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In My Opinion
Facts Change Over Time...
Editor
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 • Posted May 15, 2013

Everything in the universe circles around the earth! If you were early man, this wasn't just a guess, it was a fact that could be proven by observing the sun, moon and stars leaving and returning each day in approximately the same location they were in the day before.

But, facts change as we gain access to more information and more methods of observation. Galileo suffered the wrath of the Church when he hypothesized that the earth circled the sun. He was charged with heresy for such radical views. He began a change in how we viewed those astronomical facts, and the facts had to come into line with new evidence.

Facts are not immutable. They change every day. Just because something is a fact today, that does not guarantee that it will remain as fact tomorrow.

In early Mesopotamia, it was fact that there was a pantheon of gods, each responsible for different aspects of our physical world. A movement began, cemented by the fervor and faith of Abraham, to recognize only one true God. Judaism began. Muslims were formed. Christianity developed. All recognizing one God. Facts changed.

We are limited to using the facts we have at our disposal to make our decisions in life. If we use the best facts we can gather, and the fold that into our experiences, our principles and our best judgment, then we have no reason to doubt the decisions that we make. Until we wake up the next day and all the facts we used have changed.

There are facts about evolution, astronomy, economics and meteorology. And, they are all sound and reliable. And, they all change. Some of them daily. And, when facts change, we start to question if the decisions we've already made are valid.

I would offer that those decisions are valid, as long as we welcome new information and adjust our own hypothesis as new data arrives. Sometimes, what we learn only reinforces the stand we've already taken. At other times, we learn something that completely flips our worldview on its ear and we are forced to reexamine many of the decisions we've made.

But, there are people who refuse to accept that facts change. They are the same people who cherry pick facts from different times and different situations and hold on to only the ones that reinforce the decisions they've made so that they never have to question the validity of their entire decision making process.

Such rigid adherence to outdated information leads to arguments, it leads to broken relationships and it leads to disappointment. All of this happens because we all fail to recognize that change happens, and we have to adjust our lives to incorporate those changes. It doesn't mean we give up our beliefs. It doesn't mean we compromise our principles. And, it doesn't mean we have to be someone that we aren't.

Of course, there are folks who take exactly the opposite route. They will constantly modify every action, every decision, every statement, based upon the changes occurring around them. With these folks, it's impossible to determine what core beliefs they really have, as they keep throwing them out and replacing them with something newer and shinier. They treat their own basic tenets as if they were the newest gadgets, ready to be discarded as soon as something prettier hits the shelves.

Extreme reactions, even based upon facts, are dangerous and a bad direction to take. The Greeks and their Golden Mean had the right idea when they proposed moderation in all things. Save the extremes for the emotional aspects of life. Love of a partner. Adoration of a child. Joy of a spiritual event. Then, use those emotions to help shape the decisions you make based upon the latest facts.

You'll probably live a longer and healthier life, and the people around you will probably be a lot happier as well!

It’s all just my opinion.

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