David Deutsch Explains Why It’s Good To Be Wrong – Facts So Romantic

David Deutsch

Making a mistake on a science exam is bad. So is publishing a paper with flawed reasoning. But what about being fallible in the first place? That, says David Deutsch, should be embraced.

Deutsch is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a pioneer in quantum computing, and a popular science book author. He is also a dyed-in-the-wool optimist. Why does he think the future looks so bright? Because of our ability to think rationally, and to be wrong. After all, he says, “error is unavoidable in the growth of knowledge.”

He sat down with us to explain his thinking.

What has science proven?

Science never proves anything. Science is full of examples where things that were thought to have been established forever were later found out to be just false. What always happens, though, is that when you find that a supposedly incontrovertible theory was actually false all along, you find that what is true is an even more amazing theory. So when Newton was found to be wrong and [his theories] were superseded by the general theory of relativity, we didn’t go back to Kepler’s theory or the geocentric theory. We went to something that was more amazing…

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