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When one is trained in the sciences, one is given weapons with which to fight ignorance, ala Phantom Tollbooth. One is trained to tease out relevant information from a sea of evidence, spot nonsense a mile away, vigorously defend ideas, and, with much labor, increase the knowledge available today. Through regular sparring with peers one is trained in the art of scientific debate. This sparring discards some ideas and makes others better.  The scientific method works.

 

However, one is also trained to be acutely aware that one’s ideas cannot stand impregnable through all time and space. Ideas in science do change when new evidence, carefully reviewed, upsets an existing theory. For example, Pluto was considered a full-sized planet up until the past decade.  Dinosaurs went from cold-blooded, sluggish lizards to warm-blooded things that increasingly look like muppets. None of this affects most people very much in their day-to-day lives…

 

…unless you are one of the people who has spent time and energy upon one of the ideas being disproven. That person is very unlikely to accept the new idea without putting up a vigorous defense and will fight tooth and nail to defend their idea. In the case where the new idea is not nonsense, where over time and debate this new idea has found footing and has been tested and proven, than the person with the idea being disproved will feel pressure to change.

 

This change is hard. In a cold world of spherical particles with uniform density, such changes would happen overnight without anguish and without regret. But every piece of scientific evidence and analysis we do comes through a human at some point, and humans have emotions and politics and biases and goodness knows so much else. Have some mercy on yourself in that the acceptance of new ideas will not likely happen over a short period of time. You’ll need some time to catch up to new ideas and digest them.  It is fantastic in itself that you are remembering that science is bigger than just you and that you are willing to change.  It is much better than being known as a stubborn person who does not change and does not listen.

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