The quickest way to settle a question today for me is to use Google. I don’t debate people often, but a lot of people want to convince me of their opinions. I listen and ask questions, but ultimately for me opinion is always trounced by fact. I met a man the other day that said, “Well, we won’t have any peace in the world as long as we have this monkey of a clown for president. Did you know that we spend more on welfare than defense?”

His opinion of the president aside, I informed him that according to the easily researched data available online, his numbers were wrong. Then I pulled out my iPhone and showed him that the US budget for all social services including education, training, employment and social services = 139.212 Billion, less than we spent on Defense (read offense) = 1.413 Trillion (including Department of Defense, Overseas Contingency Operations, Homeland Security, and Veterans affairs)

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

It seem that in the US we are engaged in an ever-increasing battle between large groups of people who will accept whatever information is disseminated via the grapevine or the media. FACTS are what we should use in our discourse. Just because an opinion suits your worldview—doesn’t make it true. You need evidence to support it. The saddest part is most of these erroneous notions could be dealt with in a matter of minutes via a Google search. But, people prefer to be assured in their ignorance than be wrong based on research.

People have a hard time disassociating their opinions from their self worth.

This is why I took off on my run in the beginning. I cannot tell you how many times people told me I was going to die out there, and that people are “Bad”. OK, enough with the opinions. Let me show you my research. 6000 miles and 12 months in which I wasn’t beat up, I was fed multiple meals everyday, and people loved, cared, and looked after me. They even bought me shoes, clothes, and Starbucks. Where is your research that proves people are bad? Yes, individuals act poorly and choose selfish outcomes, but we as a people are good.

The fundamental truth is that we are connected together on the most fundamental level. If you believe in creation or science, biologically we all came from the same place. We are one. We are connected to each other chemically, biologically, and atomically. Think of it we are stardust.

“The more I learn about the universe, the less convinced I am that there’s any sort of benevolent force that has anything to do with it, at all.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

I have begun to measure all my actions by one litmus test. It is comprised of two main philosophies of being: 1. Reduce the suffering of others, and 2. Know more about the world today than I did yesterday. Basing these two philosophies both on science, facts, and research rather than opinion. But the motivation is always compassion.

I met a woman recently that told me that God showed her the miracles of the universe, the “science” of creation, and the mysteries of our creation. I asked her for the math. She said God showed her Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity played out in a vision of the heavens. I said great, but what about the math? What formula or what information do you have that wasn’t invented in 1915? It seems that we have so many revelations from God, pseudo science and opinions invading our lives under the guise of being “right” or “divine”. I find it odd that none of it ever arrives with a provable mathematical formula, or observable phenomena that all can measure or certify. It seems that the only thing worse than blind faith is one who actual sees and still denies.

Perhaps people would feel smaller if there was a grand design. Throughout history though, thinking that WE are somehow more important than we are has been a constant source of disappointment. First we thought the sun and moon revolved around us. Then no, the sun isn’t even the center. Our galaxy isn’t even the center; in fact our universe is probably not (and most likely isn’t) the only one out there.

But when you think of it. What more noble thought can you entertain than to know that the universe is in you and all about you? Yes we circle a star, but we have the remnants of stars in us! We are connected. We ARE the universe.

What binds us more together than love? There is no shame in not knowing. The problems seem to arise when people assert opinions, irrational thoughts, and a liaise faire attitude to fill the void left by ignorance. This is made worse yet when coupled with arrogance.

“God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

The woman I met was incredibly sweet. She was a devout Christian, offered me an entire pizza pie. That night she was on her way to a Savannah square where she was going to distribute food to the homeless. This is her legacy, this is love made manifest. This is what I remember about her.

Her visions/dreams while exciting for her, but granted no value to the human race. Probably the smartest person ever to walk the face of this earth, a man that was “connected” to the universe more than any other was Sir Isaac Newton. He discovered the laws of motion, the laws of gravity, the laws of optics. Then he turned 26.

“Dinosaurs are extinct today because they lacked opposable thumbs and the brainpower to build a space program.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

If we meet our demise here on planet Earth, it won’t be from a rouge asteroid that blankets the earth with dust, killing us like the dinosaurs. Rather, it will be the dogma of opinions, religion, and manifested hate that flies in the face of the most simple and basic of all premises…love one another.