I was thinking about skepticism this morning and what it takes to be a skeptic. I’ve written about this in the past and I come to the same conclusion every time : Doubt. And not just doubt about any and all things, but doubt about those things that have no evidence behind them.
For instance, A friend came over and asked what I had been doing earlier. I told him, I had been cutting the grass. He looks at me, and the yard and states he doesn’t believe I’ve been doing any yard work. I smile, because I think he’s joking but he’s not. So I point out the mower which is still in the yard, grass clippings that have blown on the walkway, even the smell of fresh cut grass. My friend shakes his head and says that I could’ve arranged all of those things without ever having actually cut the grass.
Seriously? Now I’m sure he’s just messing with. me. He’s not because he believes things can happen beyond our comprehension and it’s not impossible that all those things I just described have a completely different explanation. I should’ve have known because this friend is the guy that believes that the Grand Canyon was carved during the “Great Flood” of the bible and that Noah’s Ark, indeed carried a pair of every animal in the entire world. His proof? There are “geologists” that have “proof” of the first and my friend has been to see the Ark himself.
But ask him specific questions about the geologic record? No knowledge and no explanation of why that record is consistent around the world. How did kangaroos get all the way from Australia to the Middle East in time to be saved, or the platypus? All of those animals that were not known to people 2,000 years ago. None of that means anything. In fact, he claims, it is he that is the true skeptic and I’m the one that will believe anything I’m told.
Of course, my science and math, even history books are not based upon the bible.which is just one book not really meant to be a teaching guide to the creation of the world, or the universe, just as a revelation of “god” to humanity and “his” plan for our salvation. That’s why it’s not required in biology, chemistry, or physics classes as a text.