Sheldon: No, this is my home now. Thanks to you, my career is over, and I will spend the rest of my life here in Texas trying to teach evolution to creationists.
Mrs. Cooper: You watch your mouth, Shelly. Everyone's entitled to their opinion.
Sheldon: But evolution isn't an opinion, it's fact.
Sheldon's mom: And that is your opinion!
alsifiability is the capacity for some proposition, statement, theory or hypothesis to be proven wrong. That was the first lesson that I learned on the first day of my Physics lecture at the University of South Florida. Science is not about being right. It's about finding reasons to be proven wrong. This is the beauty about science and strangely, I find humility in that. Science does not claim to have an answer for everything. In fact, it reiterates the process of finding answers to the unknown. Science allows for certainty and uncertainty to coexist. A presumption is okay as long as it is acknowledged as such. But sometimes, even scientists can fall prey to the assumption of uncertainty. The ability to simply say, "I don't know" is indeed a rare virtue.
I'm aware that this is a sensitive topic but I'm not someone to shy away from such things for there can be no growth without friction. This is not a debate about "my belief verses your belief." It's not even about believing. It's about seeking the truth. But what is truth anyway? Even our idea of truth is debatable and contextual. However, truth is above all ideas, believes, prejudices and dogmas. It's the final stage when we can say, "I know so," instead of, "I believe so." Even the nature of knowing has to be questioned. Is it coming from an inference, intuition or an authority? There arises, therefore, the necessity of a cool, rational, dispassionate, unprejudiced and impersonal consideration. But there is also the predicament of either acceptance or being in denial.
Whatever you do in life, are you moving closer towards truth or untruth? That's the only question that matters.
I think it's essential to have discussions instead of arguments. It's only when our ideas and convictions are challenged that the fire of the quest to know is kindled. However, respect matters and only then can intelligent conversations take place. I'm not going to write about the evidences that proves or disproves the Theory of Evolution. There are many books and other credible sources for that. This, instead is about trying to understand the nature of the human mind when given the choice to believe or disbelieve. The Theory of Evolution as well as other examples are only used as an analogy to achieve that understanding.
Intellect means discernment; there must be discernment between what is real and what is not real, what is memory and what is imagination, what is experience and what are psychological figments.
It is a crucial topic especially in today's world where the mind is constantly overloaded by myriads of information in the form of our education, news, social media, science, religion and so on. From the time we are born, we are indoctrinated to believe all kinds of stuff. The capacity to delude ourselves and get derailed is very strong and sometimes inherent. There lies the danger of wishful thinking, a fanciful fairy tale that we tell ourselves so that we may "live happily ever after." Therefore, the mind should constantly stay alert. How do we fit all this into proper conjecture? How does one discriminates between truth and untruth? Are we acting from our authentic self or are we simply a product of our social conditioning? There are many misconceptions surrounding Evolution. Is it a Theory, Fact, Law or something else? Let's just say that it started with an observation..
Experience is the only teacher we have. We may talk and reason all our lives, but we shall not understand a word of truth, until we experience it ourselves.
– Swami Vivekananda
Throughout history, human beings have tried to explain the unfathomable through stories. When we saw lightning in the sky, the Nordic people said that it's Thor, the hammer wielding God of thunder and lightning. The Greeks believed that it was the mighty Zeus, the king of Gods who uses his thunderbolt to display his power and superiority across the sky. Today, we know that lightning is caused by the rubbing of ice crystals between clouds or the friction between a negative charge and a positive charge. Sound or thunder is just a consequence of lightning. In that process, we realized that light is much much, much faster than sound. We also learned how to harness electricity, the invisible river of energy that powers all the gadgets of our planet and the source of livelihood to an entire economy; And it all happened with a simple observation and yet, a powerful one made by Benjamin Franklin.
When your belief is endorsed by religion, you will do the most ridiculous thing with absolute confidence
The power of observation is not to be underestimated. Great scientific discoveries have been unfolded by the sheer power of observation. An observation can be wrongly interpreted but the observation itself cannot be wrong. It's just how an individual perceives life around him/her. The observer experiences it as the truth whereas another person may consider it as a delusion. For instance, those who believe that the earth is flat are not wrong. For them, it's the 'truth'. A belief is just an assumption but it is usually mistaken for conviction. But reality does not concede to one's personal truth. Our mind has divided the world between our subjective reality and objective reality. In that sense, we can say that truth is relative whereas reality is absolute. But that itself is a wrong interpretation since truth and reality are one and the same.
Intelligent ones wonder. Idiots are dead sure.
I once took a class called Globalization and Technology. One of the lectures happened to be on the Theory of Evolution. Before our teacher started the lecture, he expressed his awareness on the sensitivity of the topic and he further apologized if it offended anyone. I was not bothered by this but it did raise an interesting question within me. How does talking about the possibility of our origin be offensive to anyone? The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection is the closest possibility that we arrived to explain the nature of our origin. And there are so many evidences to back this theory. Are we simply supposed to undergo through the process of indoctrination without question? Let's just leave it at that!
Indoctrination is not necessarily a bad thing. It becomes bad when you cannot break the boundaries of being inside a box
- Just a thought