Native Skeptic

Native Skeptic
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How Science Changed My Life

Belief is a strong feeling in something that often cannot be explained. However, being the inquisitive minded person that I am, often that is not good enough for me. Faith is a word that I rarely use, but that was not always the case. As a young person, I was taught certain things that were “gospel”, so-to-speak. I did not question those particular things, nor was I in any position to do so. But, as I grew into a more confident and well equipped individual through school, I made it a point not to sway in that initial inquisitive nature. Being an artist gave me the reason to embrace and harness this quality in myself. I knew this was a unique trait that not everyone shared and even if it made me an outcast to whatever social click, somehow I knew this was a special ability that would lead to great things and possibly even greater understandings.

Little did I know how profound those initial insights and inclinations would actually turn out to be. As I began to contemplate the great philosophical quandaries of giants like Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, David Hume and Bertrand Russell. I began to reflect on what the point to all of this really was, and tried to determine what I deemed to be important to my own personal being and perspective of "experience".

After contemplating what was tangible, explainable, quantifiable and relevant to my own position in the universe, I realized that what I had defined was the scientific method. Not only did I come to realize what “science” was for myself, but I was able to finally put these notions and feelings into words.

Much to my surprise, I began to find out that much like my thoughts on the paradoxes of nature, the notions that I had about reality were anything but novel. There was actually a whole group of individuals who thought the same way that I did, matter of fact, it was a whole movement.

All of the unexplainable questions which I thought were once important, began to dematerialize and fade away upon the realization that they were unanswerable (at this time) or were deemed irrelevant. I found my way to defining what I considered to be valid scientific evidence, and all of the things that did not fall into that spectrum fell off my map and I began to feel as if I could finally see my way through the nonsense. It was as if I was walking under a dim light and someone suddenly turned up the lights. The world began to open up to me in a way that I never expected and the beauty of nature revealed itself to me through science.

All of the classic philosophical positions on life, death to the actions of others in everyday life were given a new breath of existence with my new-found perspective of the world, and also how I viewed "reality".

I came to the understanding that the nature of reality was not as I perceived it to be. My own reflection in the mirror was a lie. That is not me “now”, that is me a split second ago as it takes time for light to travel and bounce off of the outer surface of electrons that outline my body and bounce off of the mirror into my eyes in which my brain then interprets the information of light as it enters my visual cortex.

So as you can now see, reality and the nature of existence was not only much more complex than I could ever imagine, it was also much more precious and wonderful in that complexity. I did not need to experience a loss, tragedy or some other form of life experience struggle to be grateful for life. Now, I get that feeling everyday through seeing things a little closer to how they really are, scientifically. I finally found the answers to the big philosophical questions that I had been searching for, but not with philosophy...

with science!  

A special thanks goes out to those notable skeptics who personally took the time to reach out to me, all of you were my biggest influences to helping me find my voice: 

  • Jay Novella 
  • Rebecca Watson 
  • Desiree Schell 
  • LaVerne Knight-West 

I'd also like to mention all of the other 'Rogues' of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe, your podcast always made me feel like I was amongst friends: 

  • Steven Novella 
  • Bob Novella 
  • Evan Bernstein 
  • Perry DeAngelis