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Pastor’s viewpoint: Nov. 14, 2014

One of the scariest aspects of our politically correct society might be that some of our scientists have quit asking questions. Certainty might be the foundation of faith; but doubt is the foundation of science. The most important tool in any scientist’s bag is a healthy dose of skepticism!
Aristotle guessed that if you drop a heavy ball and a lighter ball from a great height, the heavier ball would hit the ground first; and for two thousand years, nobody thought to ask if that was true? Then Galileo climbed the leaning tower of Pisa and dropped a ten pound ball and a one pound ball from the top; they hit the ground at the same time. Aristotle was wrong!
What makes this even more incredible is that he invited several noted professors to witness his experiment. They watched the two balls hit the ground at the same time, but they didn’t believe what they saw. So they continued to teach that if someone dropped a heavy ball and a lighter ball from a great height, the heavier ball would hit the ground first.
“28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“… 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. (Mark 12.28-34)
Notice, I didn’t include the teacher’s answer; what do you think? I asked the internet for the purpose of education and there were two answers. The first was “to create skilled workers;” but that’s not education. That’s training!
The second was “to teach one to think intensively and to think critically, but intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.” (Martin Luther King Jr. at Morehouse College in 1948) Dr. King’s “true education” creates people with character who can think and question and learn!

Charles ‘Buddy’ Whatley (cbwhatley@hotmail.com); Woodland & Bold Springs UMC pastor, marketplace chaplain, and missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.