Deep thought

“It is a very simple and a decisive point, but nevertheless one that is often not sufficiently realized by rationalists — that we cannot start afresh; that we must make use of what people before us have done in science.  If we start afresh, then, when we die, we shall be as far as Adam and Eve were when they died (or, if you prefer, as far as Neanderthal man).  In science, we want to make progress, and this means that we must stand on the shoulders of our predecessors.  We must carry on a certain tradition.”

Karl Popper, “Towards a Rational Theory of Tradition

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