05/12/2014 10:23 am ET Updated Jul 12, 2014

The Power of Belief


"I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it."
-- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), crack weather enthusiast

I have to admit, there's something borderline adorable about someone looking at a matter of science and acknowledging what scientists say about that very science, but discounting it as an issue of belief. We expect such illogic and contradiction from conspiratorialists or the lunatic fringe, but when it comes from a full-fledged, gosh-by-golly United States Senator, that's high cotton and you almost have to smile.

Science, of course, isn't a belief system. If it was, every student would have straight-A report cards. ("No, Larry, a mountain lion is not part of the reptile family." "Well, I believe it is.") One can disagree with the conclusions of scientific research, of course, but for that to be even remotely substantive and have the slightest, teensiest merit for a basic starting point of semi-serious discussion, there has to be scientific research that supports and at lest explains that disagreement.

Marco Rubio can disagree with the near-entire scientific community about climate change to his heart's content and believe whatever on earth he wants. Just like Orly Taitz can believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Just like Sarah Palin can believe Democrats want to kill old people. Just like Michelle Bachmann can believe that the battle of Lexington and Concord was held in New Hampshire.

But alas, science isn't a belief system.

But for the fun of it, I'm willing to play the belief game.

I believe the Chicago Cubs have a chance to win the World Series this year.

I believe that I should have gotten an A in French my freshman year in college.

I believe the best food in the world is barbecue ribs.

I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.

Je crois que je mérité un A en français ma première année à l'université.

I believe I used Google Translate to make sure I got that previous sentence correct.

I believe that progressives are right 90% of the time.

I believe that progressives are right 90% of the time because life moves forward and has since the dawn of civilization, rather than going backwards.

I believe conservatives are right on occasion.

I believe that fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly.

I believe the New York Mets are Satan's Team.

I believe that all men are created equal, and I actually believe that and try to lie my life that way, rather than just recite it because I was taught the words.

I believe that bacon is delicious, but just smelling it risks cardiac arrest.

I believe that it's better to sleep when the room's cold rather than hot, because if you're still cold you can put on another blanket, but if you're too hot and you've removed all your blankets and pajamas and you're still hot, you're out of luck.

I believe that believing in Jesus Christ doesn't inherently, by itself, make someone a good person, because I'm sure there are murderers and blackmailers and robbers and thugs and drug pushers who believe in Jesus Christ.

I believe that it's how a person acts and deals with one's fellow man that's what makes them a good person, and if people are helped to act good by their faith in Jesus Christ or Buddha or Adonai or Mohammed or the glory of nature, terrific, whatever gets you there.

I believe that baseball is better without the designated hitter.

I believe that broadcasters do raise the volume level for commercials.

I believe that screenwriters should get far more credit than they do for movies.

I believe that Thanksgiving is the best holiday.

I believe that people who don't understand history are doomed to repeat it.

I believe that people who don't accept science are doomed, period.

I believe that God created scientists.

I believe that Chicago-style deep dish pizza is better than thin crust.

I believe that thin crust pizza is good.

I believe that people should reply to emails.

I believe that Fiorello! is the best little-known musical.

I believe that Wrigley Field was better without lights.

I believe that when it rained the night lights were added to Wrigley Field for the first game, that was God crying.

I believe that movie studios are biased against women writers, minority writers and writers over 40, all of whom have proven through history they can write just as well and as successfully as anyone.

I believe that life isn't fair.

I believe that "life isn't fair" is no excuse.

I believe that Harrow Alley is the best unproduced screenplay.

I believe that when people say, "I apologize if I have offended someone..." what most of them should actually say is, "I apologize because I have offended someone."

I believe the Chicago will win a World Series in my lifetime, or at some point after that.

I believe that wearing a plastic American flag pin doesn't make one patriotic any more than wearing a Members Only sportshirt makes one a member.

I believe it's okay to like things that are French, except for the Vichy government during WWII.

I believe that the radical far right who don't believe in science are the nature heirs to those people who once believed the earth was flat, and who believed that the sun revolved around the earth, and who believed that dunking people was a good way to determine if they were witches, and who made Galileo a heretic, and who supported the Inquisition.

I believe the St. Louis Cardinals suck eggs.

And I believe that just because I believe any of this doesn't make any of it so.


To read more from Robert J. Elisberg about this or many other matters both large and tidbit small, see Elisberg Industries.