Scientiﬁc measurement and interpretation
Higher Order Thinking
How much stock should be put into scientiﬁc predictions?
When should safety concerns be allowed to disrupt daily life?
What is the value of reputation?
What natural characteristics are required for human settlements?
How can man and nature coexist?
Many years ago the Surtsey Sea frothed with fervent heat. Smoke billowed from the deep, lava spewed
skyward, and a new volcanic island emerged. Now known as Kraﬀt Island, its fertile volcanic soil and
crystal blue bays attracted the rich and the powerful, becoming a luxury destination almost overnight.
It was a wonderful island. Everyone seemed content—except for one man. Dr. Ash Tephra, the world’s
most renowned volcanologist, was outspoken against settlements on the island from the beginning.
He argued that not enough time had passed to determine how stable this volcano really was and that it
was only a matter of time before the island would be engulfed in a truly formidable eruption.
Two years ago Dr. Tephra’s eruption predictions reached a new extreme. Using his own special research
methods known as “underground volcanology,” which involve going underground to measure volcanic
activity, he warned the government that a massive eruption would occur within the week! Fellow
volcanologists using more traditional methods, however, did not agree.
Erring on the side of safety—and based on Dr. Tephra’s impeccable reputation for accurate predictions
—the government decided to evacuate the island. However, two full weeks passed and the supposed
eruption never occurred. Angry citizens returned to the island lodging multiple complaints against the
government for economic loss. Dr. Tephra was humiliated. His reputation took a severe hit, but he
remained adamant in predicting an eruption of spectacular proportions on Kraﬀt Island.
Today, Dr. Tephra has once again warned of an impending eruption and has urged the government to
evacuate the island. The government is concerned for its citizens’ safety, and Dr. Tephra remains the
leading expert, but even so the government does not want another needless evacuation. Other
volcanologists have once again indicated that they do not predict an eruption, but also admit that they
cannot be certain Dr. Tephra is wrong. To clear matters up the government has called upon the Inﬁnity
Knights—the renowned protectors of peace and justice throughout the universe—to help them.
Your mission is to travel beneath the surface of Kraﬀt Island, explore the volcanic conduits extensively,
and determine whether an evacuation is necessary. Report your ﬁndings as soon as you can to the
government—before it’s too late!