In praise of magical thinking


I’m with Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Rick Nicholls.

He says he doesn’t believe in evolution though, he allows, this doesn’t mean he speaks for everyone in his Tory caucus.

His is just the private view of a pubic official charged with the best interests – educational, or otherwise – of those who elected him.

Hey, no biggie, right?

In fact, truth be told, I’m not so sure about all this global warming folderol. I mean, have you looked out your back door recently? Those aren’t palm fronds nestled up against your garden trellises. For one thing, their round and white. (How’s that for  empirical observation in action)?

Then, there’s the whole gravity thing.

Back in the 17th century, some English guy with obviously way too much time on his hands stated that he “deduced that the forces which keep the planets in their orbs must (be) reciprocally as the squares of their distances from the centers about which they revolve: and thereby compared the force requisite to keep the Moon in her Orb with the force of gravity at the surface of the Earth; and found them answer pretty nearly.”

On Earth, the eggheads say, gravity can be expressed as an equation, thusly: g = 9.80665 meters per second (squared).

But, as I don’t know what the devil (who is a real dude, don’t you know) this actually means, I can’t really get behind any of it.

As I’m fond of saying: “I know what I like; and I like what I know.” That, dear reader, is good enough for me, and it should be good enough for you.

Here, then, are some things I do like:

The Flat Earth Society, the Book of Revelations, Nostradamus, numerology, palmistry, paranormal research, transubstantiation, and movies about the Apocalypse (you know, the documentaries).

I also like Julie Andrews singing “a few of my favorite things”, the late Isaac Asimov writing about the secret, space-faring history of the human race in the far distant future, Scientology, sidewalk magicians who can somehow levitate at will, and unicorns (before they went extinct on the ninth day after Creation, which was, I believe, a Tuesday – never an auspicious time in anyone’s week).

And, lest I forget, there is always AC/DC (though I am perturbed by their claim that something called E-L-E-C-T-R-I-C-I-T-Y is what makes them sound so loud).

I used to hate snow. But that changed not long ago when Old Man Winter appeared to me in a dream and made a few promises I have not yet forgotten.

“Hey, fella,” he said, tripping over his cascading, white beard, “I’ll make you a deal: If you shovel out your driveway and sidewalks regularly, I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that the depth of the white stuff I belch from my maw won’t be nearly as deep as it will be on the driveways and sidewalks of your neighbours.”

In my stupor, I mumbled, “Honestly?”

Of course, he explained, that’s how these things work in a simple, straightforward universe where science is, after all, just a matter of opinion. In fact, I believe his exact words were: “Buddy, paisano, you can take it to the bank.”
So, that’s what I’ve been doing – one might say, religiously – since the middle of November: shoveling, re-shoveling, re-shoveling again sometimes for hours a day.

And do you know what? He was right.

My pavement is clearer, less encumbered, more passable than it would otherwise be had I ignored the advice of my friendly, household deity.

How’s that for evolution?

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