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Showing posts from June, 2009

Fundamentalists in a Cave

A few days ago, I was leading a cave tour in Wind Cave for a full group (40 people), when I stopped to show everybody some Brachiopod fossils in the limestone of the cave. A large family consisting of a mom, dad, and several teens passed by to see the ancient shells, and as they did, they exclaimed, "Oh look! Evidence of Noah's flood!"

Of course this is ridiculous. But I said nothing.

In the next room, everybody sat on some benches, and I proceeded to talk about some of the speleothems found in the cave. At some point, a gentleman in the group asked me, "How old is this cave?"

I braced myself for some glares from the fundamentalists and confidently declared, "Geologists tell us that the rock in which this cave is formed dates back to about 150 million years ago."

To my surprise, the fundamentalists didn't glare. In fact, they did something even more ridiculous - they laughed. Out loud. Heartily. I was shocked for a moment and paused, but quickly regai…

Igloo, SD

All I want to say is this: I went with some friends to what is by far the creepiest place I've ever experienced last Sunday night. If you want to find out more about this Hellish place, search for "Igloo, SD," "The Black Hills Ordnance Depot," or "Black Hills Army Depot."

Oh my god.

Atheist Universe

Okay, so I finished this book before I left for South Dakota. Well, I didn't feel like reflecting on it until now, so deal with it.

Atheist Universe is like The End of Faith in that it will offend religious people, and that the author's frustration with Christianity clearly comes through the writing. It's different because it focuses particularly on the Intelligent Design movement of Christianity. Rather than having more of a narrative flow like Harris, Mills fashions his books as if it were a Christian apologetic book, like Strobel'sThe Case for a Creator. I'm not positive, but I don't think I like this. Perhaps it will reach some Christians, but it seems more of a reference book for atheists than anything. The problem is that Mill's voice seems a little immature at times, unlike Harris, who can sound angry and dignified at the same time.

This is not to say that Mills' book is full of immature ideas. He gives a good amount of science in the book, just en…

A New Home at Wind Cave National Park

I know, I know... This is long overdue.

I left for my great South Dakotan adventure way back in May and arrived at the park (hereafter abbreviated as WICA) on the 17th. I'm living in what here is referred to as "lower housing," meaning I'm living in the cool section of the employee housing. I have four roommates, none of which are SCA. One is an intern directly through the park service and the other three are paid employees. In terms of job responsibilities, training, pay, time off, and uniforms, the only difference between interns (like me) and paid employees (like a slew of others) is... well, I don't get paid, and I my uniform has "Volunteer" stamped all over it, just so the visitors don't get the wrong idea and think I'm qualified for the job.

Living in WICA is really fun. There is a fire pit in lower housing which hosts a beer-drinking and story-telling circle of workers just about every night. Is fun.

In the center of the image, you see some …