I’m always fascinated by people.
People are a marvellous subject for study, especially their ability to accommodate contradictory thoughts/opinions at the same time. Mind you, a person can—a machine couldn’t. A machine would electro-mechanically freakout, throwing a fit leading to blown fuses or a total meltdown.
Thus my own organic onboard computer compartmentalises its databanks into bins labelled ‘could be’, ‘might be’, ‘is’, ‘maybe/perhaps’, ‘impossible’, and ‘Eeeek!’; a defensive mechanism devised by the hand of Nature herself. (Interesting note: the bin labelled ‘impossibe’ seems permanently empty.)
My bins surprise me. Of their own volition they’re constantly shuffling and exchanging contents—often when I’m awakened by the dawn’s early light I find last night’s ‘is’ bin has redistributed itself among the others and vice-versa. I seem to have become a man of flexible opinions (and being so drives The Spouse nuts)(women, it seems, prefer consistency) … but what can possibly be constant in a world of constant change? One thing I do know as a rock-solid fact: there is no such thing as a ‘fact’. Facts have limited lifespans. Yesterday’s Great Truths are todays redundant superstitions; and official science, as always, is the victor.
Another reliable fact: no true scientist will ever admit the above. Loud may I bleat that last week’s scientific (hence unarguable) truths are often today’s hysterical giggles (can anyone argue?) but the fact remains that today’s science is officially unarguable, being based as it is on the latest scientific truths. Oh dear. But wait, it gets worse …
MY CONTENTION IS that we live in a world of unstable facts which rely on better minds than ours for revelation and interpretation. In short, science per se is just another religion and it requires fully as much faith to believe in science as in any other exemplar divinity. The man in the white coat is entirely interchangeable with the man in the cossack—
I sense a presence and grow uneasy. Even here, in McDonald’s, with rapidly colding coffee? No, surely not. Then I know it’s for real, the whiff of rum gives him away. The Sage murmurs briefly in my ear then he’s gone again … picky old bugger; okay, so I can’t spell. Sue me—
—of course I meant “man in the cassock”. Damn.
So the scientist and the priest are interchangeable. I knew that. But in so much as both provide ultimate answers I distrust them equally.
I provide my own solutions and need no intermediaries between me and the universe — I don’t need bromide answers, I need better questions. Would that the people I share this world with did likewise.