My Dear Grandchildren,
Beware the Wacky World of Extrapolation.
Extrapolation is a method of reasoning that follows existing trends and continues on the same path to make a conclusion believable. This is guessing beyond the original observation range. Extrapolation is how scientists predict that something will happen in the future. They draw conclusions by mating circumstantial evidence with the research of their peers in bygone eras. They extrapolate because they have no way of observing evidence occurring in real-time.
But extrapolation is only credible when the premise upon which the extrapolation is launched is trustworthy. If the original foundation of truth is fraudulent or misinterpreted, or if the data is skewed, the unwitting carriers spread the fiction.
Consider if scientists pointed to the conclusion that the earth’s core is made of marshmallows. If enough academics support the claim, grade school, high school and college textbooks will inevitably repeat the fallacy and might never be corrected.
Most scientific extrapolation can be influenced by politics, opinions, hopes, emotion, justifications, personal vindication, job security fears, and the need for fulfillment. Creating an attractive portfolio is the goal for some professionals, and lifestyle choices can interfere with assertions that should be made objectively.
An academic also must produce what their benefactors demand, or sponsors will find someone else who will. Grant awards (money to fund projects) depend upon pleasing the benefactor. A teacher’s tenure and retirement often depend upon this ages-old process.
This is why a student of life should never gobble up every “progressive” morsel that an ardent teacher feeds them. Professors are fallible, and those who taught them are the same.
When someone calls an extrapolation “fact,” and you feel an alarming twinge of doubt–file it away for further study. If a teacher’s conclusions chip away at your bedrock of reasoning or your moral underpinnings, remember that facts are only as sound as the integrity and competence of those declaring them. A fabricated premise is a shaky foundation from which to launch any extrapolation.
Gather knowledge with God’s input and guidance, which the Bible calls “seeking Wisdom.” In your desire to know things, partner with Jesus Christ, the One whose sovereignty (omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence) eclipses all of mankind’s knowledge. Jesus has no need to extrapolate because He is the “I AM.” He knows the end from the beginning. He was there. He is here–with you.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
I Cor. 3:18
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.
My Dear Grandchildren,