Preconceived Notions

Sometimes people refuse to accept an explanation, no matter how logical or factual it may be, just because it does not jive with their experiences. In religious matters, this can be very serious because it closes off the person to a new Truth that might really benefit them.

A classic example of demanding one's local experience be the only standard by which a judgment is made appeared in Alaska, November, 1993, page 8:

Pete Bockman, a Denali tour bus driver for the Kantishna Roadhouse, witnessed the following a few summers ago:

Bockman's passengers were casually filing back onto the bus after a break at the Teklanika rest stop when a woman approached him, delicately piercing an object between her thumb and forefinger.

        "What is this?" she asked.
        "That's a moose nugget," Bockman replied.  "You
        know, moose dung."
        "No! No! No!" she said. "It's some kind of nut. Look
        at it!"
        "No," he said patiently, "that's a moose nugget. There
        are no nut trees here, and why would they be in a pile on the
        side of the road?"

        Bockman had fielded this question before and found his
        "no nut tree" response extremely reliable. But, to his
        surprise, the woman persisted.

        "No! Look at it!" she said, handing him the nugget. "It
        looks like a nut."
        Obligingly, he took the dropping, looked at it and
        handed it back. "Nope, that's definitely a moose nugget," he
        "Well, I still think it's some kind of nut," she replied,
        while bringing the brown morsel to her lips. . CHOMP!
        Then she just kinda screwed up her face, Bockman
        reports, and went and sat down. Her fellow passengers
        rolled with laughter, and she was quiet the rest of the trip.
        Some nuts are tough to crack.
I am convinced a lot of the creation/evolution controversy from both sides is rooted in the same attitude. A nut is a nut is not always a nut. Denying evidence does not make it go away.
Back to Contents November/December 1995