The Suitcase Lady

Ignorance

January 26, 2010, 10:02 pm

“…it is always advisable to perceive clearly our ignorance.”

I recently came across this Charles Darwin quote in an article celebrating the 200th anniversary of his birth. These nine simple words should be enshrined in every classroom.

I present educational programs for thousands of children every year. Before I begin, I always say one reassuring thing: “If you raise your hand, and I call on you, and you answer wrong, don’t feel badly. Not even the smartest people in the world know all the answers.”

I would love to add that the smartest people are often the first to admit they don’t know everything, but that observation is a bit esoteric for grade-schoolers.

Here are more thoughts on ignorance from some extremely enlightened individuals.

“The older we grow the greater becomes our wonder at how much ignorance one can contain without bursting ones clothes.” Mark Twain

“Ignorance, when voluntary, is criminal.” Samuel Johnson

“Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers of the preceding generations.” Richard Feynman

“You have the right to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.” unknown


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