Brainy Quote of the Day

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Confronting Willful Ignorance...

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I'm a live-and-let-live kind of person. I accept others may or may not agree with how I look at life. My viewpoints are shaped by my experiences, observable and measurable experimental evidence and logic.

However, two instances of confrontation occurred Saturday, one in real space and the other on Facebook.

Real space: walking my Labrador retriever. Picking up after her is like shoveling the droppings of a horse! I passed a young couple who in my vision allowed their beagle to plop down excrement and walked past me smiling...

I picked it up and deposited it in the dog waste bins provided by our complex. I saw them on our 2nd lap ("our": got to count Raven!).

Me: Do you live here?

Them: No, we're here visiting my parents (him).

Me: I picked up your dog's droppings. Just to make you aware, that is a policy of the apartment complex.

Them: Oh! We didn't know.

Me: OK. Thanks. [Continued walk...]

Facebook: I rebroadcast a humorous meme with two well-known politicians. One believed the earth was 9,000 years old and that humans and dinosaurs existed together; the other believed the earth 10,000 years old and that God destroyed the dinosaurs for humans. My only comment at the time was an emoticon: (((o_0))).

Someone felt the need to reply: "I believe God created the heavens and the earth and rested on the 7th day."

Me: That's fine, [name omitted]. However, I don't believe the authors of the bible had the information from astronomy, carbon dating nor the scientific method. If so, the bible would need a forklift as the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics in its 94th edition is 2,668 pages: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

Him: Good point I still believe the Bible story though the Earth is to (meant: "too" - grammar) complex to come from a big bang theory. The Bible is really not clear as to how old the earth is. So some things we have to take by faith even science does not hold all the answers the more you learn the more you realize how much you don't know.

Me: That is science. Your statement however, was not.

I left the link I embed below. He did not reply. Guess whatever button I pushed he was done.

Live-and-let-live: a position I feel (or, at least I hope) lacks arrogance. The couple that didn't think they would be asked about their responsibility seemed slightly appalled at my stating the facility policy; my theological debate was started by someone whom I wasn't addressing directly, has no knowledge of my life experiences nor asked about what my views in his area of concern were: this person just assumed me hostile.

Live-and-let-live: that means I don't care what you believe or how you choose to live (unless it included ignored dog droppings). The choices - and they are choices - you make in your life are based on your life experiences, which I have no inkling of, nor the conclusions you've made from those experiences and how you interact with the wider world based on them. You and I have a right to them without attack, criticism or judgement as long as we follow stated rules and regulations; standards of civility, courtesy and common decency.

Science is an iterative process of investigation: it often holds strong convictions until evidence clues otherwise, e.g. the  luminiferous aether was once thought to explain the propagation of light - experiment and the miracle year of Einstein - provided correction. It is by no means a perfect process - the scientist and engineers are only human, subject to human frailties, foibles and flaws in their thinking. Thus, a relentless adherence to the Scientific Method is the central arbiter of what is and is not acceptable science, removing one's persuasion from consideration. Science often doesn't know; therefore explores the unknown.

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