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quackers

The Origin Of The Broads

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This discussion continues to be very interesting - thank you for taking the trouble.

I have always been conscious of the strong Dutch influence on the Broads as we know them, and even on our Broads boatbuilding, so I am not at all surprised if it turns out that we were doing the same here as they were, over there.

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Once again I've arrived late at the party but I was already aware of the broadsmaker web site. I'm pleased that this thread gives the opportunity to make some observations.

My first is how unscientific Shelock Holmes was :2_grimacing:.

"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

If you are a follower of Karl Popper you will see the obvious flaw in this! Whatever remains isn't "true", it just hasn't been falsified yet (i.e. proved untrue). 

I would recommend this brief outline of Popper's thinking:  https://www.fs.blog/2016/01/karl-popper-on-science-pseudoscience/

The essence of a scientific theory is that it is testable and falsifiable. 

Joyce Lambert falsified the theory that the broads had a natural origin by observing the regularity of their form.

The broadsmaker website elegantly refutes (falsifies) the theory that the broads were dug as whole pits and flooded in the 14th century.

The web site then proposes a better explanation for the origin of the Broads, the question now is whether the new theory is falsifiable and how do we test it?

 

 

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23 hours ago, Aristotle said:

My first is how unscientific Sherlock Holmes was :2_grimacing:.

Its sedimentary my dear Watson...

 

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18 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

It all started with a large estuary!

 

                    :default_scaredmouse:

 

I can feel a Timbo coming on!!

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I thought it was that guy Peat, and his diggings that were the pits

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Ah, now - it's interesting that you mention the great estuary :default_hiding:.

Vaughan mentioned much earlier in this thread about "the low land we call the Broads was at first land-locked, in the same way as the Somerset Levels".

Actually, the Somerset Levels weren't as land-locked as most of us think.  A few months ago I went to a talk by Richard Brunning who is an archaeologist with Somerset County Council. The Somerset Levels is (are?) one of his specialist areas: the talk was about the southern area (the bit between Glastonbury and Bridgwater). One of the surprising things he mentioned was the extent to which the coastline has moved around, there were multiple instances of large scale marine ingressions and regressions which came much further inland (and I think lasted longer) than was previously thought.

The talk focused on the Mesolithic and Bronze Age but this advance and retreat of the coastline probably applies both before the Mesolithic and post the Bronze Age, for instance, in a web page describing the University of Exeter’s North Somerset Levels project by Professor Stephen Rippon, he states “In the early medieval period the landscape was once again flooded by the sea as most of the North Somerset Levels reverted to saltmarshes.” I wonder if he's referring to the 14th century :default_hiding: ?

So although the theory of a single large estuary is overly simplistic, we shouldn't write off the possibility that large areas were, from time to time, subject to estuarine conditions.

:default_coat:

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It's important that we're open minded and not dogmatic in our views - and you'll never convince me otherwise :10_wink:

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I am just catching up with a lot of stuff, having been in dock for seven weeks.

It all depends what you mean by "scientific", Aristotle, doesn't it,  although at the elevated levels of the Philosopher, I am sure you are right.

Sherlock Holmes' dicta seem to have derived, via Conan Doyle, from Dr. Joseph Bell, the Professor of Pathology at Edinburgh University, and at the rather more mundane levels of medical diagnosis and forensic medicine seem sound enough.

You pose this question in philosophical terms: "The web site then proposes a better explanation for the origin of the Broads, the question now is whether the new theory is falsifiable and how do we test it?"

I see the position in forensic terms, relating to the body of evidence currently available:

1. There is enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the presently accepted theory of how the broads were created is wrong. They cannot have originated as great big pits which were dug out and kept/remained dry, only to flood subsequently in the 14th century.

2. There is enough evidence to prove on the balance of probabilities that the methods which used to create the broads were similar to those which I propose. They originated as small adjacent pits,  each of which flooded as soon as it was completed, and each isolated from its neighbours by thin walls of uncut peat. These wall were then systematically removed to create the large areas of open water we see today.

3. To prove 2 or any other theory beyond a reasonable doubt more evidence is required. New evidence in the form of historical documents is unlikely to come to light, but the methods used for geophysical research by Lambert and Jennings in the 1940s and 1950s were extremely primitive by current standard.

The way forward is more geophysical research using modern techniques.

Bill Saunders

 

 

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