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Sapiens 11 The discovery of Ignorance

Page history last edited by Ian Kimber 5 years, 10 months ago



Lecture 11   The discovery of ignorance 


Segment 1  12-1 Lesson11_Segment1 The Discovery of Ignorance.mp4


Scientific political and economic revolution  has happened in the last few hundred years

During years 1000-1500 not much change  1500-200 vast changes 

How did these changes come about?  why now

500 years ago people did not consider science and technology as a serious subject of study.

Nowadays science produces value worth investment and gives returns in improvements and money.


In the past cosmology was important but based on thought and ancient knowledge not experiment. 

Modern science recognises ignorance and that it is important to experiment and observe how things work using mathematics to create models.


This discovery of ignorance was important.  In the past scriptures were considered contain all knowledge.


1. Admitting ignorance   We do not know everything.  in the past ask higher authority  things we did not know was either unimportant or what we should not know i.e. evil.


Segment 2  12-2Lesson11_Segment2.The Discovery of Ignorance.mp4

2.  Observation, measurement and creating theories based on mathematics and statistics.

In the past mathematics was esoteric. studies were rhetoric and logic and writings

3.  Innovations in the past used to come from slow improvements of current technologies and designs.  

Armies fought using similar technologies only determination and organisation (romans) prevailed.


Segment 3   12-3Lesson11_Segment3.The Discovery of Ignorance.mp4


Poverty was considered as an inescapable fact of life in the past. 

Now it is considered to be a solvable problem

Social poverty shortage of opportunities

Biological poverty  starvation and lack of protection from the environment (housing)

Nowadays all sorts of protections and reliefs exist to help  more people


Death used to be taken for granted nowadays although it is still inevitable great efforts are made to prevent it.

People die because of various bodily failures and diseases.


The Gilgamesh project is defeating death.  Death is a technical problem/


Amortality the prolongation of active life with few limits.

life expectancy is increasing rapidly worldwide.


Segment 4    12-4Lesson11_Segment4.The Discovery of Ignorance.mp4

Science is seen a progress leading to a heaven on earth  Not true!

Life is more complicated than this.  Economics and politics have a lot to say about what can be done.


Most science that receives funding is dependant on the “value” of what can come out of it

Resources are always limited  Choices are ethical questions  i.e. what is “good”


Science itself cannot set its own priorities in this environment.  for example

How should we use use genetics?  different organisations and political ideologies will think very differently about this.


Two forces have shaped the development of science  in the past.   European Imperialism and the Capitalist economy.


Return to 1 Index page Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind

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