital porter is not as good as being a nurse or doctor".

1 comment:

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