Monday, January 26, 2009

Suspected Thief Transformed Into A Goat

I've been sitting on this news story for a few days while I consider if I want to talk about what I REALLY had in mind. Against my better judgment, I'm going to.

This is actually a rather hilarious news account of something that occurred in Nigeria of an attempted automobile theft.

The paper quoted police spokesman Tunde Mohammed as saying that while one suspect escaped, the other transformed into a goat as he was about to be apprehended.

The newspaper reported that police paraded the goat before journalists, and published a picture of the animal.

Obviously, that is a scapegoat, and if convicted, he should be transformed into a stew.

Most of us reading it had a lot of fun with it, and we also, in the back of our minds, must think of what kind of a society that something like this is taken that seriously. We accept this as nonsense because (i) we haven't seen this occurring, and (ii) it violates so many of our understanding of science and how our universe works.

Still, try to compare with some of the beliefs, especially religious beliefs, that some of us hold. The resurrection of the dead, and other supernatural events that many of us believe in, is no different than what is believed by these folks who believed that the thief transformed into a goat. They could have easily turned around and point the finger at us and say "Look, you believe in other things that we find to be ridiculous".

We depend on science to separate between such ridiculous claims and facts. Whether one respects or accepts the role of science or not, we all consciously and subconsciously use it everyday to know what works and what doesn't! You do not go through everyday life expecting supernatural or miraculous events to occur all the time and continuously. What you do expect is the order and predictability of nature (predictability of human actions is another thing). Even unusual natural phenomena such as earthquakes, eclipses, hurricanes, etc. are no longer seen as "acts of god" or some supernatural phenomena, due to our understanding of our physical world.

So sure, we snicker at this news report, but we also should examine what our so-called "modern, civilized, and intelligent" society accepts that's no different than this silly claim.


1 comment:

JC said...

Actually anthropological goat change (AGC) is a well documented phenomena. It's caused mainly by increased levels of amospheric CO2 and has been shown to have risen sharply in the last 50 years.

Sadly, there are still skeptics like you who refuse to see the damage the industrialised world is doing by slowly transforming nigerians into goats.

Wait til al gore makes a documentary about it and shows us a graph. Then you'll be sorry...