How Peppa Pig lost her faith

Peppa Pig says, “Everyone likes jumping in muddy puddles! (Snort!)” And all her friends laugh and agree.

Daddy Pig likes jumping in muddy puddles too. But he asks Peppa why everyone likes it so much.

Peppa replies firmly, “It makes a lovely splashy sound, it feels squishy under your feet, and it makes you happy! (Snort!) And it’s ever so slightly naughty, too!” Daddy Pig laughs.

But Professor Susscrofa is a scientist. “Pah! That’s just folk science! Real science is often counter-intuitive.” So he sets out to investigate. He studies all the children he can find, and finds that Peppa’s belief is true, usually, provided the children are not distracted by birthday parties or the promise of a trip to the theme park at Potato City. And a very few children just hate jumping in muddy puddles, and in their case he excludes their data as “anomalous.”

And so he arrives at Susscrofa’s Law, which states that, under standard temperature and pressure:

c + wm → j^n

where c represents any child, w represents a puddle (qualified by the factor m, mud), and “j” the phenomenon of jumping.

To his delight the result is replicated by Dr Potbelly et al in Vietnam, and Susscrofa’s law becomes almost axiomatic in the literature.

When Peppa gets older, she goes to the university to study science. Her lecturer cites Susscrofa’s law as an example of how the language of the universe is mathematics. “You can see,” she explains, “how a simple mathematical function governs what, as children, we used to think of as a complex porcine activity. At the heart of the world’s complexity, as it turns out, are simple mathematical laws that explain everything, and which we must all obey as a logical consequence. And so all the ideas we may have had about splashiness, squishiness, happiness and naughtiness are shown to be mere illusions – epiphenomena upon the elegant simplicity of mathematical laws of nature!”

Peppa is very sad. On the way back to her hall of residence she passes the biggest and muddiest puddle she has ever seen (the Chinese sponsors have withdrawn their funding, so the university can’t afford to fill the potholes in their roads). But she doesn’t want to jump in it any more, and she spends the evening visiting suicide sites on Facebook instead.

Thereby, paradoxically, if only she realised it, she has refuted Susscrofa’s Law.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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4 Responses to How Peppa Pig lost her faith

  1. Peter Hickman says:

    In my first year at primary school I was observed jumping in a muddy puddle by the deputy headmistress, Miss Rees. She slapped the back of my legs, exclaiming, “What will your mother think of us sending you home with dirty shoes and socks?”
    After that, in my case j^n → ε.

    Susscrofa was a boar/bore spoiling Peppa’s innocence.

  2. shopwindows says:

    Susscroffa’s model works ceteris paribus, but Soros writes about reflexivity, recursiveness… he knows Peppas wonderment will be modified, that butterflies might cause generally unexpected things to happen. What a damp squib.

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