Great Minds (Don’t) Think Alike

During my jog this morning listening to Krista Tippet’s interview with a cosmologist/theologian I had an ontological discussion with me, myself, and I.  Realizing that there are so many views on the person of Christ, the dimensions of the universe, the Big Bang theory (and other theories of how the universe came into existence), I had to wonder how we know what the truth really is about anything.  It was frustrating in the beginning because one cannot know if what he/she is studying is the accurate account of an event or if the facts being learned are the right ones.  There are always 100 more views, opinions, and theories on a given subject leaving one to wonder what (if anything) is right.

Because I already had this topic in my mind at the time, I became acutely aware of all of the postings of individuals who had joined online groups because they wanted to be with “like-minded” people.  Don’t get me wrong – I understand the attraction of wanting to be with others who agree with you and will not tell you how wrong you are after every word.  However, how can there be any progress on any issue if there is nobody there to play the devil’s advocate or throw some friendly conjectures out as possible alternatives to the generally accepted norm?  Isn’t this how we have made all of our advances – by somebody daring to say that the masses may not, in fact, be right?

After thinking about it for a while, I realized that the “Great minds think alike” quote, if true, would leave us all with only one view of the “truth” and no room for extra discovery.  If Copernicus never would have considered that the world wasn’t flat and that we were in fact in a heliocentric solar system, then we never would have had a reason to study the stars and planets.  It seems that the more accurate quote was uttered by Patton when he said, “If everyone is thinking alike, somebody isn’t thinking.” 

How about a little more courage to put out new ideas and a little more grace in allow others to bring their ideas to the table?  Just a thought . . .


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