Science is a mountain of pebbles, not house of cards Featured
Notes: This is a variation on another bite; for an alternative metaphor and language see "Science is a jigsaw puzzle, not a house of cards."
Scientific knowledge accumulates bit by bit, over decades of laborious research. Gradually, the overall picture emerges. Even if you remove a few pieces, the overall picture doesn't change.
Longer excerpt from ClimateSite (Kate):
"Today, there is a remarkable amount of scientific agreement surrounding this issue. Between 97 and 98% of climate scientists, virtually 100% of peer-reviewed studies, and every scientific organization in the world agree that humans are causing the Earth to warm. The evidence for climate change is not a house of cards, where you take one piece out and the whole theory falls apart. It's more like a mountain. Scrape a handful of pebbles off the top, but the mountain is still there."
Source: ClimateSight, "What Can One Person Do?" 5/5/12.
image source: mountain of pebbles
October 23, 2011
It's true that many metaphors are similar to others, and seem redundant.
But we're reluctant to toss them, because but may a) resonate with different audiences (e.g. mountaineers!) or different speakers, b) be useful as replacements when over-used metaphors become cliches that no long conjure up an image, or c) be useful simply for variety when you, as a speaker, get bored.
Question we're pondering: Is it better to combine similar metaphors into one listing (e.g. put this one into "jigsaw...house of cards" as an alternative? Or keep them separate so they are easier to spot?