There’s been a couple of interesting posts on the Peru Illness Flap recently. If you haven’t been reading about this, somewhere in the Andes near Lake Titicaca villagers saw a flash of light and heard a bang. They went to investigate and found a crater. They say there was a strange smell and that people are getting ill.
I’d been planning to blog about this when there was more information, so I was pleased to read Hysterical about hysteria on the SciAm blog. A lot of sites have been rubbishing the idea that this was an extra-terrestrial illness, which is fine, but George Musser at SciAm gets it exactly right when he argues that if you want to talk about the incident’s effect on the local people simple Geology isn’t enough. Geology is great when it comes to rocks, but it’s a remarkably poor method to investigate people.