Science and Religion: Grappling For Truth Throughout History ⋆ Politicrossing
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Science and Religion: Grappling For Truth Throughout History

Let us approach science and religion more diligently and with greater tolerance.

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I attended a lecture where an astronomer explained why Pluto had been demoted and was no longer considered a planet. Pluto is only 70% the diameter of our moon, and only 18% of Earth’s diameter. Discovered in 1930, it was number nine on the list of planets, was the most distant and coldest, and had the strangest orbit.

As telescopes became more powerful, and researchers grew more aware of the panoply of objects in our galaxy, Pluto was regarded as merely a planetoid in the Kuiper belt, among tens of thousands of celestial bodies in that section of our solar system. If Pluto was to still be considered a planet, at least six or seven other spherical masses, of more or less equal size, would have to be considered planets as well. Since none of them conform to the traditional standards for planets, Pluto was demoted.

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology have been seeking a true ninth planet in the Kuiper Belt, after encountering evidence of its existence in early 2016. This potential planet is approximately ten times earth’s mass and perhaps 5,000 times Pluto’s mass.

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So Much We Don’t Know

The above observations epitomize the ever-changing nature of our scientific knowledge base. We believe we know something to be true. Later, we discover more, overturning what we previously “‘knew.” The most learned people on Earth once “knew” that the sun and the stars revolved around the earth. To astronomers who came later, the sun and the stars clearly did not revolve around the earth, but initially to say otherwise was to risk death.

Today, many people believe that evolution explains everything about life in the universe. It does not. No one can explain what put the Big Bang in motion and, tellingly, where matter originated. Without carbon and some level of heat and moisture, life cannot begin, and even when those factors are present, more often life does not begin.

It was once thought that life couldn’t exist at the bottom of the dark ocean. Today, we observe that the ocean floor is teeming with life and that life finds a way to thrive often in the absence of what is thought to be “ideal circumstances.”

Currently, some otherwise supposedly intelligent people don’t accept that the brain functioning in men and women is somewhat different. Men tend to excel in math and science, however, this is not to say women cannot excel in math and science. Our brains are wired differently. Women have other advantages in brain functioning.

As we proceed into the future, based on available scientific evidence much of what we “know” to be true will prove to be untrue, especially as we learn more about the universe, the stars, the galaxies, our own solar system, and even Earth itself.

My God Supersedes Your “god”

It’s been said that more people have died in the name of religion than for any other reason. Actually, most wars likely have been fought over territory. Tribal warfare, since the dawn of civilization, can be traced back not only to differences in culture and lifestyle, but also to differences in appearance, inclination, and one’s respective deity.

Every religion has tenuous precepts and tenets that even the wisest scholars cannot explain. Religion is interpreted by mortals on earth and, understandably, is subject to human predispositions and biases. Some religions have given man a vaulted position on earth and woman a lesser position. Many religions suffer from a parallax view: Ours is “the way” and your way is inferior.

Religions carefully lay out what God has intended for us, and how God wants us to worship him. Yet, no one can prove that they’ve actually consulted directly with God. Thus, every religious text ever written, every set of laws or commandments, and all religious customs represent the accumulation of man’s interpretation of events on earth and how they might relate to the heavens.

Science and Religion are Here to Stay

It is prudent, even praiseworthy, to improve our knowledge of science and add to the storehouse of what we believe to be scientific facts. And, there is little reason to abandon religion when it brings peace and comfort to devotees, and spreads goodwill, enabling humankind to live in harmony.

Let us approach science more diligently recognizing that what we “know” today could well be overturned by what we discover tomorrow. Let us approach religion with greater tolerance, recognizing that every group feels that they are right and has a direct relation to God. Let us not be slaves to scientific certitude or religious dogma because, quite simply, no one has all the answers and no one is ever likely to have them.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Delegation: An Ongoing Phenomena

Failure to delegate effectively often happens because team leader don’t trust the people with whom they’re working

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For most of your career, you’ve read or heard that one of the key approaches to getting things done is to delegate effectively. This presumes that you have others to whom you can delegate. In my contact with more than 950 organizations over the last two and a half decades, I’ve found increasingly that people have fewer resources, a lower budget, and less staff people. If they want to get something done, often they have to do it themselves!

Assuming you have others to whom you can delegate, the first or second time you personally tackle a particular task yields useful information. You learn more about the nature of the task, how long it takes, and whether or not you enjoy doing it.

By the third time, a task of the same ilk as those you’ve handled before often becomes best handled by someone reporting to you. Such tasks could involve updating a database, completing an interim report, or assembling meeting notes.

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All that You Can

On the path to getting things done, your quest is to identify all those things that you can possibly delegate to others and then prepare those others so that they have a high probability of succeeding. In the course of your workday there may be only a handful of things that you alone need to do because of your experience, insight or specialized knowledge. Everything else that can be delegated should be.

Some people feel they have to take care of everything themselves and to this day haven’t been able to break the habit of “doing it all.” If this someone is in your seat right now, recognize that as a category of one, you can only get so much done.

Many managers and supervisors fail to delegate effectively because either they don’t fully trust the people with whom they’re working, or they’ve always been get-it-all-done-by-myself types.

Take Time before You Assign

Prior to delegating anything to anyone, take the time to actually prepare your staff for delegation. This would involve assessing an employee’s skills, interests, and needs. You could even ask people what new tasks and responsibilities they would like to assume. You might be surprised at the wide variety of responses you receive. There may be people on your staff right now who can help you with tasks you’ve been dying to hand off to someone but didn’t see how or when you could put them into play.

While you want to delegate to staff people who show enthusiasm, initiative and interest, or have otherwise previously demonstrated the ability to handle and balance several tasks at once, sometimes you have to delegate to someone who has not exhibited any of the above. In that case, delegate on a piece-meal basis.

Ensure that the staff person is able to effectively handle the small task or tasks he’s been assigned and does not feel swamped or overloaded. When the staff person demonstrates competence, you can increase the complexity of assignments and even the frequency with which you delegate.

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Multi-tasking: More Harm than Good

In this day and age, where so much competes for our attention, it is easy to stray!

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I belong to a local health club, and while I was there one day, I saw a woman get on the Stairmaster. I watched as she whipped out an mp3 player and started listening to music. Then, to my surprise, she reached into her gym bag, pulled out a book, and placed it on that ledge to read. I almost asked her if she would like a piece of gum!

Today, when so much competes for our attention, it is easy to stray! More often than we care to pretend, in the office and at home, we invite more than we can handle, and then act as though we didn’t. As individuals, throughout society, we are trained to believe that the ability to multi-task is a great attribute. Unfortunately, that’s a big mistake. Here’s why, and how to avoid multi-tasking in the future.

First Things First

What’s the fastest and easiest way to handle six tasks competing for our attention? Identify the most important task, second most important, third most important, and so on, then tackle the first and finish it all the way, move on to the second and complete it, then move all the way down the list.

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Any other way of tackling those items, whether they are tasks for home or work, is simply not as efficient. The catch is, any other way is more psychologically satisfying.  Why?  It’s almost as if juggling projects, switching gears unnecessarily or abruptly, or leaving a job unfinished to start a new project gives you the opportunity to say to other people, “Hey, look at me! Look how involved I am! Look at how busy I am! I’m great at multi-tasking.” A multi-tasker, however, can’t compete with others who tackle their to-do list, one item at a time.

What about doubling up as a procedure for tackling a number of routine items or very simple tasks? You can eat dinner and read a book at the same time. Eating and reading at the same time is relatively harmless.

How about driving and talking on the cell phone at the same time? Driving requires your sharp attention, as does carrying on an intelligent conversation with someone else who is not present; doing both at the same time spreads your attention too thin, with often disastrous results. The same is true for projects you’re working on that require your best thinking.

Tips:
* give yourself 5 to 10 minute intervals to focus on the task at hand
* safe-guard your immediate environment to avoid interruptions
* acknowledge yourself whenever you stick to one task and finish it
* repeat all the above, often, knowing that ‘more often’ is better!

Your Undivided Attention

When you’re working on a new task, brainstorming, engaging in first-time thinking, or doing creative work, it’s vital to offer your complete and undivided attention to that one task before you. To dissipate your attention or otherwise stray means you are not going to do your best work.

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