Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Cow Hypothesis

Loyal readers and immediate family members will be familiar with the 'Cow Delusion'. This was my theory that after periods of good rain the cows between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth became black and white instead of their usual brown. This was based on observation. There was the suggestion of some that it was my imagination. Others said there must be another explanation of the phenomenon observed.
For this reason, I developed another hypothesis and was able to test it on Wednesday evening (well, late afternoon). I put forward the possibility that it was a trick of the light and I believe that this is so.
When the sun is low in the sky the grass and bushes seem greener than in bright sunlight - something which one usually associates with more rain. And I have now observed that in that same low light the brown cows fade into the background and just seem to be brown patches on the green. On the other hand, the white of the black and white cows reflects the light nicely and one notices these cows much more. So when the light is low, it seems as if there are more black and white cows. It also seems as if there has been rain.
So my initial observations were valid - but my explanation for them was probably not. Alas.
Thank you for reading my nonsense!


Thomas Scarborough said...

Typical rationalist thinking, this -- trying to explain everything away. I support the original theory.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

It sounds as if you agree with the subconscious postmodern belief that if enough people believe something that defines truth.
I'm all for it, so lets test it. I'll also vote for the original hypothesis. If we can get enough support it should become truth! Viva the Cow Delusion!

Steven Jones said...

Do the black cows speak Xhosa and the white cows English? Also, were any of the cows wearing red waistcoats? This is important so that one can ascertain whether or not these are Methodist cows!