Not Knowing and the Expert

SCIENCE/SKEPTICISM. I originally found this video on blogger Jime’s Subversive Thinking blog (http://subversivethinking.blogspot.com.au). It’s a video of biologist Richard Dawkins engaging in open debate about the origins of the universe. And what could be more important in regard to the foundations of our knowledge than the question: “How did the universe come from nothing?” Whatever the correct answer to this question, Richard Dawkins (in the video) clearly does not know the answer. His essential answer is “I’m not a physicist”. Yet what is most important here is that it is clear that a fundamental presupposition of Dawkin’s worldview is clearly based on faith – faith that physicists are correct. But wait, is it all physicists? No, it is only those physicists who agree with his “ultimate first cause.”

I post this video here as a good example of the fact that we should not always defer knowledge to others, simply because they are learned, very smart, or “experts”. As Lao Zi said many two and a half millennia ago: “In the mind of the novice there are many possibilities: In the mind of the expert there is but one.”

Do listen to learned men and women. But don’t give your power away to them. Sometimes they are just bluffing – or too proud to admit “I don’t know”.

Marcus

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