Friday, August 10, 2007


Ah, what to write about today. I'm still in a bit of a slump. I think it has a lot to do with my very long to do list, a house full of guests week after week and a foster daughter that insists I only sleep in 20 minute segments during the night. It all leaves me a bit weary and bleary.

Top that with a bit of an exciting virtual conversation I started a little by accident a few weeks ago and I'm almost a raving lunatic these days. It's a great conversation, if not a very agitated one. It has certainly had my thoughts churning and pushed me harder to get my pen on paper than I've been pushed in a while. That said, I'll share some of my half baked and half formed thoughts.

How do we know what we really know?

In my mind believing anything takes a bit of a leap of faith.

We all want to be able to point to something on paper and say that beyond all doubt this is a fact that cannot be disputed. I think there are few if any things that are really that sort of a fact.

As we (human race) progress in what we know, what we can determine, what we can theorize, etc. we continue to change what we "know" as fact.

Let's look at the medical field for a few minutes. How many diseases in the past were simply thought to be fatal, unfortunate and incurable? How many of those are now almost unseen, treatable or eliminated?

What about medication? Almost any ill you can think of has some sort of drug to treat it's symptoms if not it's actual cause. We like to believe that they are created and sold by people who really want to see other people getting well. Then a little later we find out that the tests to determine the safety of the drug were incorrect, inconclusive, manipulated, or somehow ignored simply to satisfy someones desire for wealth.

What about statistics. This example hinges on the medical, but it's the only thing I can think of off the cuff. I'm not in the mood to do research right now, this is all just thoughts off the top of my head.

Anyway, right now one of the most quoted stats on Autism is that 1 in every 150 births is a child with Autism. Depending on which side of this you're on, it could have been manipulated in so many different ways. Some folks say this new number is due to better diagnostics. Some say there is a rise in actual Autism. Some say the Dr.'s are handing out the label of Autism to often. Some say we've always had that many kids with Autism, we've just never made such a big deal out of it. It goes on and on.

What about something so fluid and unknowable like love. We all believe without doubt that our spouse or significant other loves us. How can we prove that to be a fact? Doesn't everyone have a different standard for what they consider love or being loved? There really isn't a way to put love on paper as a fact, and yet we go on about love being real and true.

So, I know it's half-baked right now. I know I've left tons of loose ends, but sometimes this is as good a place as any to get a draft of a thought out. Sometimes you readers have interesting thoughts to contribute that make me think it through a little differently.

The conversation has gotten me really thinking a lot about truth and what we take as true or fact in our lives.

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