Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Quantum Est Quod Nescimus!

Edwin Way Teale, Circle of the Seasons: The Journal of a Naturalist's Year (July 18):
As I gaze down on this algae-bordered puddle, a kind of despair envelops me. What are the algae of the green border? I don't know. What are the little flies landing and taking off? I don't know. What are the small plants thrusting up through the water? I don't know. The vistas of my ignorance seem boundless. How much that I see I do not recognize; how much that I observe I do not understand! In this despairing and humbled mood, I traverse the meadows and return home. In the study of nature, we never exhaust the possibilities of an area; the area exhausts the possibilities in us.

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