HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » EffieBlack » Journal
Page: 1


Profile Information

Member since: Sat Feb 3, 2007, 12:43 AM
Number of posts: 14,249

Journal Archives

The Sun, the Scientist, and the Skeptical Villagers: A Fable

It was 9:00 at night in the Village, the Sun had gone down and everything was dark. The darkness frightened the villagers, so they left their houses and gathered on the Village square.
“It’s DARK!!!” the villagers cried. “The Sun is gone and it’s never coming back. It will be dark forever!!!”
Hearing the commotion in the square and having been through this before, the Village Scientist climbed out of bed, put on his clothes, and went out into the night to talk to the angry, frightened villagers.
“it's ok,” he told the angry crowd. “The Sun isn’t gone. The Earth is spinning slowly on its axis as it moves slowly around the Sun. Our part of the Earth is turned away right now, so we can’t see the Sun. But it’s still there. It’s still working. And in the morning, when we turn all the way back around, we’ll see it.”
Most of the villagers then remembered that this is exactly what happened this morning and yesterday morning and the day before and the day before that for as many days as they could recall and they immediately felt better.

“Of course!” they said. "The Scientist is right. Just because we can’t see the Sun doesn’t mean it’s not there and that it’s not working.”

And they went back to their homes and went to bed, sleeping peacefully because they were confident the Sun would come up in the morning. 
But some villagers were not so sanguine. They remained in the square and got angrier and more frustrated.

“We can’t see the Sun. If we can’t see it, it’s not there,” they cried. “It’s gone and it’s gone forever. And without the sun, we’ll freeze and die! “
“But that’s just not TRUE,” said the Scientist. “The Sun is NOT gone. Just because we can’t see the Sun doesn’t mean it’s not there. It’s still there warming other parts of the earth. And when we finish our rotation, it will shine on us again.  So, please, everybody, please, just calm down. Why don't you go home and get some rest.”
“Get some REST?!” the skeptical villagers cried. “How DARE you tell us to go to sleep when the Sun has vanished and won’t come back and we’re all going to die!”
“But you’re wrong,” said the Scientist.
“STOP TELLING US WE’RE WRONG! And stop telling us to shut up! We have a right to our opinion!”
“I’m not telling you to shut up. I’m just trying to reassure you that the Sun hasn’t gone anywhere."
“Oh, YEAH?! How do you KNOW the Sun will come back tomorrow?"

"Because that's how it works."

"Do you know for 100 percent certain the sun will come back tomorrow?" they queried.

"No, I'm not 100 percent certain. I guess there's always a remote chance that it won't. But that is so unlikely to happen that it's not even worth talking about."

"Who are you to say what is and isn't worth talking about? What makes YOU think you know better than we do?”
“Because I’m a scientist who studies the Sun and you aren’t?”
“So what?” screamed the angry skeptical villagers. "You don’t know everything. And you don’t know for sure that the Sun is still there because you can’t see it either. You’re just guessing.”
“OK,” The Scientist said, shrugging. “Suit yourself.” And then the Scientist went home and back to bed.
But the skeptical villagers stayed up all night crying and yelling and shaking their fists at the dark sky.
“Sun, you get back here!” they hollered. “You get back here RIGHT NOW!!!”
Then suddenly, the morning dawned and the Sun rose over the village.
And as the Sun rose, people came out of their houses from all over the village, well-rested from a good night’s sleep. As they went on their way, they passed the Village square and saw the skeptical villagers, exhausted from lack of sleep, but feeling triumphant. “It's a good thing we stayed up all night yelling at the sky. We forced the Sun to come back today.”
Whereupon the other villagers looked at each other, rolled their eyes, shook their heads and then went on their way.
Go to Page: 1