Toelichting bij In het kort, weten
Wetenschap weet weinig. Geloof weet alles. Dus een redelijk mens gelooft in wetenschap.
hierop volgende citaat is uit The Ascent of Man, van Jacob Bronowski, een boek
in aansluiting op de
gelijknamige televisieserie (1973). De tekst wordt uitgesproken
door de presentator/auteur, zittend in de modder en as van het concentratiekamp Auschwitz, zie het filmbeeldje rechts:
There are two parts to the human dilemma. One is the belief that the end
justifies the means. That push-button philosophy, that deliberate deafness to
suffering, has become the monster in the war machine. The other is the betrayal
of the human spirit: the assertion of dogma that doses the mind, and turns a
nation, a civilisation, into a regiment of ghosts - obedient ghosts, or tortured
It is said that science will dehumanise people and turn them into numbers. That
is false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp
and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers.
Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was
not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by
When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality,
this is how they behave.
This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.
Science is a very human form of knowledge.
We are always at the brink of the known, we always feel forward for what is to
be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error, and is personal.
Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end
the words were said by Oliver Cromwell:
'I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken'.
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