Gary Meyer | Tuesday, 21 August 2018

When I was young and enthusiastic about becoming a scientist I was warned, sternly, to suspect and avoid the common error of assigning credibility to two observations simply made at the same time. Only repeated confirming observations and then the ability to accurately predict an outcome proves a correlation. Coincidences happen all the time and only fools or charlatans assign them significance.

On the other hand, take for example an eclipse. The syzygy (lining up) of the sun, earth, and moon happens occasionally, and at first, was likely thought to be simple coincidence. (Well, after our ancestors probably shit themselves and assigned it as a sign of doom or wrath of the gods, etc.) The fact that an eclipse can be accurately predicted well into the past or future proves it is not simply a random coincidence.

(Please, if anyone out there reading this is an actual astronomer or professional scientist be sure that I am aware that I am talking out of my ass. I am but an amateur in these regards, as I am sure some probably realize. But, I am also just an amateur fly caster and fly fisher, and since no one has asked me to shut up yet on those subjects either, I will continue!)


It saddens me to read, here on SL and in other news outlets, about the heat wave over across the pond and the effect it is having on cold water fish. Over here in the US, our west coast is plagued by record-breaking fires. In both cases, the environment is suffering, and later down the line the folks that love those environs, or depend upon them for a living, are going to suffer too.


Locally, here in Florida, we have our own set of problems. If you would like to read a rather lengthy but factual scientific article (in layman’s terms) about the state of the Everglades, try this link:


Is it a coincidence that things like this are happening all around the world, or is it a case where predictions are being borne out?


What was definitely a coincidence is the fact that, as I was reading the above article, and thinking globally, I was also listening to some favorite music from my past. The lyrics of the song, which before I only thought of as poetic,  chilled me probably as much as an unexpected eclipse had on our ancestors:


"Confusion will be my epitaph
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back
And laugh
But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying,
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying


Between the iron gates of fate,
The seeds of time were sown,
And watered by the deeds of those
Who know and who are known;
Knowledge is a deadly friend
If no one sets the rules
The fate of all mankind I see
Is in the hands of fools"


Lyrics from Epitaph, by King Crimson