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20 April, 2014

Half-blind Faith and Half-baked Science

Well, it all started with a miraculously convenient find, what appeared to be a finial from a cross at a site probably associated with the Christian Mission. Those of us working on the project had been softened up, conditioned to accepting the extraordinary through the previous miracle of finding identical Native-style tools wrought in stone and glass, evidence of the Contact we'd been speculating about. For the finials, as with so many alleged relics of the True Cross over the years, there was no proof, although in this case it was a plausible and interesting enough story that it tempted faith.

Upon further examination, stemming from the dogged (of not Godded) persistence of a scientist not quite comfortable with the all-too-easy retreat to calling an unknown artifact a "ritual object," the site kicked up a bunch more of these last week. Too many to be a cross, and in a place where they might be from a century after the Mission packed up and headed north.

Oh well. The story, and my confession at the altar of science, is over at ArchaeOlygy. It is not all a tale of faith undermined, but a strange cycle that may loop back to the Tenino Stone.

So on a day when many of you celebrate a miracle of resurrection, I wish you well. I cannot share ultimate faith in the un-provable, but I share my physicist Dad's awe at the universe wrought by forces we may not yet fully comprehend, but which we can investigate and (with stumbles now and then) come to know for sure.

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