“I love you.”
Nice but no, those aren’t the ones I mean. The ones I’m referring to should be mandatory on the first day of every science (and other) class, at every grade level. Of course they should be required to be learned and frequently practiced by every skeptic, as well as all other religious people.
Those words are, “I don’t know.”
We shouldn’t be afraid to utter those words. The reluctance to do so is often based on self-overestimation, from which many people suffer in regards to subjects about which they are ignorant, or simply hold firm prejudices against.
They may even think that they don’t have any prejudices and that the preconceptions and beliefs they hold are based on obvious truths and certainties.
Rather than immediately investing in, and committing oneself to, hard and fast opinions in difficult and/or unknown topics of discussion, simply saying, “I don’t know” – when that is the truth of the matter – allows the mind to be open and objective, as well as logical and scientific.
Then one has no egocentric need to defend an unsubstantiated position, which becomes burdensome baggage, quite difficult to abandon, should the facts contradict it.
Let’s all practice using this information.
UPDATE: Interestingly enough, I was just sent this link, which seems to indicate that scientists may be moving in the direction indicated in Meier’s information from 1986.