"You can take it to the bank!" That's an old saying for declaring that something is certainly true.
There are things in our sometimes uncertain world that are (almost) certainly true. You can take them to the bank!
1. GRAVITY. Stand as long as you wish at the bottom of the ski slope. You are NOT going to suddenly "fall up." You can take that to the bank.
2. THE EARTH IS A SPHERE. Google searches show that the last of the "flat-earthers" seem to have passed into history. I miss them -- they were a comic relief. But they were wrong. You can take it to the bank.
3. THE UNIVERSE IS VERY VERY LARGE. Contrarians can be found on the internet. Sometimes their "science talk" sounds impressive. They are wrong. You can take it to the bank.
4. THE EARTH IS VERY OLD. It has been three to 5 billion years since it first formed. "Young earth" advocates are all over the internet. Some Christian groups, exhibiting more zeal than sense, have made the young earth part and parcel of their screwy theology. They are deluded. You can take it to the bank.
5. LIFE ON EARTH HAS EVOLVED. It has changed enormously in the past several billion years. Existing species have died away; new species have emerged. Yes, there are contrarians on evolution too, some of them with University Ph-Ds. Such persons represent far less than 1 percent of all practicing scientists. They are wrong, for they practice their science wrongly, ignoring evolution's evidences, constructing "ad hoc" explanations, quoting out of context, and so forth. You can take it to the bank.
6. GLOBAL WARMING IS A REAL PROBLEM. It is affecting, and will affect more, all of humanity. Ten years ago there was reason for skepticism about this. There is none anymore. You can take it to the bank.
7. HUMAN ACTIVITIES ARE A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO GLOBAL WARMING. Perhaps five years ago this could be responsibly challenged. No more. You can take it to the bank.
8. THERE ARE THINGS THAT WE, BUSINESS AND OUR GOVERNMENTS CAN DO to soften the effects of Global Warming, most of which effects (see Al Gore's book reviewed last month) will be destructive to our civilization. Whether (or not) we will do these things, and how much any of them will help, is still debatable. But to do nothing suggests a very grim future. You can take it to the bank.
8. GOD EXISTS. There are certain scientists, otherwise well qualified in their fields of expertise, who argue otherwise. But their arguments are unsound. The "god" they rail against is a strawman. You can take it to the bank. 9. The God who most certainly exists is not a remote white-bearded comical character way beyond the stars. He is both real and personal. He loves you. You can take it to the bank. You should take it to the bank.
John Burgeson, For the Rico Bugle, www.burgy.50megs.com, Mancos, Colorado, April 2, 2007