Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind: serialised in quotes XXIX: the key to the Scientific Revolution was ignorance

Our ancestors put a great deal of time and effort into trying to discover the rules that govern the natural world. But modern science differs from all previous traditions in three critical ways: 1. The willingness to admit ignorance. 2. The centrality of observation and mathematics. 3. The acquisition of new powers.

Modern science is not content with creating theories. It uses those theories to gain new powers, and in particular to develop new technologies.

The Scientific Revolution has not been a revolution of knowledge. It has above all been a revolution of ignorance. The great discovery that launched he Scientific Revolution was the discovery that humans do not know the answer to their most important questions.

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