Caveman Logic Today

Topics: Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania Pages: 1 (508 words) Published: May 2, 2011
(CNN) -- Punxsutawney Phil, America's most famous rodent prognosticator, saw his shadow Tuesday, signaling six more weeks of winter. Phil emerged from his ceremonial tree stump at Gobbler's Knob, Pennsylvania, to a cheering crowd that had waited in the cold for his annual prediction. It is the 99th time that Phil -- in his various incarnations -- has seen his shadow, according to, the official Web site of the groundhog club in Punxsutawney, about 75 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, in western Pennsylvania. Not seeing a shadow -- something that has happened just 15 times in Phil's history, according to the club -- would have meant spring is around the corner. Phil's predictions don't mean much to human weather predictors, however. CNN meteorologist Chad Meyers, citing, said Phil is correct 39 percent of the time. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration goes even further, saying Phil has "no predictive skill." The tradition behind the famous groundhog goes back to medieval times when there was a superstition that all hibernating animals emerged from their caves and dens to check the weather on Candlemas, which is halfway between the winter solstice in December and the vernal equinox in March. Seeing their shadows would mean winter would go on for another six weeks, and they could go back to sleep, according to the tradition. The tradition came to America with the early German settlers who arrived in Pennsylvania. There is a case of evident Caveman Logic in this news article about the groundhog. It has been a traditional superstition to believe that when a groundhog sees his shadow when he comes out of its hole, that there will be six more weeks of winter, and if not then spring is near. This instance with the groundhog is an example of a superstition that has been continued through our culture, and superstitions are a common type of caveman...
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