“Scientifically proven” is an oxymoron.

There are no 100% true facts; there’s always an alternative possibility. There’s a factor of uncertainty that comes with all knowledge, even if it’s a very small component, and it’s that possibility that keeps scientists forever questioning an exploring. Instead of knowing something to be true, scientists and experts often refer to a very high level of probability. Uncertainty means that there is always a propensity to continue exploring, researching, experimenting and expanding our knowledge. We can learn a lot from these analytical principles, and apply it to our own lives. Just as social norms have grown past old “scientifically proven” facts –the world is flat, or the sun revolves around the earth – other social norms will in time, also be disproven. It’s not easy to differ in opinion from what’s common thought, but it’s important to continue to question the norm. It’s also very important to question what we are told if it doesn’t seem right to us, even if the so-called facts come from an authoritative figure. We need to challenge the status quo to progress, and sometimes to protect what’s important to us. Common thought often supports powerful groups with self-serving interests, cloaked as best for everyone. Dig deeper to find the probability level and trueness of so-called facts and explore alternative possibilities.

Take action: Don’t believe everything you hear, question the motives of the source of the information, and find out if there’s another point of view. Think for yourself, make your own decisions, and be like a child, continually asking, “Why?”.

Inspired by John Brockman, Khristine Huambo, and John Allen Nelson’s book, This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking

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