Time to start out the new year with a credo. “I believe.” I believe…..I believe… . I believe what?
Well, for starters, I believe that there is a lot of nonsense said about “I believe.” When I was a kid, a singer named Frankie Laine had a hit song named “I believe.” Some of it went like this: “I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows. I believe that somewhere in the darkest night, a candle glows” And then it went ta tum tat um, something something something.
Now I can’t blame Frankie for this song. After all, he didn’t write it. But even at age 13 I could see through the music-induced mental fog that the song was really really really dumb.
So, since I can’t equate rainfall and flower growth on a one-to-one basis, what do I believe?
Well, I believe that Mother Nature doesn’t care too much about morality but is very hard on stupidity. I believe in data. More than that, I believe in replicability. If you perform a study and gain some data, I should be able to perform that same study and get that same data. This lets out most of the “experiments” in ESP. I believe in Occam’s razor, that the simplest explanation that fits the data is the one we should choose.
This makes me sound like a “If I can’t see it, I don’t believe it,” person. Oh no, my friend. I believe in tachyons and quarks and neutrinos. I believe in the used-to-be planet Pluto. I believe that we are in the west wing attic of a huge galaxy. I believe that even now my bone marrow is making red blood cells.
I believe in accountability. I don’t believe that angels above us are silent notes taking. Nor do I believe that there is a great balance sheet for me in the sky, and that in the final analysis, everything on one side has to balance everything on the other, so that I am effect a zero-sum game.
I believe that people are pretty much people everywhere. That is, we are the products of a crazy-quilt, aimless, meandering evolutionary sequence that gives me eyes developed out of light-sensitive spots on some primeval planarium. At the same time, I believe that the world is becoming a better place (threats of planetary doom to the contrary).
I believe that sailing is the most civilized form of transportation.