Month: May 2015

On Evidence

Frequently I am skeptical of what people tell me about anything physical. Organic food, genetically engineered crops, natural remedies, the means of construction of ancient monuments–the list goes on and on.

I intend to be a scientist one day, and though I prize the scientific method, it is not for love of science only that I employ the method so often.

In the Navy there are those we call “sea lawyers,” and really, when I realized how many of these existed is when I decided I had better always check my primary sources. Sea lawyers are, by the way, sailors of any rank or rating who are apt to give uninformed advice and commentary. I liked to cite actual regulations to these people when I was in the Navy because they were so annoying, always trying to correct someone when they were the ones in need of correction.

Anyway, I never like to hear from a sea lawyer, or generally anybody who talks much about matters they know little of. But what I really never like is to think of being one of those people myself. So I endeavor to tell only the truth, as well as to believe only the truth.

It isn’t easy, necessarily, and here is where I come to my point:

We use quantitative information that is gathered in a controlled and repeatable way to say something is evidently true. To me, that is a fine way of saying how old Earth is or how Ebola is transmitted.

But physical evidence does not account for what is not physical, and there are things evident to me that can be neither confirmed nor denied by the tools of science.

My soul is evident to me. I am aware of it, and it is like breath which we all have, but are not all mindful of. There are innumerable physical realities, aspects of our bodies and environments, of which nearly all of us are ignorant. What about the spirit? What about existence, consciousness, ethics, and God?

I have experienced two miracles, but these are not even what convince me about the metaphysical. What convinces me is feeling the presence of Spirit, just like I feel my heart beat and would guess we all had a heart even if the world were totally void of the physical evidence for this.

I know I am comparing physical and spiritual things a little, but to what else can the spiritual be compared? In truth, is it really the physical truths that mean the most in our lives anyway? Is it not love and curiosity and joy and even greed and pride that move us (or paralyze us)? Is it strange that we all conceive of beauty, yet we cannot define it?

All I mean to say is that I perceive something beyond all I can ‘prove’ and it doesn’t seem like bad science to admit that I cannot test everything. Is it intuition? No, I don’t think so. There is a burning that I experienced before I was even convinced God exists, for instance. It’s something more. Something more. I know it like I know I love the ocean. I will use science to seek out the mysteries of the universe, but though it is almost taboo for a student to say, I will not limit my exploration to the places science can take me. I know I am more than matter.