Implausibility

Perhaps it’s what I do, or perhaps it’s just that I’ve noticed more lately, but ignorance is abound.

I recently heard a discussion about the implausibility of the Apollo landing on the moon. There was much skepticism that what has been compared to tossing a quarter into a vending machine in Cleveland from Chicago could actually be done in the in the 1960s space program. And this is perfectly understandable. We’re talking about something that actually would take a rocket scientist to figure out. I wouldn’t even know where to begin, and I’m one of the more intelligent people I know.

But it wasn’t the skepticism that bothered me. It was the conclusion that was reached after the implausibility morphed into impossibility. The members of the discussion seemed to be convinced that, because they didn’t understand how one could get from the earth to the moon and back, it must have therefore never happened.

I certainly understand the argument — perhaps we made it up so it would look like we were further in space exploration than the Soviets, or if we made it once, why didn’t we got back? Perfectly valid. But is it enough to say it definitely didn’t happen? I’ve heard, and my experience supports it, that the simplest explanation is often the correct one. I think that statement actually applies to this situation; I think, as complex as the science was, it would still be simpler than the conspiracy cover-up.

My life is a path towards understanding. I will be the first to admit that I don’t comprehend everything. I just don’t. I would love to have an explanation for everything, but I don’t work that way. I’ve met people, some of whom I work with, who really believe they know everything. This is the ultimate ignorance; ignorant to the fact that they don’t, nor could they, know everything. And this is not my own ignorance — it’s certainly simple to prove: ask them how many molecules of water are in the ocean, or how many grains of sand in the desert, or even how many times they’ve inhaled today. Perhaps as I journey through life I will come not only to understand that which I can, but also that there will always be that which I cannot.

Author: Matthew

I'm a Marine officer studying Material Logistics Support Management at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. I like to talk and write about all kinds of things: politics, religion, atheism, cars, motorcycles, sailing, books, movies, and anything else that strikes my fancy. The views expressed here are my own, and are in no way intended to represent the United States Marine Corps, Department of Defense or any of its components.

1 thought on “Implausibility”

  1. One of my all time favorite quotes:

    “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. This principle is, contempt prior to examination.” – William Paley

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