SOMETIMES the sky IS falling!

Just because some people have a reputation for being paranoid doesn’t mean that others AREN’T out to get them from time to time. It certainly makes it tough for the rest of us to believe it; but it doesn’t automatically rule anything IN or OUT.

Intuitive logic is OFTEN wrong but ALWAYS certain. And this has ALWAYS been true, from the moment, about 2,000,000 years ago, that a caveman—I think his name was OG—first poked his head out of his cave and assumed the Earth was flat, right through to the awesome complexities of modern day science.

Yes, humans have known for centuries that the Earth is NOT flat and that it’s NOT the center of the universe. But confusion relative to other matters still persists.

Just in America, for example, an alarming number of people believe that the Earth is no more than 10,000 years old. Many of them believe that humans and dinosaurs co-existed.

Why? Because religious beliefs—having NOTHING to do with God—makes them predisposed to such logic. To them, it’s intuitive; and verifiable science to the contrary be DAMNED.

Approximately 25% of the American population thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth. Why? Because they observe the Sun crossing our daytime sky: coming UP in the morning and going DOWN at night.

And an even larger percentage of Americans (about 32%) thinks that Earth’s four seasons and varying periods of daylight are caused by Earth’s proximity to the Sun.

For such people, it is NOT intuitive logic that Earth orbits the Sun at a rate of about 66.6-THOUSAND miles per hour while simultaneously spinning one revolution about its polar axis every 23.9345 hours (Earth’s actual sidereal day as opposed to the “science-in-the-grade-school-classroom” estimate of 24-hours).

And since Earth’s polar axis is tilted 23-degrees to the perpendicular, it causes the planet to nutate (wobble) throughout all of this spinning and orbiting.

While we owe our human EXISTENCE to Earth’s proximity to the Sun, it’s the TILT of Earth’s polar axis that gives us our four seasons, NOT our proximity to it.

Anyway, these are just a couple of examples wherein intuitive logic tends to rule science for a significant number of Americans.

However, science isn’t the only field for which intuitive logic rules. Politics and religion—again religion has nothing to do with a REAL or IMAGINED God—are two prime examples.

And while belief in God is PURELY a matter faith putting it outside a realm of rationalism that warrants either defense or condemnation—most certainly to extent of humans killing each other over it—science and politics are NOT.

SCIENCE is not so much a SUBJECT of study as it is a way of THINKING about virtually ALL subjects of study—think scientific method. We had better soon begin applying it to all of our endeavors, including our politics.

In the final analysis, there is GENUINE science and there is PSEUDOSCIENCE. They are NOT the same things.

Genuine science’s claim to LEGITIMACY is born of its insistence on factual verification. In other words, let FACTS dictate THEORIES; and whenever additional facts so warrant it, revise the theories.

Pseudo-science poses a diametrically opposite approach because pseudo-scientists are not scientists at all.

Sometimes intentionally, but more often with the sincerest of ignorance and the purest of conscientiously stupid intent, they let WHAT they believe DICTATE the facts.

In other words, they pose a theory and then cherry-pick “facts” that support their theories. Unfortunately, though, counter-intuitive REALITY eventually annihilates intuitive LOGIC.

Science fiction has its roots in pseudo-science. It’s believable for a couple of reasons: it consists of about 15% SCIENCE and 85% FICTION; and people WANT to believe it because it conforms to their preconceived notions. And there is no shortage of it in this country.

In terms of entertainment, it’s a fantastic outlet. But relative to humanity’s well-being, it has a strong potential for human devastation. And while the politicians who perpetuate it are jerks, they’re nowhere near as dangerous as the clueless dweebs who believe them.

The scientific way of thinking has never been dependent on unconfirmed gossip, questionably-sourced reports, and blatant speculation. And it isn’t today, either.

And while it’s also true that snake oil salesmen have ALWAYS inundated science with preposterousness and that they’re still at it today, the stakes have never been as high.

Ignorance has always befuddled humanity. But no matter how sincere it seems or how conscientious its inherent stupidity is, it remains every bit as dangerous as it ever was.

But when it comes to the politics of getting elected, candidates don’t hesitate to blur the line between fact and fiction and there’s nothing partisan about it, either.

Various writers have often quoted the late Upton Sinclair as having said, “It is difficult to get a MAN to understand something when HIS job depends on NOT understanding it.”

I’m going to modify this by replacing “man” with PEOPLE and adding the word ADMIT—Upton won’t mind because he’s long DEAD.

First, it’s rarely a matter of people being unable to UNDERSTAND something; it more likely to involve them refusing to ADMIT understanding it. And second, MEN have NEVER been the sole culprits!

So here is MY version. “It’s difficult to get PEOPLE to ADMIT that they understand something when their jobs depend on them NOT understanding it.”

ALL of us need to keep this in mind, especially the ABSOLUTISTS who keep insisting on trying to express themselves more clearly than they’re able to think!

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. And for those who have the means, in so far as you’re able to do it, make sure that those who don’t have the means also enjoy a hot wholesome meal as well.

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