Day 8 - The last day of the Season of Reason
On December 25th we kicked off the Season of Reason by observing the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton. We called it Newtonmas! Let us review what we have honored and/or observed this season.
Day 2 - The contributions of Galileo
Day 3 - The Scientific Method, THANK BACON!
Day 4 - The Education system created in the Muslim world during the middle ages.
Day 5 - The Printing Press
Day 6 - The Internet
Day 7 - Review of 2014
Day 8 - THINK
Each day you were asked to do an activity to honor the idea or person that was that day’s topic. Whether it was reading a book, conducting an experiment, giving technology, or simply saying “Thank Bacon” for the gifts of the Scientific Method we hope that you found the celebration entertaining and informative.
On the last day of the Season of Reason we ask that you think about the future. I know that on New Year’s Day it is traditional to make resolutions that you will honor during the new year. Many resolutions are dead and gone by February leaving the resolver in the same position they were in on December 31st. I would like to ask you to make a simple commitment for the next year.
Your mission this next year is to think.
Use your brain.
Use reason and logic to solve problems. When you encounter a new idea or technology, don’t react with fear and distrust. When you hear a claim that sounds too good to be true, investigate it. You hold the repository of mankind’s collective intelligence and wisdom in your hands. USE IT! We are living in a wonderful time. Humanity’s collective knowledge is available to anyone with a network connection.
Carl Sagan once said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” When you hear someone make a statement that sounds too good to be true, investigate it. Do not trust what an authority figure or a talking head on TV tells you, investigate it and decide for yourself. There are many people in this world that have interests other than the quest for objective truth.
In my opinion what it all boils down to is the choice between two worlds. One is based on superstition and fear that wants to control people and limit their progress for whatever selfish reason and the other world is based on reason, critical thinking, the Scientific Method, and progress. On a daily basis we can see both worlds side by side. The fearful world beheads people for believing other subjective truths and oppresses women in the name of tradition. The reasonable world feeds people, cures diseases, and increases our connection with one another.
History has shown us what the world based on superstition and fear looks like. It looks like the Dark Ages in Europe. It looks like Eastern Europe in 1943. It looks like Africa crippled by the AIDS epidemic. It looks like ISIS and al-Qaeda. It looks like Ethiopia in 1980’s. It looks like female genital mutilation. It is the worst of human instinct.
History has also shown us what we can accomplish when we embrace the tools we were given by the giants who came before us. We landed people on the moon, explored the solar system, linked the world together with communication, and discovered the subatomic world. But it isn’t just about lofty achievements as a species, we can make our own lives better as well. We can cure diseases, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless. We have the tools to do it. They were given to us by Descartes and Bacon with the Scientific Method.
You have your mission. Think, debate, research, analyze, and conclude. Use your brain to find the objective truth that might just save the world or someone you care about.
Thank Bacon and see you next year!