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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Why Science Inspires Faith In Me

The recent discovery of the fossil named Australopithecus sediba, found in a cave in South Africa, is generating considerable excitement in the scientific community, and rightfully so. It is said to be the oldest known fossil that is tied with our genus Homo, and speculations and arguments have arisen whether or not this strengthens the "missing link between apes and humans" idea or whether this discovery will lead us to another, entirely new path about the origins of man. (See

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In either case, I welcome the discovery, as well as the ensuing discussions that will no doubt come, because all it does is strengthen my faith in science, in a way that no religion ever could.

You see, science never stops asking questions.

If it did, we would never wonder about gravity, nor have found out on which body our solar system is anchored on. We would just readily submit having cancer as our "fate", or as a "punishment" of sorts. We would never discover that all our emotions are somehow tied to chemical reactions in the body, and that what we think can ultimately affect the body itself. We would never think that humans could one day actually fly out into outer space - or even merely fly, period.

Science is never arrogant.

It demands proof, hard evidence, before it accepts something as truth or fact. It doesn't ever have the audacity to ask anyone to believe in a concept "because I said so!". Once a new discovery is laid on the table, it is open for anyone to challenge, as to how this discovery came to be, how it works and what to make of it. It invites everyone to be part of its' scrutiny, because facts have to withstand any and all questions, no matter how intense or "unfair", in order to be accepted into our body of knowledge.

Science changes with each and every new revelation.

It is not stagnant - for if it was, we would never have cars, computers or contact lenses. And in so short a span of time, they have transformed into space shuttles, tablets and laser surgery. Whenever changes, tweaks, improvements or entirely new ideas come our way, science embraces it with open arms. It doesn't shut anything out, just because "we like how it's always been done, we stick with the old ways!"; instead, with each new revelation, it builds upon what it already knows, and furthers our species and our lives with this attitude.

Science does not have a titular figure.

Instead, anyone is able to bring their own expertise into the equation. Scientists - in general - have this burning desire to make unknown things known, and to share this knowledge with anyone who cares to listen. Voltaire, Curie, Einstein - these are but three in a long list of scientists who have made their mark felt, known, and beneficial to humanity, making the field of science richer the day they left us than the day they entered it, and this heritage has not stopped, it is a continuous process that, in the truest sense of the word, evolves before our very eyes.

Science readily admits it doesn't have all the answers.

How could it? Even when talking about the brain alone, we have barely begun to scratch the surface of what its true potential is. Science is in awe of what it doesn't know, but instead of being frightened by that realization, it forges on with the desire to understand the what, the how, the why. It is never content with what it does know, knowing fully well that what we know now doesn't begin to compare to what we still don't know. It does not panic at the thought of uncertainty, it is challenged and fortified with each new uncertainty that is practically begging for comprehension.

I am excited at what new discoveries there are in our genetic code. I am excited that the stuff of science fiction have not just become scientific facts, they are fast becoming obsolete. Science is compelling, and it doesn't do it in a forceful way; it doesn't beat you on the head, it naturally invites curiosity, wonder and even amazement. It is inspiring, beautiful and wondrous.

Science is something that I appreciate more and more, its value only increasing with time. In an age of useless and empty rhetoric, blind adoration and allegiances, and idiotic forays and emasculation-caused displays of violence and superiority, I cling to the belief that science will surpass all of this, and continue to guide our people, to a hopeful, more enlightened future.

I will always have my faith in science.

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