Spaceship earth comes without an operation manual. So said Bucky Fuller. Profound. Profound!
If we had such a manual, and it were true! then we wouldn’t need a bible: or rather we’d have a bible: it would be the same book: knowing nature, we’d know god’s nature: it would be the same! We’d know god’s name, if he had one, if it were important: Gertrude! There! No more argument!
Fossils could be classified correctly, taxa would never have to be rethought. Harvard would be no better than Podunk, rivalty between Oxford and Cambridge would be meaningless.
Think it through: if “meters” were the best measurement, there would be no feet, no inches; there never would have been any need for them: the operation manual would tell all, no improvement necessary.
Think: you go to a Hilton, you check in, you get in the shower: the hot water is to the left, the cold water to the right. It will turn off clockwise, it will turn on counterclockwise: In Peking, in London …
I once checked into a Florida State Park, the plumbing had been done by a ranger. I turned on the hot water, got cold. I turned on the cold water, was instantly lobsterized: the water was boiling!
In a Hilton, run by businessmen, hoping to please patrons, the water would have been plentifully hot, but never scalding. Businessmen don’t want law suits, wouldn’t even if they hated their clients. The park though was run by the state: bureaucrats, holding their clients captive, in contempt! A world without an operating manual.
taxonomy: the branch of science concerned with classification, esp. of organisms; systematics.
Imagine further: imagine the dictionary that would come with a complete operation manual! imagine the encyclopedia! There could be no questions in physics: the answers would have to be in the Operating Manual!
All words would be defined, there would be one correct language, one grammar, no slang, no mispronunciation. There would be section on Shakespeare with every implication, every nuance spelled out: before Shakespeare wrote the plays!
As is though it’s not that way at all. Linnaeus categorized fossils by the seat of his pants, inventing his system as he went along. Science follows suit: by the seat of its pants: the only intelligent choice we have!
No, wait: I made a mistake: what if there could be such a thing as an accurate manual but not a complete manual? But could an incomplete manual be understood? What if word “meanings” were present but grammar absent?
What if there were fish but no vertebrates?