"The human family - originating in one small locale in East Africa a few million years ago - wandered, separated, diversified, and became strangers to one another…"
"Science, then, is not like the onion in the often used analogy of stripping away layer after layer to get at some core, central, fundamental truth. Rather it’s like the magic well: no matter how many buckets of water you remove, there’s always another one to be had. Or even better, it’s like the widening ripples on the surface of a pond, the ever larger circumference in touch with more and more of what’s outside the circle, the unknown. This growing forefront is where science occurs… It is a mistake to bob around in the circle of facts instead of riding the wave to the great expanse lying outside the circle."
Stuart Firestein, from Ignorance: How It Drives Science
I was reminded of this quote, which sums up the driving force of the scientific process better than just about anything I’ve ever read, today after watching the latest Vlogbrothers video, in which Hank Green channels his inner Socrates:
"I know one thing, that I know nothing."
Watch Hank admit to being a towering mountain of ignorance (something we should all admit) below…
"Mathematics is like oxygen. If it is there, you do not notice it. If it would not be there, you realize that you cannot do without."
"Any fool can know. The point is to understand."
"As the force of gravity slowly draws matter together, it can eventually cause it to collapse to form galaxies and stars, which can lead to planets and, on at least one occasion, people."