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Apparently, if all the bones of all the creatures that have ever inhabited the Earth were preserved, the planet’s surface would be covered by a 3 km thick layer of animal remains.

Is this true?  …there’s no way to prove this because in reality, only a very small percentage of animal remains become fossilized, and these have a tendency, with the great passage of geologic time, to be recycled into newer rock formations in which all fossil evidence is lithified – metamorphosed – subducted – erupted out of existence.

It is estimated that only 25 – 30% of species are capable of being preserved in the fossil record at all: the other species are soft-bodied or have no preservable parts anyway. Sharks, for example, have teeth that enter the fossil record, but their “bones” are made of cartilage, and cartilage dissolves and is only rarely fossilized: aside from a few rare vertebrae, no skeletal pieces of Megalodon have been found so that we could estimate the precise size of the largest shark ever to have existed. It is estimated that of the nine phyla that include potential fossil-forming animals, of all that ever lived, in all of geologic time, 85 – 97% have never been fossilized at all. Fossils are, indeed, rare and finding them is never easy.

So, in the world of reality, perhaps it may be true to deduce that as ‘sound’ as deductive reasoning is, with only a small body of evidence to go on, it may not be all that ‘sound’ to assume too much with respect to the conclusiveness of our conclusions.

And speaking of deductive reasoning, maybe we need to ask just how much credibility or weight deductive reasoning really has?  Yes, without a doubt it’s about the best systematic idea we have at the moment, but as someone has already said, the one great weakness of a truly great idea is if it’s the only idea we have or hold on to.  To add to this problem there is the reality that even in human terms, from the evidence we have so far, our deductive reasoning is a fairly late arrival on the human scene. To make it even more concerning, if the full age of the earth as we know it to be (+/- 4,8 billion earth years) was represented in a full 24 hour day,  the arrival of humanity with our highly evolved and developed cognitive faculties happened at the very end of the very last minute of the very last hour of the same metaphorical 24 hour day.

Thank God for deductive reasoning – as some might say,  but reasonably speaking, can we really thank deductive reasoning for proving the existence or the non-existence of God?

Time and experience, these two sort most things out.  Our very real and huge challenge seems to be that relatively speaking, right now we have very little of either…

And something tells me that it’s not going to change all that quickly…


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