Monday, March 2, 2015

Author Ian McEwan - "There are ways of being wrong that help others to be right"

From "This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress" by John Brockman, a collection of answers from famous scientists and thinkers to the question: "What scientific idea is ready for retirement?" This response is from British writer Ian McEwan:

Beware of arrogance! Retire nothing! A great and rich scientific tradition should hang onto everything it has. Truth is not the only measure. There are ways of being wrong that help others to be right. Some are wrong, but brilliantly so. Some are wrong but contribute to method. Some are wrong but help found a discipline. Aristotle ranged over the whole of human knowledge and was wrong about much. But his invention of zoology alone was priceless. Would you cast him aside? You never know when you might need an old idea. It could rise again one day to enhance a perspective the present cannot imagine.

[Hat Tip Brain Pickings]

No comments:

Post a Comment