I’ve always been cautious in casual conversations, possibly because my parents emphasized the importance of not taking what people say at face-value, but not as cautious as I should have been. After studying so many sciences, I learned a little bit more about how much I hear needs to be filtered.

People pass information down as though they were playing telephone. It’s all done with good intentions, but the effects constantly make these subtle shifts in the general consciousness, eventually causing a great amounts of misinformation to circulate around.

The average person intakes hearsay as though it were data, as if a single personal testimony is enough to substantiate a claim. Certain people are terrible offenders, casting bits of advice as though it were absolute truth. Silly relationship advice may not wreak havoc in society, but vaccinations, birthing, and cancer are hot, controversial subjects with great impact. It seems as though people feel at liberty to talk about topics that are much more than experiences, and they do so with very little context or understanding.

A similar thing happens with Bible verses. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “money is the root of evil” or an admonition to “guard one’s heart” against emotion in a relationship. We don’t interpret the Bible with our own experiences; the Bible interprets the Bible, much like science interprets science.

Accepting someone’s word at face value just doesn’t make sense, even if they speak with great authority. What I’ve learned, more than anything from studying science, is how little I know, and how little I trust the circulating clothesline talk.