Je nevědomost blažeností?

Věk renesančního člověka je dávno pryč. Nikdo si dnes nemyslí, že by ještě bylo v silách jedince plně porozumět všem oblastem vědy a techniky. Populární software obsahuje miliony řádků programového kódu. Mechanismy imunitní reakce u jednoho jediného druhu bílých krvinek se popisují na tisících stran vědeckých časopisů. Elegantně jednoduchý vzhled iPodu ukrývá technologii, jíž rozumí jen maličký zlomek jeho uživatelů.

Nedávné průzkumy ovšem naznačují, že navzdory ohromné neúplnosti našich znalostí se většina lidí domnívá, že vědí mnohem víc, než je ve skutečnosti pravda. Ochotně sice přiznáváme, že nevíme všechno o tom, jak létá helikoptéra nebo jak pracuje tiskařský stroj, ale ohledně své nevědomosti nejsme ani zdaleka dost skromní.

Nejsnazším způsobem jak to prokázat je požádat lidi, aby úplnost svých znalostí ohodnotili na sedmistupňové škále. U každé otázky představuje číslo 7 ekvivalent dokonale podrobné duševní představy a číslo 1 označuje téměř nulovou znalost daného mechanismu, jen mlhavou představu. Lidé s chutí a hodnověrně bodují své porozumění všemu možnému, od složitých strojů přes biologické soustavy až po přírodní jevy, jako jsou vlny; hodnocení je však obvykle mnohem vyšší než jejich skutečné znalosti.

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