Author Archives: The Cheery Pessimist

About The Cheery Pessimist

Waiting for some sign that we will change our ways before it all comes tumbling down...still, you've got to laugh

God spaketh, but why? Part 11: Art

In an earlier post, I referred to human population bottlenecks. These are periods during which a population (of any species) reduces in size dramatically, due to environmental events such as earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, or droughts. There is more to bottlenecks … Continue reading

Posted in Civilisation | 2 Comments

God spaketh, but why? Part 10: Writing

In the last post, I ended by wondering why humans started to write. What did writing allow that oral storytelling didn’t? One thing springs to mind, well two actually—consistency (reliability or uniformity; the quality of being consistent) and constancy (the … Continue reading

Posted in Civilisation | Leave a comment

God spaketh, but why? Part 9: Domestication

In the last post, I ended by suggesting that with self-awareness and an understanding of one’s own mortality, must come an understanding that what we eat was also alive once, before we killed it. At some point, some of us … Continue reading

Posted in Civilisation | Leave a comment

God spaketh, but why? Part 8: Before fear

Is life supposed to be hard? Watch any wildlife programme based in a harsh environment, and the answer is ‘yes’. Watch animals in a rich habitat and they may enjoy many a contented day, but sooner or later a predator … Continue reading

Posted in Civilisation | 1 Comment

God spaketh, but why? Part 7: Voice

After a mid-winter break to look at some of the ways we can generate different ‘truths’, let’s return to the issue of why humans, as a species, no longer live in harmony with nature. Some humans live in perfect balance … Continue reading

Posted in Civilisation | Leave a comment

Measuring what, exactly?

In the previous post, we looked at mistakes made by assumption; we hear a ‘fact’ so frequently, or from such trusted sources, that we do not think to question its validity. These mistakes may be innocent, a result of sloppy … Continue reading

Posted in Pollution, Truth | Leave a comment

The values of the teacher

In the last post, I reported on a three-day symposium where US state and federal judges were taught about science and scientific scepticism by a man with rather questionable values. The teaching is an excellent idea as even with a … Continue reading

Posted in Truth | 2 Comments