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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Ignorance Begets Confidence 

I recently had a conversation with my roommate that made me think of this chunk of text from Darwin. Then I ran into the quotation again, so I decided to pass it along.
[I]gnorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
I should note that the conversation with my roommate led me to think of this quote not because he is ignorant, but because we were mixing descriptive and normative arguments and the end product was a final disagreement about the ability of humanity to "figure out everything, at least eventually." That brought the quotation to mind.

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