If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride

I was listen in an old episode of the Skeptic’s Guide to The Universe today and they were talking about how Alex at Skeptico said that skeptics like the SGU people, James Randi and others didn’t want to really look at the evidence for Psi because they were afraid that it would upset their world view. The great members of SGU gave him what for by giving many, many examples of how they and many other skeptics do look at all the evidence. It is just that they do not find the evidence compelling.

As I was thinking about this, I realized that most skeptics, at least the ones I’ve been exposed to, would probably truly love to be able to prove that something like Psi really exist. Just image! If you could really predict the future or communicate with others just by thinking! What an awesome world it would be to live in!

I’d love nothing more than to see real proof that Aliens are visiting earth because I’d be one of the first in line to take a trip back to their world.

Communication with the dead? My kids are always asking me about how things were when I was growing up or about people in our family who are long gone and I’d love nothing more than to be able to contact my mom or dad who have passed on and ask them for the answers to these questions that I either don’t know or can’t remember.

And speaking of the dead, nothing could please me more than to know for absolutely certain that an eternal existence awaits me after this life and that I’d be able to see all the loved ones who I’ve lost over the years.

I wish I could astral project myself out into the universe. Just imaging the wonderful and amazing things that I could find. Stars being born, a solar system forming, a black hole, other civilizations. I’d give almost everything I have to be able to do that.

But, the reality is that all of these things are just dreams. There is no proof or evidence that they exist. If they did exist, then we’d be able to use them and harness them.

Unlike science which produces real, tangible things and technologies that make our lives better and more fun, there are no technologies or products based on Psi or any other form of wishful thinking. None of these supernatural things are able to cure cancer, feed the hungry, give us cheap, clean and plentiful power, or even entertain us.

Of course there are things out there that we haven’t discovered yet. But these supernatural things have been with us for a long, long time and we’ve yet to see one iota of proof that any of them exist. In fact, most of them, like Psi, have been show over and over again, in study after study, to not exist. Our history tells us that if something really exists, then with careful observation and repeated testing, we should be able to find it and use it.

Skeptics don’t want to protect their world view, they just want their world view to be consistent with the real world we live in.

I continue to dream about exploring the universe and seeing all the wonders it has to offer. It’s been a dream of mine since childhood and has never ebbed. But the reality is that, as much as I desperately wish I could soar out into the cosmos, either astrally or in a wicked cool space ship, I will just have to settle for reading science fiction or just closing my eyes and daydreaming about it.

The real universe is grand, spectacular, beautifully complicated and intensely beautiful in and of its self. Much more so than any story that even the greatest writer could ever write. Learning about it and marveling at the wonder it has to offer is much more awe inspiring and rewarding than any wish I could ever wish.

If wishes were horses… I think I’d just as soon walk at take it all in.

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