The Supreme Cartographer, known perhaps
As the final word in the world of maps,
Was told that science had recently found
(To his great surprise) that the world was round.
That as accurate as his maps might appear
He’d improve them at once by assuming a sphere
The idea was new, but the data were strong
And in hindsight it should have been clear all along
It may be unsettling, different, or strange,
But the world is a sphere, and the graphics must change
The Cartographer, though, had (it seemed, since his birth)
Been consistently drawing a pancake-flat earth
These round-planet notions were modern and bold
And the data, while solid, were not very old
“Supposing I change” he surmised, with a cough,
“And a ship finds the edge of the world and falls off?”
His world had been flat now, for thousands of years,
Doing fine, till this radical notion appears.
“The data are strong, but tradition is stronger…
Let’s keep the world flat for a little bit longer.”
Inspired by Justice Alito:
The one thing that the parties in this case seem to agree on is that marriage is very important. It’s thought to be a fundamental building block of society and its preservation essential for the preservation of society. Traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years. Same-sex marriage is very new. I think it was first adopted in The Netherlands in 2000. So there isn’t a lot of data about its effect. And it may turn out to be a — a good thing; it may turn out not to be a good thing, as the supporters of Proposition 8 apparently believe.
But you want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution which is newer than cell phones or the Internet? I mean we — we are not — we do not have the ability to see the future.