Have you ever wondered to what extent what you know right now is true? To what extent things are certain? How certain “certainty” may exist? As we go about our normal lives, we live with certain knowledge over some things as well as curiosity over other things. But how sure can we say what we know is certain? There is a fine line between knowledge and belief, although people may not know it. Let’s take science for example. How many experiments or observations would it take for people to label something as “evidence”, “proof” or just an overall fact? There are no degrees of certainty that exists in the world, as everything we know currently is man made. Between our personal knowledge versus the collective knowledge, it is hard to determine what’s what. For example, someone’s own personal knowledge back then may have been shared and passed on for generations, marking it as collective knowledge in the current world. This basically means that everything we know right now derives from someone else’s observations of “proof”. For example, archeologists with their new discoveries pass on their newfound information, essentially deeming it as new knowledge collectively. And take science for example, the atomic model we knew as the Bohr model was once the certain, or better accepted, model of the atom. Yet now, someone else went and observed a new model, which is the current Quantum model of the atom. Everything in this world is either constantly changing, being proven wrong, or evolving. The root of our knowledge lies upon what is taught to us as a whole and what we’ve experienced personally. Collective knowledge often is deemed as certain or true, but how accurate could that be? Everything we really know is based on someone’s interpretation of something, so surely there are countless levels of uncertainty and error that exists amongst the world. The personal knowledge we have often originates from our own personal experience with something, and therefore is often considered a belief. The fine line between fact and belief essentially lies upon one’s own understanding of something among the collective thought, however the level of certainty for a matter will always be up for debate.

By Farida Hamza