Though human society possesses more collective knowledge now than ever before, there’s also more misinformation than ever before. Some of it is disseminated disingenuously by people with personal agendas, but it also happens because of our tendency to make assumptions and draw conclusions prematurely.
We tend to form opinions based on limited information and prop them up with questionable “facts,” personal biases, and emotionally charged arguments.
The explosion of collective knowledge that we’ve experienced in recent centuries has increased our understanding of nature and the universe, the benefits of trade and innovation, the human mind, and many other important things. But it should also tell us how much we still don’t know and that we should be careful not to make too many assumptions.
No doubt there will continue to be many paradigm shifts in our understanding, just as there has been throughout history. Each generation tends to believe that there’s nothing more to learn, until their world gets rocked by brave individuals who refuse to let persecution stop them from showing us a new way.
We should welcome the opportunity to have our worlds rocked by new discoveries and new ways of looking at old issues. Few things are more troubling yet more liberating than a total paradigm shift in our understanding of things we thought we had nailed down.