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The Left Uses Science Only When It Suits Them

Science is supposed to be free from bias, but it rarely works out that way.

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During the coronavirus upheaval, a dizzying flurry of politicians, reporters, and pundits continually emphasize the need to proceed based on science. Do they actually adhere to their own exhortations? We’ve witnessed, time and time again, that many on the Left employ politics and power plays to prevail over science.

Indeed, science is supposed to be free from bias, but it rarely works out that way. And, does science provide the ‘be all’ and ‘end all’ prescription for the affairs of humanity?

Blank Slates and Beleaguered Brains

Examples of scientific short-sightedness abound. Many believe in the human mind as a tabula rasa or “blank slate” shaped almost entirely by culture. Yet, studies of twins separated at birth and later reunited show that inborn characteristics play a large role in personal development.

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Many people contend that all GMOs are bad, yet humankind has been genetically modifying organisms for at least 10,000 years through breeding and selection. The size and quality of fruit and vegetables today, as a case in point, dwarf their ancient counterparts.

Some on the Left won’t acknowledge male/female differences in synapse firing and brain functioning, male/female aptitude and behavioral differences, real differences in IQ levels among specific gene pools, the awareness and sensory levels of human fetuses at various stages of development, the role of motivation and incentive in human behavior, the impact of solar activity on Earth’s climate, or the limits of evolution theory.

A Model, not the End All

If you studied chemistry in high school, or college for that matter, you might recall that the periodic table offers an ordered depiction of the chemical elements. Each is listed according to its atomic number (synonymous with its number of protons), electron configuration, and associated chemical properties. The periodic table presents “atomic” tendencies in the same column – namely elements that share similar behaviors.

While the miasma theory of disease, spontaneous generation, physiognomy, telegony, and transmutation of species, among numerous other theories, have been upended, the periodic table has been adapted and refined over two hundred years, and represents a vital tool for chemists, researchers, teachers, and students. It is, however, still in progress. The table is a good working model of atomic structures, but is far from perfect in portraying the characteristics of each of the known elements. What is unknown is still vast.

Likewise, evolution is a theory that explains the development of much, but not all, of life on earth. Many people regard it as sacrosanct without undertaking any further inquiry.

The theory of evolution’s shortcomings are exposed when discussing what happened before the big bang, what caused the big bang, where the matter unleashed by the big bang originated, how earth developed organic molecules, how ultra-complex biological mechanisms allegedly evolved, and why asexual reproduction is prevalent everywhere on earth in the form of bacteria

Partial Explanations

Evolution explains most of the formulation of life on earth and likely elsewhere. However, life itself, as far as we know, cannot occur without some combination of six elements: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur. Further, life requires moisture, and heat or energy. Earth has water and heat, but researchers are unsure how organic molecules first appeared on the planet.

Evolutionary biology deals with how life changed after its origin; it does not explain the creation of atoms or molecules, the earth itself, the Milky Way, or any of the other 800+ billion known galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars, and each star with at least one planet, if not 10 or more. Nor does evolution explain the assembly of near-infinite mass in an infinitesimally small space prior to the Big Bang, the Redshift, or associated Doppler Effects.

I certainly wouldn’t throw evolution out the door. Like the periodic table is to chemistry and physics, evolution is a useful model for understanding many, but not all, aspects of how organic life develops. Evolutionary change is not necessary for some species to exist and persist. Many mosses, fungi, sharks, and crayfish, among other species, have barely changed over long stretches of time.

Other mechanisms of evolution apparently do not play a role in adaptive change. Many bacteria, for example, reproduce asexually. How can evolutionary concepts be applied to them when they appear to lie outside the realm of what we associate with biological species? Yet, bacteria are alive, and grow – sometimes to our disdain – profusely.

A Fuzzy Concept

The concept of a species, in and of itself, is fuzzy. Species are a man-made construct, created to better understand the diversity in nature. We prefer to offer distinct names to the various parts of an organism as simple as a tree. However, a tree represents a continuous web of life, extending from its roots to its most distant leaves. Roots can grow on their own, leaves do not. Trees themselves could contain thousands of species, many of which are entirely dependent on the tree to survive.

Biologists contend that life evolves by natural processes and mutations but have no clue how the raw materials for life, starting with the first cell, came into being. If you have no sun, no planet, and no first cell, no evolution of life occurs. According to evolutionist frameworks, the sun and stars, the earth and other planets, and the first cell on each planet occurred on some random and unguided basis. Maybe.

Across billions of planets, the odds do rise that some random and unguided processes result in something of note. Do we wish to cast our lot, however, with random and unguided processes as the pillars of life in the universe?

A Creator Behind it All?

On scientific grounds, the notion that the universe has always existed has been roundly debunked. Newton’s Laws of Thermodynamics reveal that the universe had to have had a beginning. The First Law of Thermodynamics, in particular, holds that only a finite amount of energy exists.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics reveals that the amount of available energy in the universe is continually decreasing. If the universe has always existed, all available energy would have dissipated long before we could appear.

The best, and really only, scientific explanation for the universe’s existence is that it was created by a higher intelligence. If you lean Left or otherwise, and you can’t handle that, it’s likely that you’re in denial.

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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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Common ‘Wisdom’ that Just Ain’t So

Much of what we read, think, and repeat is not accurate, at all…

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Much of what we read, think, and repeat is not exactly so. For example have you encountered the phrase, “Those who give up liberty for security deserve neither”? Often incorrectly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, the phrase is nonsensical. With no national security, soon enough you’ll have no liberty.

With complete security, you’ll have no liberty as well. A trade-off is always needed. For the record, Benjamin Franklin actually said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to pursue a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” That makes more sense.

‘A penny saved is a penny earned’? Once again, Ben Franklin is in the mix. A penny saved is not a penny earned. A penny earned is a penny earned and even then it might not be a full penny depending on taxes, inflation, and other hidden costs and expenses. If you save your money in a long-term CD, you can’t have access to it months. If funds are tied up when you need them that is not a pretty penny.

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Not Actually

Consider the phrase, “Experience is the best teacher.” Perhaps, this is so, but not as a given. Generally, an excellent teacher is the best teacher. Experience might teach us the wrong lessons or send us down another blind alley. If we don’t fully comprehend the meaning of our experiences,we’re as likely to make bad decisions in the future and have unfortunate experiences as a result.

Closely related is, ‘practice makes perfect.’ Practice does not make perfect. If your practices are off the mark, then you will continue to be imperfect and you might be reinforcing a bad habit. As they say in Tae Kwon Do, “Practice makes permanent.”

On my daughter’s softball team, a young girl named Whitney was regarded as the star pitcher. Yet during the pregame warm-ups, time after time, she could barely throw a strike. With luck, she averaged 20% strikes out of all her pitches thrown. Sure enough, when the game started, she was no better. Why would anybody expect the outcome to be different?

The best chance for you to excel is to have perfect practices. An array of imperfect practices leads failure.

Lemons and Life

‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ This sounds like good advice, but to actually make and sell lemonade, you’d also need to have clean water, a good lemon press, some type of sweetener, a paring knife, a pitcher, an implement for stirring, and cups. Such bromides leave out 90% of what else you’d need.

Periodically, I encounter authors and speakers who write or say ‘to live life more fully’ by pretending that “you have six months to live.” If you had six months to live you’d engage in behaviors different than now.

You might sell your house. You might go on world travel, or at least travel more than you’ve been doing. You might dissipate your assets. You might spend your money down to nothing, or give it all away. Then, when you undoubtedly live beyond six months, you’re likely to be penniless!

Thank You For Sharing (!)

‘Think outside the box.’ What does the “box” even mean? The phrase has been so overused that it is now rendered meaningless. Would it be better simply to say “expand your thinking,” or “brainstorm,” or “reach beyond the norm”?

‘There is no ‘I’ in team.’ Michael Jordan once remarked that while there is no “I” in team, there certainly is a “me.” Acronyms and creative word use might have their place in a corporate pep rally, otherwise let them be.

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Ten Ways to Overcome Information Overload

How do we narrow down thousands of journals, magazines, newsletters, emails and blog posts at our disposal?

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We are confronted by staggering amounts of new information every day; some of it valid, some of it contrived. Career professionals in particular can be easily overwhelmed by the wealth of information related to competitor data, new product and service launches, market changes, and industry trends and wind up with information anxiety.

Although we have access to a variety of information and communication tools, how do we narrow down tens of thousands of journals, magazines, newsletters, and blog posts at our disposal and manage information coming in? How do we flourish amidst thousands of printed pages, not to mention millions of pages on the web, and hundreds of emails, phone calls and text messages?

More Information, More Confusion

While we enjoy a growing capability to extract relevant information that supports our careers and our lives, most of what we encounter is of marginal value, at best, and often stands in the way of our goals and objectives.  We don’t have hours on end to contend with everything that competes for our attention; most days, it feels as if we don’t have sufficient time at all.

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Fortunately, we can employ 10 strategies in a manner that will be productive and even enjoyable and fight that information overload:

  • Contemplate in advance the kind of information you seek.
  • Identify the vital information carriers.
  • Streamline your intake capability.
  • Beware of information crutches.
  • Establish a distribution system.
  • Be thoughtful when sending information.
  • Design responses.
  • Do away with paper.
  • Constantly review and update.
  • Acknowledge the benefits of remaining organized.

Contemplate in Advance the Kind of Information You Seek 

Have a reasonable idea of the type of information you want and need to gather. Such information encompasses news about your industry or profession; notable product and service developments; significant regulations and new legislation; client, customer, or consumer-related information; special applications; intelligence on competitors; and emerging trends and prospects.

Identify the Vital Information Carriers 

Identify the small number of key information sources, including publications, websites, blogs, and hard news sources, that cover what’s occurring in the field. You’ll really only need three to four sources; you’d be surprised at the amount of coverage overlap you’ll see.

Streamline Your Intake Capacity 

Once you recognize the kind of information you require and a handful of the best sources, you need to establish a methodical way of receiving, synthesizing, and applying such information that will benefit you, your team, and your organization.

Staying attuned to your goals and objectives and focusing on the kind of information that supports your efforts gives you the best chance to accomplish what you want. You might consider reducing social networking, depending on your job. Your quest is to maintain a constant inflow of relevant information in as simple a manner as possible. Yes, on occasion you can give attention to peripheral issues. In general, however, focus on the information that will make a difference in your effectiveness.

Beware of Information Crutches 

Many people have a predisposition to collect and retain information that confirms what they already believe or know to be true. They don’t need to save such information; the practice is more like a reflex action. With the vast amounts of information on the Internet today and the power of search engines, it’s not necessary to hang on to much.

More vital is the ability to find what you need in a hurry, which often requires only a few keystrokes. Retaining piles and files of hard copy information is of diminishing value and can impede your effectiveness. Moreover, files and information that you retain for more than 18 months often can be deleted with no detrimental effects.

Establish a Distribution System 

As you rise in your career, don’t spend inordinate amounts of time gathering information. Much of what you seek can be identified, collected, and disseminated to you by junior staff. You can use them as information scouts and as a clipping service of sorts to pre-read for you.

Once freed from the constant task of identifying and assembling information, you’re better able to think conceptually in ways that will help to propel your team, division, or department forward. This is especially true when introducing a new product, service, or delivery system.

Be Thoughtful When Sending Information

Sometimes the staggering amounts of information is due to our lack of organizing guidelines. Such guidelines could otherwise spare us from unnecessary, excessive exposure to information that does not support our current challenges.

Learn to be more discriminating when exchanging information. Eliminate acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon that can lead to misunderstandings, and limit the length of your correspondence with others by including only what is necessary to know. Overwhelming our recipients with information is no more welcome to them than when they overwhelm us. We also must encourage one another to stop CCing and BCCing when it is not necessary, and avoid submitting “FYI” kinds of messages.

Design Responses

Throughout the workweek, you’ll receive many different types of requests. Many are routine, so you can automate your responses by using your email’s signature function. Most email software programs today support at least 20 different signatures. You can create and save signatures by category that enable you to respond promptly and effectively to customers and clients. The signatures that you’ve developed can also be personalized to address the particulars of a specific inquiry.

What kinds of signatures might you create in advance? Rosters, standard letters, product and service descriptions, price lists, team or organizational descriptions, credentials, etc. The more signatures you establish, the quicker and more productively you can answer questions from inquirers.

Do Away With Paper (When Practical) 

A variety of hard copy files and documents will need to be retained. Nevertheless, you can undertake a campaign to reduce the volume of paper you’re retaining, whether it’s in filing cabinets, desk drawers, or storage bins.

Evaluating each document you receive and consider whether it merits saving. Will a scanned version of said document suffice? If so, scan it and recycle the hard copy. Yes, scanning requires extra time and effort, but in the long run the payoff is more than worth it. When you effectively label each of the documents you’ve scanned, you enhance your ability to quickly locate them on your hard drive or online. Finding such e-documents is generally easier than finding the hard copy.

Constantly Review and Update 

Periodically review your documents. Is the information still relevant? Does it need to be combined with something else? Should it be reclassified? Your goal is to keep your holdings to a minimum.

Tackle only a handful of file folders at a time, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Ask yourself, “What can be deleted? What should be merged? What can be extracted so that the few gems of wisdom crucial to my success can be applied as needed?” Think of this task with a project management hat on and take it step-by-step.

Acknowledge the Benefits of Remaining Organized 

Staying organized might make you anxious. Organizing is certainly not a glamorous task. Yet, in a world that overwhelms us with the volume of information and communication, becoming the master of your files, and maintaining them so they serve you, is more important than ever before. Information overload occurs when we let things pile up. The people who become adept at recognizing, gathering, retrieving, and applying the right information at the right time are valuable to their organizations and their teams.

The future belongs to ultra-productive people who understand the importance of information and communication management. Regardless of the obstacles they face, these adept information managers are capable of pointing their team or organization in the appropriate direction. Why? They have a well-developed ability to identify, assemble, and impart knowledge that they extract from information.

Ultimately they can draw upon their knowledge to lead with wisdom.

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