An Evolution Choice

Welcome to Aquarius, Volume 8 (August 16, 2007), Squaring the Circle Exactly.

Link to: (Welcome) or (Geometry Alpha Index) .

Short Story: Alien Science: choose A or B (1 page)

This is a very short story about two ancient scientists hiking in the forest and talking about the nature of the world. They each make a statement about a berry tree and you are invited to decide which of the two has made the most scientific statement.

Two native American friends, young men, Riding Bear and Flying Deer are walking in the forest together, exploring the boundaries of the territories they know as their home and hunting grounds. They are Mohicans and live on the edge of the Adirondack Mountains in a clan that thrived in the Great North American Forest hundreds of years before the time of Christ, and Caesar. Riding Bear got his name because on the night that he was born his father had a dream that he was riding a bear. Flying Deer got his name because his mother gave birth to him shortly after she was startled by a deer running in the woods who took a great leap over a fallen tree and appeared to be flying through the air.

The two young men are deeply impressed by the extent of the forest. It appears to be infinite. When they climb to a rocky ledge for a view they always see carpets of green trees as far as their sharp eyes can see. They call it "The Infinite Forest," and they say to one another that their home is a sacred home in the Infinite Forest. These two young men have never before seen a mulberry tree. But, during this particular hike, they come to a clearing in a sheltered valley and they find a mulberry tree laden with sweet black berries. They begin to eat them and enjoy them greatly and Riding Bear says: (Statement A)

"These berries are delicious. We should hike frequently in the forest to look for other trees with such berries. I am sure we will find another, and then another, because my father told me the name of the oak tree, and then I saw many oak trees. And my mother told me the name of the pine tree and then I saw many pine trees. And my cousin told me the name of the beech tree and then I found many beech trees. And the forest is so great that our eyes cannot see beyond it, therefore there must be more trees like this berry tree."

Then Flying Deer says: (Statement B)

"You are a dreamer and you want whatever is good to be even better. These berries surely are sweet and delicious, but because they are so sweet and delicious I am certain that there is no other tree like this tree in the entire Infinite Forest. You may imagine that we could find another tree like this one, and because I am your friend I will always travel with you in the forest when you wish, but I am certain that this is the only tree of its kind that we will ever find."

Now, you choose which statement, A or B, is the most scientific statement.

Also, ask a similar question about life in the "Infinite Forest" of the universe. We see billions of galaxies. The stars appear to go on forever and we cannot see beyond them. Is there only one planet like Earth, where life thrives and there are thousands of species of plants and animals, and we, technological animals, have evolved to the point where we are able to ask whether we are intelligent beings already or do we need to evolve further in order to achieve a meaningful standard of "intelligent being." Or, are you like Riding Bear? Do you believe that because there is one berry tree in the Infinite Forest there must be others?

Link to: (Welcome) or (Geometry Alpha Index) .