Various tools have been explored that can be used to make sense of the universe we live in. They have been presented in a simplistic way and things are, of course, much more complicated in reality. The purpose of highlighting each tool is to lay the foundation of a process that has consistently arrived at conclusions that are correct and have helped to explain the world we all live in today.
These tools are used in the process known as the scientific method. This method works. It's the only method that has constantly enabled humans to discern what is real from what has been imagined. Before wrapping things up with an overview of the scientific method, we must first conclude the story of our furry protagonist with a hypothesis. Let's recap the claims made so far.
|Photo taken by Kathy on Flickr (no affiliation to this blog)|
I'm a giant rabid squirrel sat on an unstable vibrating tricycle zooming past York cathedral. Flecks of froth that have foamed around my lips are violently thrown into crowds of startled people watching in confused horror. My exaggerated tooth-filled grin shakes due to the quivering springs on the antiquated seat. I see a nut and I'm hungry.
As I ride the bike my tail becomes caked in mud thrown up from the street. The people who notice me fix their eyes in my direction. Some are running along beside me. Others peer out from second floor windows. All are staring in disbelief. This knowledge is only partially present in my mind as my eyes fixate on a single nut under my favourite tree.
But the nut is so far away and the bicycle is so hard to ride. I'm much better at climbing trees and administering the storing and categorisation of food. Back home there is more than enough to snack on but I know more food will be needed eventually. The people gathering around me aren't helping with my goal.
I must stop thinking of those watching me. The ground is hilly and the nut somehow seems further away. I imagine it's only a leap away on the branch of my tree; perfect freedom up high while watching the world follow its routine below. But I'm not in my tree, I'm on a bike and my paws find the peddles difficult to control.
There are three main points that I will use to claim this is simply a story.
1. The text is written from the perspective of a squirrel. When observed, we find that squirrels do not have an understanding of the English language and cannot write. We do not have the capability to know the mind of a squirrel. Therefore, the text was not written by a squirrel and was most likely written by a human.
2. Squirrels have been observed in their thousands, but none are able to grow to giant size that would enable them to ride a bicycle.
3. No date is given but bicycles were first available around 1818 so the tricycle could not be earlier than that. Looking at photos of York cathedral from around this time we see that the area is flat and paved with concrete. The only trees in the area are part of the Minster Garden which is also flat. This highlights inconstancies with regards to the location described in the text.
|From the Red Book Of York taken before 1901|
The purpose of such an obviously fantastical story is to discover why it is so obviously fantastical. By going through the process of separating what is real from imagined we find that the text in red is probably imagined.
We can use these tools throughout life to determine the validity of a claim. Some claims use scientific sounding vocabulary, but upon examination (especially by a scientist specialising in that particular field) the text can be seen to be in the realm of imagination. There are others that focus on distorting the logic in order to allow for fantastical events. Others simply dive into the realm of belief and argue that they are offended if the claims are scrutinised.
Of course, a hypothesis can be scrutinised and proved wrong by the tools contained within the scientific method. But the techniques briefly mentioned above break these rules. The act of breaking the rules to support a conclusion is unscientific and can bring us to the wrong conclusion.