Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Question everything


I recently started watching "Cosmos" with my sons - this new version is really even more awe inspiring than the first one - mostly because the people who watched the first one as children were inspired to even greater scientific and technological advances that resulted in this new series. 

For someone who tolerates math, especially as it becomes advanced I know my brain just fights it, there is some irony on how much I love science and technology.  I also find that if the person explaining it to me happens to have the gift that sets them apart, that gift to have a way of telling me about advances or experiments in a way that leaves me with an understanding and a yearning for more (this is not a common gift for the scientific community - it is where they often lose out to public sentiment and myth) well then I slightly swoon as if they were rock stars.  

The show's premier episode was one of wonder - like that little kid wonder when you see a movie for the first time.  It reminded me and introduced my sons to the concept of infinite wonder, questioning everything, scientific theory and the idea that the status quo and religions will often quash these things because they are afraid of the power they will lose.  The power they worship is not in question - because the idea that we are small and there are greater forces than us should not run contrary to their beliefs but it scares them because it reminds us that they are small too.

I want my boys to grow up and look to science and history with the same obsessive fixation you see in video game play.  After all those games, systems would not exist without engineers, scientists and technology gurus.  They should respectfully question things that seem unlikely to them even if the explanation is one that makes the unlikely true.  

There are things that shake me to the point of anger  - I have learned to not let that anger be driver though to my rebuttals - and among the top of those is the sense that somehow we are sliding backward when it comes to science.  If I hear one more person say "well that's only a theory"...theory by scientific definition is not "this is what I think" that would be hypothesis. I do not get my medical advice from celebrities, or any other advice except maybe fashion from them - because playing a doctor or an astronaut does not make you even close to one.  I cannot stand the idea that books are banned or burned because ignorance has been disguised as a faith or freedom.  

I, like all else about this galaxy, am small and can only impact my immediate surroundings with the hope it reverberates into positive action. I can help my children by exposing them to the wonders of science and history and the thirst for knowledge that makes them ask "why?".   As a parent the why question has driven me to frustration but I have tried always to answer it and point them in the right direction. 

Question everything - question what you are most of afraid of - question and question again because of the wonders of this planet the ability to think, process and create is in itself among the greatest wonders. I also want my boys to be grateful for living in a home and a place where they do not risk life to get to an education.  Question everything and improve what you can from the answers you find and create. 

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