Separating gas from substance..

Recently when I was reading the newspaper I came across an article that cited a reference to theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking who speculated that the current pollution levels would force humans into outer space in another 1000 years.

My first thought when I came across this was:

“Why quote something which cannot be verifiable in the immediate future?”.

If I make  a prediction with a time-frame included,I prove that I am authentic enough to face the music if my claims are unproven.Quoting someone as celebrated as Stephen Hawking to make a point is merely feeding the hyperbole (or someone who just saw “After Earth” wanting to believe that the line dividing imagination and reality can blur easily).Though companies like SpaceX led by Elon Musk are making serious inroads towards making space colonization a reality,mass migration cannot be tied to pollution as technological advances may drastically reduce or reverse the effects of pollution in a few hundred years,let alone a thousand years

Here is another example,Voltaire,a famous French author made another grandiose claim when he said that this : “I will go through the forest of the Scriptures and girdle all the trees and so that in one hundred years,Christianity will be but a vanishing memory!!”.Well,Christianity is still flourishing today.

If someone make a claim and does not include a time-frame as an additional caveat,it would be foolhardy to pay attention.

So the next time someone makes a claim that excites your senses or is in alignment with a particular agenda,the questions that should be asked are:

  • How soon will this happen?
  • Will this happen within the lifetime of the person making the claim?
  •  Am I just quoting this because it excites my senses?

If you don’t get convincing answers,it is just “gas”and lacks substance.


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