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Skeptics, Anti-Scientists & the Walls Around Us
by Jeremy Browning
Nov. 16, 2005 00:25

Well, so you don't believe in mathematics, huh?

Logic is fooey, right?

Damn, I can't believe you.

Well, since you're so nuanced, then you know about the fragility of nature, especially life.

And here you sit in this world, perhaps in a gymnasium, while tons upon tons of steel and wood loom over your head. Girders that could crush you into a lifeless pool of fluids are hanging 30 feet away. That beam might as well be a train aimed down the tracks at you. It doesn't run on coal, it runs on gravity. And given it's turn, gravity will hurtle that girder down upon you and grandma right in front of the home team.

Thankfully, some engineers have held gravity at bay. When they hoisted those beams into the sky, they had a plan. They knew how to work with gravity, even to use it. But the beams don't fall.

That's an absolute. The beams don't fall. There's your black and white world. The beam either falls or it doesn't.

And, boy, those beams are just falling all the time, aren't they. Yeah, dangerous things, those roof joists.

What gave those engineers the power to remain on the happy side of one of the absolutes of this world? I'll be damned if they didn't use reason and logic: man's conceptual faculty and the method for using it without contradictions.

So since we see those tools paying off so obviously around us, you know, during all those non-snowed-out basketball games we watch every winter, why don't we just believe.

Instead we prefer to believe in all kinds of bullshit we can't see, can't know, can't contemplate. Everything gets so much attention, but reason is left out. Instead, droves of the academics actually make livings by creatively postulating: "Suppose reason and knowledge aren't that useful after all? Perhaps there are no absolutes," and so on.

log (lôg) n. a record of details of a voyage made by a ship's captain or crew