Biological and language variations are constants of the human condition. As we walk this earth and congregate, language tends to change and evolve at the same time it holds onto pieces at its core. Language becomes a venue ripe for misunderstandings. In our complicated and segregated modern life, it is easy to live in a city with 7 million people, speak the same language and yet not understand our neighbor. There is an ever growing need to pay attention to the variations in language styles. The economy of speech creeps in to facilitate conversation between parties that share common experiences. Whether we are hanging out on the corner, working in a deli, or at a physics lab, we each easily dominate many language styles. Our days are full of examples of heteroglossia, and yet strangers meet and think they understand each other. Inevitably though, there is a "you people!" and "but you said!" Our expressions vary and our differences seem insurmountable.
I believe a handy translation would save us from unnecessary strife and aggression.
Christian-speak: God has a plan for your life.
Science-speak translation: Your unique set of circumstances including DNA, talents, upbringing, and environment, have the possibility of an optimal outcome. It is up to you to figure out for which optimal lifepath you are suited. All others are suboptimal although not necessarily wrong.
Christian-speak: Accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.
Science-speak translation: The cosmos or universe or some first-cause event has yielded a sequence of steps all of which have lead to your existence. We don’t care why, it is irrelevant for the purposes of this problem set. What we do know is that all your ancestors, all past life has lead up to you since the beginning of time. Does that humble you in any way? Great! Now you need to open yourself and listen. Read #3 for further explanation.
Christian-speak: Jesus died for your sins.
Science-speak translation: I’m just saying, don’t let imprecision or uncertainty get in the way of
living. Rather than scrape and claw at the multitudes of things that go
wrong, are imprecise, or flawed in some way, just try to make what you
have better. Make sure your general tendency is toward justice. It’s a
sort of asymptotic function whose limit is perfection. Rather than
focus on the impeccable (from the Latin, meaning without sin), just go
ahead and round to a reasonable figure based on the task at hand.
Look, we live in a world where there is no perfection. That is, like the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, you can measure a particle’s momentum or position but the more precise you are about one, the less you know about the other. Life’s not perfect, get over it. You deal with what you have. So, with that said, imperfection is your natural state of being and death will come to you. Those are our boundary conditions. They contain the meat of the problem at hand, which is: How do you live the intervening space time.
What about the rest? Well, the Prof said not to worry about them, because they don’t matter.
More translations to come, as I think of them. Perhaps a science-speak translation would be in order too, I dunno.