Saturday, April 28, 2012

Knowing what we don't know.

Ok, so what do Aboriginal dreamtime stories and the theory of relativity have in common?

Both come from Man's desire to explain the world we live in.

It seems that humankind has done this since we developed language, at very least. An Australian Aboriginal dreamtime story tells of how the sun came to be, fulfilling a need to explain day and night. Many cultures developed their own various theories of a flat earth, feeding a desire to know more about the world around us. Leeches were once commonly used in medicine, as humankind tried to discover how to maintain and heal our bodies.

Modern science tells us that our ancestors were wrong on all of these counts. We might look at these beliefs and think it's quaint that people once believed these things, but think for a second - they were just like us. These people were merely trying to explain the world that surrounds us, just as we do today, with whatever resources they had.

Science has progressed well beyond these old beliefs, but i think it's a mistake to think that we're anywhere near knowing it all. In 2000 years, will future generations look back and scoff at what we believe we know today?

We don't know what we don't know.


  1. I think that future generations will criticize us and the past.

  2. When you're huddled around a campfire in the wilderness, it's amazing what sort of dreams and stories you can muster. Sometimes, they stick from generation to generation.