Reinventing Beauty, Chapter 2 / Day 2 -- Myth + Science


Growing up, I remember the myths that surrounded the Easter Island statues.  They seemed quite menacing and almost grotesque to my sheltered sensibilities.  The figures were 14-33 feet tall, and weighed about 80 tons each.  Stories varied from their placement being the work of aliens or giants and so forth.  No one at that time, meaning the early 1970's, was able to satisfactorily explain how the figures could have been placed in their upright positions without the use of winches, cables, or cranes.  Everyone was mystified, and remained so for quite some time.  Much later, perhaps in the last decade of the last century, radiocarbon dating of the island's geological strata(s) revealed that the now barren island was once heavily forested; all evidence suggests that palm trees were cut and used to make rollers (rolling logs to transport the figures over long distances), and leaves of hauhau trees were harvested in the making of hemp rope which were used in transporting the figures from the location of manufacture (all evidence suggests that they were carved near the only source of stone, an area of volcanic rock on the eastern side of the island) to positions along the island's perimeter.  

It seems fairly reasonable to accept that the scientific evidence has produced facts which support the assertion that native tribes moved the giant figures to their positions using ancient technology.  UFO's, aliens, and a long-vanished tribe of giants now seem quite irrational and certainly the stuff of dime-store novels placed near the check-out counter, alongside glossy fan magazines, steamy romance serials, and tawdry confessionals by D-list celebrities.  

How I wish that some of our politicians--recently viewed on nationally televised debates--would acknowledge that global warming is no longer a myth, and is instead upon our doorsteps.  If we continue to subscribe to the Drill, Baby, Drill ideology, it means that like the early inhabitants of the Easter Islands, we will continue to mismanage our natural resources until thorough extinction and the eventual demise of the earth's inhabitants.  What will future generations think of our present day society as they examine the tattered artifacts and barren environment that we leave behind if our actions continue unchecked.  It is a pretty sobering thought, and one which should concern T-baggers/red and blue candidates.

The story continues........

Hope you enjoy today's visual treat, and please remember to recycle (as well as to vote)!!



Lady E. said…
Awesome. Nice analysis and metaphor all rolled up into one articulate sound bite. In keeping with your science theme, I particularly appreciated your use of science-ese. Can't wait to see what's next.
Iris White said…
very interesting and as always love reading your blog. -iris