If you experienced a breathtaking moment of wonder Monday afternoon witnessing America’s first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly a century, thank a scientist.
Not because scientists made it happen. But because without their ability to understand and predict such an incredibly complex phenomenon, most of us would never even realize it happened.
In the entire immensity of our solar system, a constantly moving earth, orbited by a constantly moving moon, had to line up perfectly, at just the right distances, for the moon’s shadow to totally block out direct light from the sun. And scientists not only knew it would happen, but exactly when the shadow would pass each point across the nation.
And they knew all this decades ago.
I bring this up because in many ways, science is under attack these days. Many people dismiss science as “just one of several possible opinions” while discussing serious issues affecting the well-being of our planet, and that’s simply wrong-headed. While scientists will always pursue competing hypotheses, disagreeing about established scientific fact is quite another thing. And if you don’t believe that, try to defy the law of gravity by disagreeing with it really hard.
Science doesn’t have the solutions to all our problems. But it has a huge head start on many of them. And if we choose to ignore that reality, we do so at our own peril.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.