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Suppose They're Just As Smart

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Posted by Paul R. Martin on April 15, 2002 02:21:08 UTC

Hi Mike,

***Don't assume people today are smarter than in the past***

Even if you assume that people's intellectual capability is the same as it was back then, we still have two huge advantages. First, we outnumber them by a factor of many thousands, so given the same distribution of geniuses and idiots, we have many more of each.

Second, we have the shoulders of all those past giants. We don't have to invent or discover everything all over again so our expectations for ourselves should be very high.

I think Dick is right: our biggest problem is that people are too prone to take someone else's opinions as their own and not think for themselves.

***How many on this forum could calculate the circumference of the Earth by measurements?***

I can. Although I have to admit that I never worked on the problem until Dick told me about his method. I misunderstood what he told me and as a result I developed a separate but equal method for the measurement. I am sure that there are others on this forum who, if they worked at it, could also come up with a method.

Warm regards,


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