The Lion Killed the Purple Antelope. Isn’t that Racist?

So the Lion stalked and attacked a purple antelope. Now all the purple antelopes, along with sympathetic other antelopes, are up in arms because they think purple antelopes are being singled out. Scientifically, we know that green antelopes are killed more often by these Lions. And, as it turns out, orange antelopes are killed at an equal rate to purple antelopes.

Even more, we find out that the Lions are totally color blind. They cannot even distinguish between purple, pink, yellow, green or orange antelopes. They all look the same. They just know that this particular purple antelope was easy to sneak up on and the Lion has gone 3 days without eating. So it was hungry. Color didn’t matter one bit.

This may seem like a whimsical story, but it points to the difference between scientific reasoning and emotional conjecture.

A really true story is this. Way back when, before we studied the science, people thought that bees that stung people were males. Culturally, it was the males who were most often the warriors and they carried the swords. So it was simple to reason that the bees with stingers were males. However, the truth is that it is the females who have the stingers. A cultural bias led to an improper conclusion not at all based on science.

All organisms have their own methods of smartness inherent to their beings. It just happens that there are human scientists. And human scientists use the scientific method in their reasoning:
1. Observe a phenomenon
2. Ask questions
3. Develop hypotheses
4. Test the hypotheses
5. Make conclusions based on the testing

But while we have people who use reason, we have those who improperly speculate based wholly on emotion. These people jump from #1 to #5 without any testing at all. All they see are the poor purple antelopes getting eaten by Lions. Bad Lions!! These people are sitting miles away with binoculars not at all cognizant of the complex system of life around them. Emotion followed by a social outrage prevails without any science at all.

Even in the best of worlds, you may find a kind elephant who wants to protect the poor purple antelopes. So as the emotional human gazes through the binoculars, it looks like the elephant is attacking the purple antelopes. They are surrounding them to shield them from harm and accidentally steps on one of them. The emotional human now hates the elephants because another purple antelope is getting hurt. When, in fact, the elephant is trying to protect the purple antelopes from the Lions. Stupid emotional human.

Do you know what the kind elephant should probably do? Mind their own business. If the terrible Lions are hungry and eating purple antelopes, the elephant should probably walk the other way and let it happen. Maybe make a wildlife refuge where Lions and purple antelopes exist on their own. The sad thing is that some purple antelopes even harm their own. Isn’t that terrible? But now it is an elephant-free zone. Then the elephants can guard all the other animals from harm, but they don’t bother with purple antelopes anymore. Then you have Lions hurting purple antelopes and purple antelopes hurting purple antelopes. But I guess that’s nature. Let nature be.

Stupid emotional humans!

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