It is imperative in science to doubt; it is absolutely necessary, for progress in science, to have uncertainty as a fundamental part of your inner nature.

To make progress in understanding, we must remain modest and allow that we do not know. Nothing is certain or proved beyond all doubt. You investigate for curiosity, because it is unknown, not because you know the answer. And as you develop more information in the sciences, it is not that you are finding out the truth, but that you are finding out that this or that is more or less likely.

That is, if we investigate further, we find that the statements of science are not of what is true and what is not true, but statements of what is known to different degrees of certainty.

Every one of the concepts of science is on a scale graduated somewhere between, but at neither end of, absolute falsity or absolute truth.

Ten thousand hours of elite training plus talent and a lot more are what expert coaches say are required to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games in Queensland.

Carefully selected participants, from many diverse backgrounds and nationalities, are competing for the small number of highly coveted Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals for the honour of their home countries.

Image result for commonwealth games medals

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have been welcomed at Carrara Stadium to officially open the Commonwealth Games.

This is a tournament in the authentic sense of the tradition and will be settled by elite performances arising from a combination of talent and training (PRR) over many years. 

Sometimes elitism is misunderstood. Like other human strategies such as punishment and reward there are both appropriate and inappropriate contexts for understanding the value of these behaviours. 

The Value of Elitism

Here, the author of The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins, discusses both the confusion and the value of elitism

In his book Science of Logic, Georg Friedrich Hegel remarked:

“It is said that there are no sudden changes in nature, and the common view has it that when we speak of a growth or a destruction, we always imagine a gradual growth or disappearance. Yet we have seen cases in which the alteration of existence involves not only a transition from one proportion to another, but also a transition, by a sudden leap, into a?…?qualitatively different thing; an interruption of a gradual process, differing qualitatively from the preceding, the former state”.

This pottery parable is from Art And Fear


The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot—albeit a perfect one—to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work—and learning from their mistakes—the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

In this recent DEAKIN University Talk Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson draws attention to “the greatest problem on Earth”.

It’s a wicked problem that’s a hundred times bigger than the problem of global warming and many orders of magnitude greater than the problems of health, water or population. It’s also the greatest opportunity on earth!

If you have 2 minutes you can eavesdrop in on the greatest problem on Earth