I’m compelled to blog, even though I don’t really have much of a major post in me at the moment. Being that I’m drawing a blank, here’s what I’ve been up to;
1) I read another 100 pages of White’s A History of the Warfare of Science…. I’m now nearing the end of the first volume, and hopefully I’ll be finished with it by the weekend. He does use the term “sundry” quite a bit, but overall it is an excellent work and a good primer for those concerned with how religious authorities have essentially tried to beat down anything that seemed to contradict a narrow interpretation of the Bible for hundreds of years. It just takes some time to get through.
2) I watched Pan’s Labyrinth with my wife. Overall it was a very imaginative and well-shot film, although some of the gore was a bit over-the-top. Do I really need to see someone get their face based in or someone’s cheek torn open by a razor blade? You could make the argument that it advances the story in its brutality, but I just found the close up views of gore to be a bit much.
3) I leafed through the newest issue of Prehistoric Times. If I was an artist I’d submit something, but I’m nowhere near as talented as many of the contributors.
4) I wrote the general outline for part of my book, the part specifically dealing with modern creationist ideas about the Noachian Deluge and even when I play by the creationists own rules it doesn’t make sense and requires even more special pleading. I’ve got about 3-4 pages in word, but they are essentially the core ideas which will be expanded as I incorporate more information. In fact I’ve found that the best way for me to work on this book is to write down my ideas as they come to me/as I learn new things, arranging them and expanding them as I go to fill in the picture rather than trying to do it all in one go. I’m going to try and write at least something every night (even if I end up throwing it out later), and to help facilitate that every night I’m going to read at least one scientific paper and summarize it in greater or lesser detail for inclusion in the book. Not everything will make the cut in the end, but I want to build up a body of data to work with that I can tie together with various themes (i.e. Nisbett’s Arizonasaurus paper made me think of doing at least a section of a chapter on sails in extinct organisms, arising at least 3 different times. Any organs that spread a membrane out from a bony structure could be included in a more general discussion, but for now I’m just going to focus on fin-backed critters). As I’ve said before, I hope to at least have a working final draft done by the time I turn 25, so that gives me 7 months to really get things together. Even if it’s immediately picked up it probably won’t see the light of day for a year after that, but at that point at least I can say I’ve finished it and start compiling information for another project. If I could, I would just do as Buffon did and write volume after volume in a series on natural history, but I don’t know if I have the attention span and I surely lack the expertise. Either way, it’s about time that I really got serious about something I’ve been promising.