Listened again to Lindsay MacHarrie’s dramatization of the Cardiff Giant story.
In 1869 George Hull, a skeptic with plenty of money, was arguing with a pastor about the Giants mentioned in the Bible. Hull hired a sculptor to make a huge gypsum man, carefully aged it, and buried it on his brother-in-law’s farm. Hull got a rumor going, and pretty soon there was a “spontaneous” campaign to dig up and examine the petrified man.
Scientists and pastors divided. The scientists insisted it was an old stone idol used by primitives as a religious symbol. The pastors insisted it proved the part about Giants in the Bible.
Hull and his relative made $150k (about $4 million now) from charging admission.
The science experts said “Don’t trust religion!” The religious experts said “Don’t trust science!” They were both right.
Ultimately a local geologist chipped off a little piece of the giant, examined it closely, and realized it was made of ‘foreign’ gypsum, not ‘native’ Onondaga limestone. Hull finally spilled the beans.
We should always be asking questions about ACTIONS, not BELIEFS. Who made the entity, or who brought the entity to our attention and told us what to believe about it? Who designed the publicity around the entity?
We shouldn’t waste time arguing about the official belief or the official counter-belief. Both are wrong, because both sets of Experts know it’s a hoax. Instead we should just examine reality with our own senses and tools. Chip off a piece and look at it.
Carver as always: (aptronym in this case!)
LOOK ABOUT YOU.
TAKE HOLD OF THE THINGS THAT ARE HERE.
TALK TO THEM.
LET THEM TALK TO YOU.