• Tim Wade

Think Like a Scientist, Act in Faith

"Perlmutter pointed out that cosmologists in particular, and physicists in general, are now faced with the stark reality that roughly 96% of the universe cannot be explained with the theories at hand. All our efforts to understand the material world have illuminated only a tiny fraction of the cosmos." - Anil Ananthaswamy, The Edge of Physics.




Ockham's razor is a principle from philosophy whereby between two or more explanations for an occurrence, the one that requires the smallest number of assumptions is usually correct. That's because the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation.


I acknowledge the extraordinary levels of faith, yes faith, of those who choose a philosophy of trusting in the 96% unknown and laden with infinite assumptions over the philosophy of the infinite that's based on one assumption.


That said, with the 4% we do know with some certainty, we must be discerning and prudent and sensible and patient while those on the frontline of increasing that 4% seek to serve and save lives from microscopic threats to our lives.


If indeed we are going to trust the scientists to find a cure to the virus, surely we must use that same trust to advocate and champion their work on finding a cure to environmental devastation.


To fight a virus, the body increases it's temperature to kill the threat and in doing so develops antibodies to protect from future attacks.


And a high-grade fever can be a medical emergency because at or above 42 °C (107.6 F) organs start taking damage that may not be repairable as the body uses the fever to fight the viral, bacterial or cancerous attack.


Global temperatures are rising.


Are we humans so arrogant to see ourselves as omniscient? So arrogant to declare ourselves so prescient that we, in our infinite ignorance, are so correct that we are overcome with complacency and self-centredness?


Is our faith in self-serving financial growth so myopic that we don't see that we are mutating from being the caretaker into becoming the cancer?


We need to stop and think. Once we think, we see. Once we see, we can act. Otherwise it's the blind leading the blind and that ends us in the pits.


We've been stopped because we wouldn't. Now we're supposed to think.


In the current structure of the world, our individual impact is limited, or at best negligible, starfish stories notwithstanding. We can only solve the problems as large as those the world is facing, by becoming one larger body, a community that rallies the conscious to help the globally blind to see, or to influence and create change if the jailed choose not to use their keys.


For me, I believe in a few simple tenets. I believe in science. And I believe in Jesus. I don't think they're mutually exclusive. I believe God made us curious to seek. Our seeking is displayed in our science. He made us relational, to be in communion not isolation, for joy not pain. I believe he has standards that we find difficult to meet but he has the Way for us to succeed if we seek him. We're encouraged to seek, to ask, to knock on the door and find that solution. We're asked to be scientists of life, to find solutions to a virus crisis, solutions to climate crisis, solutions to relationship challenges, solutions to life issues...


We're made to be scientists.


We're supposed to give our thoughts and prayers, but we're also supposed to discern our thoughts, to listen to the answers to those prayers, and to give the world our forward action.


Give action. Not take action.


Give actions based on our science and our faith relationship. We're supposed to give FORWARD action. Asking is a forward action, seeking is a forward action, knocking is a forward action.


Putting other people down is a backward action. Trolling is a backward action. Belittling is a backward action. Blaming is a backward action. Backstabbing is a backward action. Racial, cultural, gender, and other people-lessening prejudices are backward action.


So often we fight to stay where we are but in reality we go backwards. It's a relationship-centred theory of relativity. Relative-ity.


Complaining is a backward action if it exists without any forward direction. Identifying a problem without any direction towards a solution is a cause of pain in so many lives.


We can reduce pain by being more resourceful.


I think we're supposed to have faith AND be the kind of scientists who then apply knowledge to create positive change. We are creators called to create, not to consume needlessly.


I believe in God and science. I believe in a single collective creator called God who created all the elements and fundamental systems and ecosystems that we try to explain by science, that we have the potential to mess with at some levels, and that we have the innate desire to explore.


And I believe that once we have found even a bit of that, only by giving forward action can we truly find more.


Discernment is necessary when considering to whom and to what we give our action. Giving to takers who consume us for self-gain is ineffective giving. I need to say no to that type of giving more than I have. I suspect you do too.


But giving to givers is what makes the world a better place.


If we're voting, let's give our votes to givers who care. And if no candidates meet such simple criteria, give to a change plan, even if that may take a lifetime or more to eventuate.


If we're spending, let's give our money to givers who help the world or who care for those who live in it. Let's make choices that give forward, not to convenient or cost-effective choices that harm. Choose givers who care, even if it costs a little more. You'll be championing change a few dollars at a time.


If we're investing, invest in companies that give, and that are part of the solution to healing the world. We're seeing that beginning to happen as global investment houses like Blackrock are intentionally backing givers.


If you're serving, give to those who have the potential to give, even if they're not there yet. Someone who you help out of a pit could potentially contribute to making far more positive change in the world than you or I possibly can, but they need someone to give them a helping hand. They need you and me.


If you're seeking spiritual meaning, I think it's better to look for the greater relationship beyond the mechanics of religion or a framework that is self-created or adapted, as I think the latter would be evidence of my arrogance and resistance, not my intelligence or humility. And I think seeking a living relationship, one that's prepared to give self to save others, seems more human than a dead philosophy offering only intellectual stimulation but leaving the heart lifeless when it is supposed to be alive.


And if you're living though a global, as-yet-uncured pandemic, have faith in a greater good to come from it while acting with discernment on the recommendations of the science, and not the hype of the frenzied mob or those with a clear conflict of interest.


Think like a scientist. And act in faith.


Be careful.

Be care-filled.

Give forward action.

 

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