Why is Evidence Important?

When discussing spiritualism, philosophy or religion it doesn’t take long to encounter the apparent impasse of “but concept X might be right”, where the concept is not falsifiable. Most of us with an empirical bent are content to ditch these ideas, because the lacking or counter evidence is often compelling enough. But I want to look at what happens when we don’t, and why a belief contrary to evidence is a no-win risk. To take a belief in something contrary to (or without) evidence is the colloquial (and less misleading) definition of the word ‘faith’. The “risk” we’re talking about can also be hugely variable; it could be as little as some of our time or as much as the welfare of a nation. Either way, I’m going to assume there is something lost by believing in a falsehood, as in reality there nearly always is.

So. We have our belief that is neither provable nor disprovable, as all persistent faiths necessarily are. We have no substantial supporting evidence for this faith, perhaps even evidence against it, but ultimately it is not disprovable. It might be true, the adherents stubbornly insist, and What (as a Liberty University student once fatefully asked Richard Dawkins) if you’re wrong?

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Interesting Times

Lately that elusive substance that is Free Time has seemingly evaporated, as a multitude of pursuits collide. In particular, my quest for a Private Pilots Licence and my preparations for half a year in Australia have me rushed off my feet. But I made a resolution that my entries won’t turn into lamenting for lack of free time, so enough about that.

I recently compiled an actual paper checklist for something that has existed for a long time only in my head: the Checklist for the Future. On it are a number of key innovations and milestones, such as Antigravity and Civilian (Orbital) Spaceflight. The idea being that once all the boxes are ticked, we will be in the future. Obviously. Exciting stuff!

Yesterday I came across a fascinating documentary about chaos, spontaneous pattern formation and the Mandelbrot Set. I recommend checking it out, particularly if the ideas of order emerging from nothing and predictable systems having unpredictable outcomes interests you at all. I find it encouraging that it still doesn’t invalidate the physics behind my Chonoportology writings, too (that does, in essence, try to answer the question of what actually determines the A or B path of any given event).

In other news, THIS: