One of our daughter’s class went to take a field trip of the Montana Tunnels open pit mine. I had the privilege to help chaperone the trip. It was a great tour and very informative. Unfortunately, the gentleman who conducted the tour talked of some things as fact, while they are really someone’s opinion. We try to educate our children in the sciences. There is this thing called “the Scientific Method“. Our children have to know and apply the Scientific Method in their science classes and for their science fair projects. The Scientific Method says, in order to come up with a hypothesis, the experiment must be “observable, measurable, and repeatable”. In this, our tour guide failed. The Montana Tunnels open pit mine is located directly over an ancient volcano. But, our tour guide repeatedly comment that it happened about 50 million or so years ago. The carbonized, fossilized trees found were 50 million years old or so. How in the world did he or anyone else come up with that? Is that observable? No, he wasn’t there. Is it measurable? Probably not. Carbon Dating has been shown to be extremely inaccurate. Is it repeatable? No way! Most likely, the 50 million year answer probably came because of preconceived ideas and beliefs, not scientifically.
It was unfortunate that he mixed this unprovable belief with all of the interesting facts that he showed us. The ore, processes, mining, are all observable, measurable, and repeatable. How are we to expect our children to think for them selves and to be critically minded if scientific “beliefs” are to be mixed with facts in such a way as to presume all as fact?
None the less, the tour was fantastic. The Montana Tunnels operation is much larger than I imagined. It was great to get a tour of this facility since it is only a couple of miles from our back door. Click HERE to see photos of the tour.