Humble Rants 29 February 2012

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 in Opinion

Humble Rants 29 February 2012

by Robert Skoglund aka The humble Farmer

One of the more interesting chapters in Glyn Daniel’s Archaeology is Champollion’s account of deciphering the Rosetta Stone. The book also contains a few pages by Schliemann on excavating Troy.

Perhaps the first terms a child learns when studying archaeology are Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age. Although the nomenclature lingers on, Daniels mentions that the fairly recent ability to affix dates by carbon dating have rendered these terms obsolete.  He also points out that while Egypt might have been well into the Bronze Age, their neighbors in Northern Europe were still clubbing each other with stone axes. That the rate of social/scientific advance differs from continent to continent was even more recently articulated by Jared Diamond in his short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years.

It has not escaped our attention that even today the acceptance of science differs even within the narrow parameters of a small Maine village. For while 49 percent of the population might have consciously moved on to what one might call a Post Darwin Age, 51 percent might cling tenaciously to the mores that developed eons before during centuries of nomad living while raising sheep, or, even later, while dancing in loincloths to bring rain to parched crops.

You may well ask how these two present-day cultures, each on its own level of social development can exist --- not just side by side, but inextricably intertwined like the white and gray yarn in an Icelandic sweater. In every city and town these two groups --- these two cultures, if you will --- are found on their respective rungs on the ladder of intellectual development. One has repudiated or has chosen to ignore certain scientific advances over the past 150 years. The other one is as proud of its grasp of science as the other is proud of its ignorance.

The truth of the matter is that the two groups coexist very well --- until it is time for an election.

The humble Farmer can be heard Saturdays at 5 on WERU Blue Hill,  Sundays at 7 on WRFR in Rockland and Tuesdays at 2 on WMPG Portland.

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