I Believe in Science!

I just started writing a science fiction novel.  With writing in a new genre comes research and new things begin to stand out more than normal. Many times, I come across either memes on social media or blog posts declaring that a person or group “believes in science.” I find this to be rather odd.

I’ve never read about, met, or otherwise known of anyone who doesn’t believe in the process of coming up with a hypothesis and testing it to see if the results are not only possible but repeatable.  Despite what some may think, I am not sure there are many worldviews that are actively against believing in such processes.  Of course, I’m not an idiot and know that this declaration is meant to counter what the scientific community’s stances are on evolution and climate change.  More accurately, “I believe in science!” is a statement that has baggage which indirectly is sometimes used to discredit “religious” beliefs.  Not always, but it is true rather often.

As a Christian who accepts the scientific findings, I am all too aware that the culture that surrounds my faith is known for rejecting things that appear painfully obvious to those who do not adhere to Christianity.  I would argue that such an instance isn’t about rejecting science, but instead scientists’ findings and claims.  Those who announce their love for science claim those who do not fully accept climate change and evolution to be real fail to understand or believe science at all.  Those on the receiving side of those arguments say that there are things science cannot answer and can and has been wrong before.  “Religious” folks do not see it as rejecting science as a process.  Many of them believe science supports other ideas than what are mainstream.  Instead they reject common belief due to worldviews and that history has shown that scientists have been wrong before.  Do I as a Christian agree with this position?  Not entirely.  Yes, scientific consensus has been wrong in the past and until more information comes to light we might find out that is the case now as well.  That is the nature and beauty of science.  However, where I disagree is to use that as a catch all to simply justify preconceptions and therefore reject an idea even when heaps upon heaps of evidence, peer reviews, and testable evidence support a theory.

This topic ties into my previous blog post about truth.  People believe what they want to believe no matter what evidence is given.  One must not only be open-minded but have a worldview that doesn’t crumble simply because something is uncomfortable.  This is true on all matters, not just heavy topics like climate change.  Another thing that would help would be for both believers and non-believers to acknowledge that science and faith are not incompatible.  Certainly, they are if either are layered with presuppositions, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  Ultimately, believing in science does not equate believing in scientific claims.  The process and the results are different.  Political and religious worldviews shape how we interpret these claims.  I would argue both political sides ignore important scientific truths.  The reality is we must do our best to curb our natural human bias with discernment.  This is possible, but a difficult endeavor.

5 Misconceptions About Being an Author

1. It’s easy

There is more to writing a book than sitting down in pj’s and creating a wild story. Books require research, even fictional ones, planning, and plotting. Writing the book is a very small piece of being an author. Then once the book is published, whether you are traditionally or independently published, marketing is something you will have to do mostly yourself. Once the book is out there the author will need to come up with a marketing plan and sell it. Selling the book is arguably more difficult than writing it, especially if you are new. While marketing the previous book(s) you wrote you had better get going on your next project. The more books that are out there, the more likely you are to sell them.

2. It’s not a real job

To those that assert this I ask the question, “Can you define what a real job is?” Does one have to work for a company for it to be a real job? Does one have to create a company for it to become a real job? This assertion is less offensive to me than it is silly and ambiguous.

3. It’s a fast way to make cash

No, one must have a specific calling to be an author because there is very little money in it. It takes A LOT of time and resources to produce a book, and it is rare to see much of a profit in return. There are a handful of famous authors, and some people assume that it is an easy way to make money. Obviously, not everyone is that naive, but since becoming an author myself I’ve been surprised by how many I’ve met who believe this.

4. Writer’s block is a common problem

Sure, creativity comes in varying degrees. Sometimes it’s easy to write a couple thousand words in a day, and other times all I can manage is a few hundred. Nevertheless, writing needs to happen. It isn’t about quantity it is about quality, and if that means a writer can only manage one hundred words in a day then so be it. No one who calls himself an author will not write simply due to writer’s block. Writing is our job and calling, meaning we must do it whether we are feeling it or not.

5. There is a “right” way to write a book

Anyone who has researched how to write a novel will come up with varying viewpoints on the subject. There are common threads such as outline the novel, write whatever comes to you while not worrying about quality, then revise and rewrite until it is perfected. I don’t favor that approach. My first draft is far from flawless, but I do take care to write as best as I can in that moment. Instead of rewriting entire manuscripts, I go through each one and revise and reword within the same document. The backspace key is my best friend as an author.