No one knows what science doesn't know

From LessWrong
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In a technological civilization containing billions of people - a number vastly greater than the number of humans in the sort of tribes that existed in our ancestral environment - no one person can possibly talk to all of their fellow tribemembers, and find out what everyone doesn't know. It's difficult to say that science doesn't know something, because far too much scientific information has been amassed for any one person or small team to sort through it all. Just because you haven't read about it, doesn't mean no one in the depths of human history has investigated this same question and come away with genuine answers. But this, itself, is a non-ancestral condition - we think we're supposed to know in general what our tribe knows or doesn't know; it comes as a counterintuitive shock for there to be a whole field of knowledge that isn't even on your map of subjects.

Blog posts

See also