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Desert Diary


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There remains a great divide between science and some non-science. Most people, of course, are in between, but nevertheless have a large stake in the situation. The problem, we're often told, is different worldviews—so different as to be basically incompatible. Stripped of excess verbiage, it pretty much comes down to science trying to explain the material universe with that universe having the final word. If the observed universe doesn't fit the explanation, then the explanation is discarded. The other group defers to authority, and if the universe doesn't seem to agree with that authority, then the interpretation of the universe has to be wrong—the authority cannot be.

Whether it's a group of Native Americans believing that they have lived on the land they currently occupy since the creation or the religiously inspired group that insists that the earth is no more than about 10,000 years old, the ample scientific evidence to the contrary will not dislodge their absolute certainty. Neither group can, nor in the foreseeable future will, accept the criteria of the other. Woe be we.
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Listen to the Audio (mp3 format) as recorded by KTEP, Public Radio for the Southwest. rule

Contributor: Arthur H. Harris, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.