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Science by Public domain

Science is a funny business, you start with a theory, and then you go out and try to prove it. If you succeed, you are declared a genius by your peers, and then you set off to discover yet another new theory. Problem is all the good stuff is all ready taken; an apple falls and hits you on the head. Nope, its already been done.

It is a challenging job that requires brains and dedication. First, you must come up with a plausible theory; then you must attempt to prove it true while other scientists work equally hard to prove it false. It's a daunting task, but it does serve to increase employment in the field.

The idea of climbing tall stairs night after night and staring into the tiny eye piece of a giant telescope waiting for a star to blink or wobble a fraction of a centimeter - I would be contemplating suicide after the first week. Yet some persevere for decades, looking for intelligent life i the cosmos. I have my own theory about intelligent extra terrestrial life; if they are hundreds or even thousands of years more technologically advanced and wise beyond our understanding. why would they want to have have anything to do with us?

I mean really, would you want to try and teach Neanderthals how to play Uno ? Ask yourself what's in it for them? A galactic good guy award? It is a human belief that some how our appearance on distant shores brought benevolence to the natives in the Caribbean. "I'm Christopher Colombo, and I've come from across the waters to teach you ignorant savages how to play Uno! Oh, and by the way, you're all Catholics now. This is father Daimon, and he will teach you to change your heathen ways. Got any gold?"

Somewhere in a galaxy far, far, away some poor alien dude is working the late shift at his galactic listening post, when he picks up strange earthly signals. "You're going to the moon, Alice!" or "oh, Rickey ! Waah !" Yeah, I imagine that would set off alarm bells, but after a careful listen these intelligent creatures would set up some sort of galactic alert with a cordon, (threat level yellow) and stay the hell away from us.

I recently read Steven Hawking's book The Theory of Everything . I was sadly disappointed because the book was mis-titled. It was filled only with quantitative physics and postulated theories of what would happen to you if you were to fall into a black hole. Nothing about, who are these people that stick gum under tables, or why is it the Chicago Cubs can't ever make it to the World Series. When you're as smart as Hawking, you can get away with junk like that; you want to try and argue with this guy?

Okay, so you're floating in your space suit; slowly being drawn into a black hole - any guesses from among the uneducated as to what's about to happen to you? Does it matter whether time speeds up or slows down? Does it matter whether the atoms that used to be your body end up in another dimension? I mean, it is all very important and all, that very smart people try and figure this out, but... what about the Cubs? Is it Wrigley Field or what?

Science sometimes loves the theoretical more than the practical. I've always wondered if those ancient cave paintings weren't done by ancient cave children whose mothers then scolded them. "Look what you've done! You've messed up a perfectly good cave wall! I'm not cleaning this up! You just wait until your father gets home! What will people think of us? That we're savages? You go to your room, young man, and no watching the fire for a week!"

Like I said, all the good stuff has been figured out. It's a fishing hole that's fished out! Nothing left but minnows and discoveries such as this,

WASHINGTON -- "A US study found that Neanderthals, prehistoric cousins of humans, ate grains and vegetables as well as meat, cooking them over fire in the same way homo sapiens did.

The new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) challenges a prevailing theory that Neanderthals' over reliance on meat contributed to their extinction around 30,000 years ago.

Researchers found grains from numerous plants, including a type of wild grass, as well as traces of roots and tubers, trapped in plaque buildup on fossilized Neanderthal teeth unearthed in northern Europe and Iraq."

Stop the presses! They ate grains and vegetables? Wow! Tell me more! How many ways are there to cook over an open fire? You know, life is a lot of trial and error. The first guy that jabbed a mastodon with a sharp stick in the nut sack served to educate everyone else. " Woah , did you see that?"

"Man, I'll never jab a mastodon there with a sharp stick!"

I imagine hungry Neanderthals wandered the plains and savannahs trying to eat most anything that didn't try to eat them first. They are, after all, our human cousins, I suppose, it's just as likely that the Neanderthals taught us to cook over an open fire. Homo Sapiens will eat most anything, especially if it's deep fat fried.

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In science, one starts with a theory, develops a w... by Nikk Katzman on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 5:10:53 AM
Trying to denigrate science, the piece is tongue i... by David Glenn Cox on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 7:12:06 AM
... by Nikk Katzman on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 11:50:00 AM
It is a problem of all or nothing. If you do not w... by Mike Preston on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 11:29:17 AM