Happy Darwin Day!

Photo by John G. Murdoch (Robert Ashby Collection) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by John G. Murdoch (Robert Ashby Collection) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Today is Darwin Day, the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. You can visit the International Darwin Day website to learn about Darwin or look up Darwin Day events.

One of my favorite quotes from Darwin is the following:

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

In other words, the heated emotional certainty that one’s views are right usually comes from a place of not having really thought things through or rigorously studied the issue from various perspectives. True scientists are committed to a careful, rational process for reaching a conclusion, and even when they come to a conclusion they are aware that they could still be mistaken. Certainty, on the other hand, is the product of immature thinking.

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