Asking questions; thinking for yourself

Martha Hoffman, Editor-In-Chief

“I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men.”
—Charles Darwin

Monday, Feb. 12 would have been this revered man’s 209th birthday. Dedicated to study, discourse and deep thought, he left an indelible mark on the world.

At his invitation, be the one to ask questions, engage in conversation, and think for yourself in all facets of life, not the least of which your ideas about where we came from.

Theories about the origin of life and the universe will always be just that — theories.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines a theory in the scientific sense as “a coherent statement or set of ideas that explains observed facts or phenomena, or which sets out the laws and principles of something known or observed; a hypothesis confirmed by observation, experiment etc.”

It is not a law, it is not fact, it is simply one possible explanation of how things work.

Because we were not present when the universe began or when life started, it is beyond the realm of quantitative scientific research. We will never be able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt how or when it happened.

We can look at everything as it is now and seek plausible explanations of past events, but these are restricted by our window in time through which we view the world.

Science is about asking questions and revising our ideas as we learn more. It is an ongoing journey.

Somewhere, somehow, something came from nothing. The spectacular diversity of life and the expanse of the universe began: this we know. Any explanation of our origins must be taken on faith because we can never know for sure how it happened.

With this groundwork, we have the opportunity to study, discuss, and look at all the angles in our quest for understanding.

Happy thinking!