Nobody Really Knows

Earlier this week I was listening to a radio program about the discovery of waves of gravitational energy that confirmed inflation just after the big bang. The presenter was inviting listeners to ring in and ask questions of a scientist, the scientist was doing a rather good job of explaining things clearly.

I thought it rather heartening that those taking part in the discussion were taking this opportunity to try and understand what was going on.

I should have known better. A caller rang in and announced that it was all very well hearing the scientist speak, but nobody really knows how the universe started. For all their talk, for all their experiments, those scientists didn’t really know what had happened.

I suppose that’s true. Nobody really knows anything. But that’s not very helpful.

Nobody really knows anything. It’s the really that’s the loaded word. I don’t really know what’s happening when my back is turned, I don’t really know what other people think of me, I don’t really know that I’m not part of some Truman Show style hoax and everyone is watching me on television.

But what’s the point of that sort of thinking? If I accept it, I might as well accept that I’ll never know anything.

Many people like to say no one really knows. It excuses them having to think. It has the added effect of pulling your hard won experience and knowledge down to their level. It makes their ignorance the equal of your ignorance.

I don’t see why I should accept that.

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