"... can there really be fossil sea-shells in the mountains of Kentucky, hundreds of miles from the Atlantic coast? "
This question about questions may be a useful way to differentiate "science" from "not-science"; questions really do disappear in the former in a way, or at least at a rate, that they don't in the latter.
A question that has disappeared: can there really be fossil sea-shells in the mountains of Kentucky, hundreds of miles from the Atlantic coast?
I came across this particular question recently when reading Thomas Jefferson's 'Notes on the State of Virginia'; he devotes several pages to speculation about whether the finds in Kentucky really were sea-shells, and, if so, how they could have ended up there. Geologists could, today, tell him.
"...from what source do governments get their legitimate power?"
Perhaps another question dear to Jefferson's heart has also disappeared: from what source do governments get their legitimate power? In 1780, this was a real question, concerning which reasonable people gave different answers: 'God,' or 'the divine right of Kings,' or 'heredity,' or 'the need to protect its citizens.' By declaring as 'self evident' the 'truth' that 'governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed,' Jefferson was trying to declare that this question had, in fact, disappeared. I think he may have been right.
DAVID POST is Professor of Law at Temple University, and Senior Fellow at The Tech Center at George Mason University, with an interest in questions of (and inter-connections between) Internet law, complexity theory, and the ideas of Thomas Jefferson.