Tracking Myth To Geological Reality Essay

1009 words - 5 pages

Kevin Krajick’s article “Tracking Myth to Geological Reality” was published by American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2005. This article examines how many myths can be linked to geological evidence. Geologists have been investigating how ancient geological phenomenon are able to shed light on the origins of many myths. Scientist have even uncovered evidence that may serve as the inspiration for biblical stories. Many are hoping that understanding these myths and the geological phenomenon they depict will reveal important information about natural disasters like: tsunamis, floods and volcanic eruptions. It is hoped that this information will save human lives in the future. ...view middle of the document...

At a crater lake in Cameroon an explosion kill 1,700 people in 1986. It was discovered later that carbon dioxide built up in the lake and caused the explosion. “It could have been dismissed as a one-time fluke except for the fact that the region is full of stories about haunted lakes that rise, sink, or blow up” (qtd. in Krajick 763). These myths have led scientist to believe that the explosion is reoccurring.
The Genesis flood store describes a large scale flood that covers all of the mountains and rids the world of man and his wicked flesh. It has been argued that the rising sea level of the Mediterranean, which followed the last deglaciation covered what is now the Bosporus Strait and flowed into the Black Sea around 7,600 years ago. It is thought that this massive flood served as the inspiration for the great flood described in The Book of Genesis. While this evidence is not conclusive it adds a new perspective on flood stories. Atrahasis is a creation and flood story that is much older but it is now reasonable to wonder if this too was not based on an actual flood. Currently, there is no evidence directly linking the myth to actual flooding. However, it was common for the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to flood during the time of this myths creation.
It is hoped that by understanding the patterns of these catastrophic environmental events. That lives can be saved in the future. In the case of the previously undiscovered fault line in Seattle, it is hoped that this information will reduce casualties in the event that the fault line slips again. Brian Atwater a paleoseismologist, of the U.S. Geological Survey in Seattle said, “Myth can sometimes alert researchers to previously unheeded geohazards; in other cases, where science has demonstrated the danger, legends “enrich the record” and reinforce the fact that people lie in harm’s way” (qtd. in Krajick 762). Adding to the evidence that myth has applicable use is the Moken people of Thailand. They are an indigenous seafaring people,...

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