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The Swindle of Speculation

Last year, University of Arizona astronomers announced discovering evidence of a tenth planet at the outer reaches of our solar system.

If you’re having trouble keeping track of the planet count, you’re not alone. Pluto was originally added as the ninth planet circling the sun after its discovery in 1930, but was dropped from the list in 2006. When astronomers found evidence of another giant planet last year, the count went back up to nine.

Planets seem to be appearing all over our galaxy. Just this month, NASA claimed to have identified ten planets scattered across the cosmos that might be capable of supporting life similar to that here on earth. This, of course, leads to much speculation that we are not alone in our universe.

It’s a pretty safe bet -- not because of the odds but because we’re not likely to confirm or deny these speculations any time in the foreseeable future.

So what does this have to do with ethics? Just this: speculation is fine, as long as we don’t blur the lines between what is possible and what is probable. The idea of extraterrestrial life excites us. Unless it’s on its way to destroy us, like the aliens in War of the Worlds and Independence Day.

But when we start making assumptions without adequate information, we set ourselves up to look ridiculous, especially when those assumptions influence our decisions closer to home.

King Solomon says, the ear that listens to the admonitions of life will abide among the wise.

The way of wisdom and integrity is to follow where truth leads us, not to try and steer truth where we want it to go.

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