If you step off of a cliff, you fall. That is the general rule. When one makes that statement, one is speaking truth. If someone says that this rule is simply your perception, your “truth” (meaning that it may not be truth for everyone), all you need to do is invite them to step off of the cliff. Either they will refuse to step off of the cliff or you will no longer have that person arguing with you.
Having said that, it is also true that if the person is “educated,” they can give you several examples in which that statement is not fully true. For instance, if you jump off of a cliff on some of the asteroids in the Asteroid Belt that orbits around the sun, it is quite possible to jump hard enough to actually exceed escape velocity so that you never fall. If you are wearing a hang glider on Earth, you can delay your fall, sometimes for many hours, nevertheless, you will eventually fall. A very slow glide to earth is still considered to be a fall.
I give this silly example because it will help me to make a point about the way all too many people in America are handling the subject of science and scientific conclusions. I am thinking specifically of yesterday’s post in which I commented on the refusal by some parents to vaccinate their children on an appropriate schedule.
You see, there are matters that have been scientifically explained and matters that are strictly hypothesized, and some stuff in between. However, even those things that are scientifically explained are based on peer-reviewed experiments. This does not guarantee that the explanation of the process will be fully correct, but it does point to the fact that truth is a community undertaking, not a private undertaking. (Note: ultimately Truth is related to God, but that is another subject for another day.)
In the case of stepping off of a cliff, there is abundant yearly evidence that if you step off of a cliff, you fall. If there were to be a study that showed that this is not always true, the chances are that it would be immediately rejected, assuming it would even be published. The evidence for that theorem is overwhelming.
However, not all matters are so easy to demonstrate as stepping off of a cliff. The farther one goes away from directly perceived experiences, the more difficult it is to demonstrate the truth of a particular theorem. Thus, theorems such as the existence of string theory or of dark matter are extremely difficult to prove because it is almost impossible to set up experiential peer reviewed experiments that will result in evidence for the theorem. Moreover, there are competing theorems that can also marshal some strong evidence that their views are the more correct explanation for what we perceive as reality.
All too many people use the multiple theorems that are possible in some of the more esoteric theorems as evidence that all truth is relative to cultural, language, presuppositional, and other issues. But, here is the problem, all things considered, it is true that if you step off of a cliff you will fall. Any attempt to change that reality is doomed to fail. No amount of private theorizing will change that reality. No amount of claiming that each person in the USA is free to reach their own conclusions will change that. No claim of bias (whether liberal or conservative), no claim of a study by a person who is being ignored by the scientific establishment will change the fact that if you step off of a cliff, you will fall.
What does this have to do with what is happening in the USA today? What does this have to do with the subject I brought up yesterday about vaccinations?
===MORE TO COME===