Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Interactive Blogging II

A note to my readers: This blog entry has nothing to do with cycling. I do not foresee this blog wandering off of the bicycle road (As it were) on a regular basis. We will return to regular programming momentarily.

Where this conversation stands now. Feel free to jump in!

I started it out this way:

I took a walk the other day with my dog, Shawlee, and I came across this unusual sight. In fact, I had walked away from it when I began to wonder about it.

So I turned back and took a few pictures of it.

How did this happen? We had many hunters in the area while dove season was open, and we will have more again for duck season. Perhaps the ejected shotgun shell fell in such a way as to land on the tip of the branch, unnoticed by the distracted hunter. Pure chance.

Could this plant have grown from a sprout with this shotgun shell atop it, raising it ever higher as the plant grew? Pure chance.

What do you, my beloved readers think? What is the most likely scenario what explains how this came to be? My favorite theories presented here, or something altogether different?

Rantwick: "I like your theories much better than mine. Somebody found that rusty casing on the ground and jammed it on the branch just for the heck of it."

"Not being a romantic like ChipSeal, my theory is a hunter set it on the branch, meaning to put the spent shell back in his pocket. Distracted, he walked away - and there it will remain until a strong wind blows it off.

Or perhaps it was left there as a sign to us, by the Little Lame Prince, that he's still well."

Big Oak: : "I like the theory of the little seedling growing and lifting the expelled shell - further evidence that human's influence on the landscape is only temporary. But alas, that would not be at all possible since the origin of growth for woody plants would not survive very long being covered up as it is.

Some kid put the shell on the branch. However, this is your blog, and you, and only you, have the right to say which reason is which!"

ChipSeal: "Isn't it interesting that your minds immediately turn to purposeful actions by a sentient being as to having caused this simple phenomenon?

But if we exclude the possibility of a purposeful act, what is the best explanation for this shotgun shell being on the end of a twig?

For such a simple thing, isn't chance a reasonable way to explain how this could have happened?"


  1. To Big Oak; I was re-posting the updated version of this blog when you commented. My reaction...

    You have provided good evidence as to why a plant wouldn't lift the shell into the air- a defeater argument. In this light, I agree that it is not a very good explanation as to how this could've come to be.

    I also agree that all of us can say nearly any fool thing we please, but some things we say better reflect how things really are, while other things don't!

    And extra points for you because you found a way to include "alas" in your reply! Well done!

  2. I think it proves the Theory of Evolution. The plant is obviously muting in accordance with "survival of the fitest" as it has decided to protect itself by producing strange fruit useful to hunters.

  3. Well, PM, it seems to me that any old story can be marshaled as "evidence" that proves Evolution!

    The simplest explanation that satisfies the observed phenomena is usually the best. (Ockham's razor)

    When we observe something as simple as this shotgun shell, it seems absurd to prefer any explanation beyond human intervention.

    Yet we have entire branches of "science" devoted to denying the simple and obvious evidences of design. They make complicated and tortured explanations of how pure chance could have produced the world we observe around us.

    This is a philosophical bias, religious in it's nature, that produces this. Rather than pursuing evidence where it leads, the evolutionist makes a prejudicial rule at the outset: Only materialist explanations will be allowed.

    Suppose there were a murder of a high profile citizen on the streets of a large city. The city's entire detective bureau is on the case.

    The chief of detectives gathers the squad together and says; "Boys, I want a through investigation of this crime. I want to leave no stone unturned. Catching this perp is our highest priority!"

    "Oh, and we will not pursue any suspect who is a Democratic. That is all."

    Would such a murder investigation that followed those instructions be likely to discover the true killer if the evidence pointed to someone who was Democratic?

    Pure chance has poor explanatory power for the complicated integrated systems commonly found in nature, let alone the curious state of this poor abandoned shotgun shell. This is especially so when you get into the engineering details. For example; How many changes would be necessary to to modify a 1957 Buick into a submarine in tiny sequential steps?

    But as unsatisfactory as it is, Evolutionary theory is the best answer that can be found within the limited scope of the permitted dogma.

    This then is one of my criticisms of the whole Evolutionary enterprise.

    It would seem, however, that this is not the forum for such notions based on the interest this blog has garnered. I fear that two of my regular readers have left for good. (Half my audience!)

    For those who have put up with this, I thank you for your indulgence! We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming.