Archive for June, 2007
A wild unfinished Yosemite… no ice work … surpasses this.
– John Muir, who explored the Pacific Northwest in the late 19th century
When you’re looking that far out, you’re giving people their place in the universe.
– Storey Musgrave
Ironically, that evening at ASQ’s annual banquet I was making small talk with an aerospace engineer sitting next to me, when suddenly he asked me: “Do you believe in evolution?” Caught off guard, I made the mistake of admitting I do. That was the wrong answer! According to this fellow the Earth was created only 6,000 years ago, which differs astronomically from data supplied by the Hubble Space Telescope and other sources that lead to an estimate of 13.7 +/- 0.2 gyr (gigayears – an astronomical unit of time in billions). A display at the newly opened Creation Museum shows a T. Rex dinosaur looming over Adam and Eve – providing visual support for the Biblically-derived age of six millennium.
Opinion polls suggest that Americans are split 50/50 on one side of this issue of evolution. I do not care to debate it myself – it just interests me to see the passion of people like my dinner mate – a highly-educated technical professional. If you are a fan of history like myself, you will enjoy To the Edge of the World by Harry Thompson – a book on Darwin’s journey to South America that provides perspective on the opposing view of Creationism by his colleague Robert FitzRoy (1805–1865), who captained the Beagle on Charles Darwin’s famous trip around the globe. The first to use the term “weather forecast”, Fitzroy subsequently headed up the British Meteorological Office and developed an innovative network of storm warnings that undoubtedly saved the lives of many seafarers. If you are looking for good summer-time reading, pick up this book from your local library.