2020 / September

Question of science.

The Scientist by Coldplay

Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash

I love the TV show Modern Family. One of my favourite episodes is one called The Wow Factor. In this episode in-laws Claire and Cam have joined forces to renovate and sell a house, yet their visions for rennovation are very different, and the disagreements begin.

In attempt to get their own way Claire and Cam both resort to their own methods to attempt to succeed. Claire uses the number dump, using phrases like forty-twelve percent and eleventy-five to try to confuse Cam into agreement. Whereas Cam uses trojan horsing, putting a ridiculously exaggerated idea forward to conceal and subsequently agree on the real idea.

But what has all this got to do with wellbeing?

I think sometimes, when it comes to the most important decisions in life, we can be both number dumped and trojan horsed. We might be presented with an overwhelming array of facts in the form of statistics which end up leaving us nothing but confused. This can cause us to doubt out own instincts and decide someone else clearly knows best. Equally, when people are trying to convince us, they sometimes resort to exaggerating the argument we might be making, taking it to an extreme so we lose track of the point. In a sense we can be blinded by science and logic.

I like how Coldplay speak of this in The Scientist:

I was just guessing at numbers and figures. Pulling your puzzles apart. Questions of science, science and progress, do not speak as loud as my heart.

In the song this idea emerges that some of the most important choices we make in life are not scientifically and logically calculated, but are in effect, decisions of the heart. But what does this mean?

I don’t think this has anything to do with rejecting logic or science as a means of decision making but is more a recognition that some of the most important aspects of life are beyond cognition and are more emotionally and practically based, like love. Rather than seeing this beyond cognitive nature of these decisions as being superior or alternative, I think we can consider our heart reaction to compliment the scientific and logical approach by providing it with compassion and a personal sense of values and morality.

When our decisions are made based only on facts and figures we disempower ourselves of taking more personal moral responsibility for our choices and in effect choose what might be considered the median choice rather than one in line with our own interpretation of the world. Yet when we engage both our heart and mind, we can come to a more informed decision of integrity with our sense of self. This can leave us in a much healthier position in terms of our own mental health.

So, this week, I’m left with this thought. In terms of making choices which will improve my wellbeing and sense of fulfilment in life, I need to make sure my decisions are not only informed by science and logic, but also by critically hearing my heart.

Interested in travelling beyond logic in life? Why not consider booking an appointment with the author, Dr Dave Wood?

The Scientist is taken from the Coldplay album A Rush of Blood to the Head:


Exploring and co-creating #wellbeing4all and community theology with individuals, businesses and communities. For the many, not the few.

Confusion that never stops.

18 September 2020