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Re: Belief systems; was CD-ROM

When I was an electrician, serving in the United States Navy, aboard the
USS Tidewater (AD-31), another sailor engaged me in converstion.  He was of
the Southern Baptist persuasion and his thesis was that man had not
ascended or descended from the ape.

As I had recently read a very interesting article in a scientific journal,
I tended to agree with him.

He took this very well, and went on at some length about his conviction until
I was, finally, able to get a word in edge-wise.

I explained to him that according to the article, based upon exhaustive
embryo studies, it was clear that mankind was more closely related to the
pig than to the ape.

That was the first (and, to date only time) that I have ever seen a person
actually foam at the mouth.  It was an interesting experience for me; I
cannot speak for him.

In a very small and minor way, this current discussion about CD-ROM
technology reminds me of that afternoon.

Mr. Fletcher is convinced of his stance, and I would be the last one to
call that stance into question.  It is not my place, because I do not have
the requisite expertise.

But I do have time-in-grade in the business of restoring the accumulated
knowledge of days-gone-by, as do many of the readers of this listserv.

Our collective experience stands against his assertions.

Copernicus once stood against the accumulated wisdom of his day.

In the 20th century a Pope of the Holy Roman Catholic Church conceded that
Copernicus was right, and that the earth did, in fact, revolve around the

My point in all this, and I hope that Mr. Fletcher will agree, is that we
may not know what we think we know.  And we will not live to know the

We do not have sufficient data to ask the right questions; we simply do the
best we can with the intelligence granted us at any particular time.

With all due respect,


Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217

503/735-3942  (voice/fax)


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