The importance of history
“To love what was is a new thing under the sun, unknown to most people and to all pigeons. To see America as history, to conceive destiny as becoming, to smell a hickory tree through the still lapse of ages – all these things are possible for us, and to achieve them takes only the free sky, and the will to ply our wings”
I like this quote and like this book. I like to remember the uniqueness of everything that has a story to be told. Including evolutionary biology. I changed the text published before. Formerly, emphasizing the importance of history, I made an argument opposing the predictive sciences.
I see a bit different now and find appropriate re-write this post.
I still think that history is, many times, under appreciated, and it is a crucial "new thing under the sun" as Aldo wrote. But, I think that, to understand the world, we should integrate all aspects of knowledge - and it does not help I only advocate history. (Because of the aspect of free-writing in this blog, it was more some kind of outpouring for all the skewed view towards prediction, sometimes irresponsible, leading to inaccurate models).
Finally, of course, there are regularities in nature, in evolution, in ecology, even in sociology, and we may try to predict at least part of a phenomenon considering former histories, comparing past outcomes, studying relationships, and so on.
I think there is a tension in evolutionary biology about history and prediction - and the researcher has to address it as part of his/her job.
Such tension makes it interesting and fascinating.
- The name of the book is "A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There".
Amazon link here -