Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Jury is still out…wait…it’s not.

The phrase “The jury is still out on [insert subject here]…” is silly if used by inattentive court spectators who have not noticed the jury has indeed entered the room. So let us be clear.

The jury is in on global warming. The jury is composed of scientists. The scientists have ruled. This does not precluded the concept of long-term natural changes. This is not a binary topic, with either ‘this’ or ‘that’ being ‘true’.

The jury is in on evolution. Same thing. Scientists agree. This does not preclude the possibility of divine intervention. This is not a binary topic, with either ‘this’ or ‘that’ being ‘true’. The one can be said to be scientifically proved, the other can scientifically said to be non-provable. All is thus good. Those who value science, above superstition, have a bit of closure with still more questions to wet their appetites. Those who seek the solace of divinity can remain there, knowing no one will ever prove they’re wrong. These two camps can then have a hearty meal together and discuss common interests, like football and Adele.

Jury composition
Out of hundreds of thousands of scientists, will there be individual examples of nay-sayers? Sure. I hope there always will be dissent and improvements on any scientific discoveries. There should always be tweaking and refining, using the scientific method. Details will come to light. This thing will have been found to be 10 million years old versus 125,000 years old (example: the peach). That thing will be found to impact such and such more, or less dramatically than previously calculated, etc. However, the general gist of things pretty much remains once the group consensus has been reached.

So, if you say “The jury is still out on…”, regarding scientific matters, ask yourself how you came to utter that phrase. Did you arrive at it via an examination of the body of scientific evidence, or are you basing your opinion on the sound bites of pundits who are basing their own opinions on their beliefs and biases versus an examination of the data. Have you heard the same thing uttered, so many times, by do many people (possibly with the same employer), that it simply must be true?

You owe it to yourselves, and the rest of us, to at least make an effort to fact check.

It is with this in mind that I post very little regarding my views. I know a lot, and have read a lot, about some things, while other things, about which I may have strong FEELINGS, I do not have strong DATA — because I’ve not put in the time — and thus I consider myself unqualified to make pseudo fact-based proclamations. This is not to say I will not voice my opinions, but I will state them as opinions and not as facts.

Thoughts on the tendency toward thinking of issues in binary terms

The idea of a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, an ‘on’ or ‘off’, the ‘this is the answer, and not this other thing’ also disturbs me. Ideas and opinions are being based on a game show-like mentality, with people reaching for the big red buzzer like they’re on a timer, vomiting forth opinions before exerting much thought. Usually…hopefully…issues are more complex than that.

For me, this single tendency is, more than anything else, and explanation for the grid-lock we see in congress, much less our own holiday tables. If one takes an absolute stance — a binary choice — one cannot compromise. Without compromise we get some winners, but mostly everyone ends up losing, in the end.

What next?

All I ask is you consider what you positions you support and whether your stance is fact-based or opinion-based. Both are fine, but one should know oneself, and one’s motivations. Embrace them. Modify them as needed. More forward. Rinse. Repeat. Grow. Evolve.

But that’s just my opinion…with no facts to back any of it up.

I guess it’s time to go do some research.

Update:

If you are still reading this, some part of you is still thinking. Don’t waste those neurons. Go check out this interesting piece by Dr. John Duffy (pointed out to me today by my friend Lisa), about the importance of being available. When you are done reading it…go be available to someone.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-duffy-psyd/to-an-available-december-_b_8734384.html