Thursday, April 25, 2013


The community as a whole doesn't listen patiently to critics who adopt alternative viewpoints.  Although the great lesson of history is that knowledge develops through the conflict of viewpoints.  If you simply have a consensus, it generally stultifies.  It fails to see the problems of that consensus and it depends on the existence of critics to break up that iceberg and permit knowledge to develop.  This is in fact one of the underpinnings of democratic theory.  It is one of the reasons why we believe in notions of free speech and it's one of the great forces in terms of intellectual development.

-- Walter Gilbert (1932-), American physicist, 1980 Nobel laureate in Chemistry, Meditel (1990)

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