(taken from a lecture by E. Everett Jurisprudence, Emeritus Doctore at the Anglian Academy of Applied Gymanetrics)
In many of our modern science studies, we see the result of an extended process of evolution between the pre-scientific, the proto-scientific, and ultimately the post-scientific. Our chosen field is not unique in this; up until several centuries ago, progress was largely trial-and-error, not to mention based on the most astonishing and incredible concepts (to us, anyway) about the cosmos and our relationship to the specific aspects of the subject at hand.
Our team argues that trial-and-error leads to misconceptions regarding any topic. M. Judson tells me that in the realm of jewelry, there are precious stones embedded in rings, and then there are crystals like cubic zirconia also embedded in rings. If one were to examine these cubic zirconia rings as artifacts, it may not be clear which was more valuable to our culture, since a highly technical advance can lead to pure crystals that are less rare than naturally occurring precious stones. We are fascinated by the notion that our trial and error techniques to discover truth may obscure a reality beyond the reach of technique. And only the cultural citizens may hold the keys to understanding.
One can only speculate about how the seemingly inherent human fascination with the subject arose, and why it among all other possible fields of study captured the finest minds of so many far-flung nascent cultures. The Sumerians dabbled a bit during the Ubaid period (there are intact artifacts from approximately 5600 BC showing quite obviously the day-to-day familiarity) but the clearest examples come from a bit later, during the Banshan phase of the Yangshao culture along the Yellow River.
What may be even more remarkable about the usage — seen in several artifacts uncovered at the Banpo site was that the level of technology that is assumed to be required was nowhere near advanced enough unless you toss out many of the seemingly proven assumptions that have been made to date (Ferguson, Plessy, et al.).
Everett Jurisprudence is sometimes ridiculed by fools for his name and for his relationship to more mundane aspects of his life. As the once worldly philosopher whose humble roots lie in UK real estate – his father dabbled in the housing market and taught young Everett the ways of that profession before he chose a more storied life. Hard to believe that he once stooped so low as to attempt slogans such as ” sell my house ” on billboards in the London suburbs. But perhaps this influenced his theories regarding the artifacts that now surround him. Real estate in ancient times may not have had the sophistication it has now, but ownership of land was certainly regarded highly throughout history. I’m quite certain that his father’s influence brought young Everett respect for the traditions that land ownership, which is quite metaphysical in some obscure sense, tends to impart. Never discount such influences.
Additionally, there is no real evidence of the usual metaphysical and social effects of constant contact and implementation, which leads most scholar to believe that this was a transitional period in which our subject was studied heavily for a certain period and then lost or abandoned (or even outlawed, as if they were some sort of Stone Age online slots!).
Many advanced students have been side-tracked by this mystery to pursue unorthodox lines of research, occasionally even verging on the paranormal. I recognize that if I strongly cautioned you not to follow in their footsteps, it would only fan the youthful fire of curiosity amidst controversy, so I shall do no such thing. My colleagues even refuse to bring the matter up, but I personally fell that we as academics are compelled to present the whole truth, even when it may cause undue complications.”