Michael Flannery, Writing from Edinburgh, Offers a Nice Puzzle
In Edinburgh, Scotland, our friend and colleague Mike Flannery continues in his on-the-spot research on Wallace and Darwin, taking time out to snap the very cool picture above, taken near the Royal Mile. It depicts a...well, what is it? Professor Flannery comments:
As you look at the cliff ask yourself, is the difference between the products of chance and necessity so easily distinguished from those that have been intelligently designed? Hint for those having trouble: What would be the inference to the best explanation for the structures atop the cliff?
As your eye moves up the cliff face, the stone on the right turns more regular and rounded in appearance. On the left, it forms a tall, tapering spiked structure. Is it another case of the wonderful things that wind and water erosion can do, given sufficient time?
Mt. Rushmore is a classic illustration of our ability to pick out design in the context of an otherwise natural setting. Casey pointed out another good one recently: the "Mano del Desierto" or "Hand of the Desert," a striking feature of the Atacama Desert in Chile.
In this case, your instinct for design-detection did not lead you astray. That's indeed a Scottish castle, not a natural extension of the wild stone bluff from which it rises.
Here are more nifty scenes of Edinburgh and environs from Mike Flannery:
"The gate to Holyrood Palace, the Queen's official residence in Scotland":
"Peaking through the gate at Holyrood Palace":
"Cliffs near Holyrood Palace, part of Arthur's Seat, a 822-ftoot extinct volcano":
Just to be clear, in case anyone needs extra help, Holyrood Palace was formed by design, while Arthur's Seat is the product of unguided natural forces. Keep on travelin', Professor Flannery!