For thousands of years, it was believed that the earth was the center of the universe.
Until Copernicus and a few others came along and smashed that belief by scientifically proving that the earth revolved around the sun.
So, what do you do as a scientist during this time? Because everything in the scientific community had been built upon this axiom that the earth was in the center.
Do you accept the facts and suspend belief or do you deny the facts and accept belief? Knowing full well, that if you are going to adopt this new string of thinking that you might have to start over about what you know.
The problem with facts and belief isn’t that they contradict each other. It is that we have a difficult time changing our minds. At the same time, we don’t easily hold onto this tension of two ideas that are contradicting each other.
Why? Because our culture pushes us to pick one. Because we are hard-wired for closure.
There is an alternative, that is for the pursuit of truth.
Truth as in what is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. That there are things we know that cannot be proven. That facts and beliefs can grow with an increase in knowledge.
Facts and beliefs are a human invention. Both are fallible. Denying gravity doesn’t change the fact it does exist. It is the law. But saying that it’s definitive closes the door to possibility. Because it was a fact that humans can’t fly (because of biology and gravity) and then we figured out a way to invent the airplane.
Truth falls into its own category. And we have yet to discover and answer the primary, interesting questions. Questions like Why? Why am I here? What’s this for?
Here are the facts, these are my beliefs…what is the truth?