„A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

- Harkat Mulds (Hunters of the Dusk)“

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Thomas Henry Huxley photo

„The saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing is, to my mind, a very dangerous adage.“

—  Thomas Henry Huxley English biologist and comparative anatomist 1825 - 1895
Context: The saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing is, to my mind, a very dangerous adage. If knowledge is real and genuine, I do not believe that it is other than a very valuable possession, however infinitesimal its quantity may be. Indeed, if a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger? "On Elementary Instruction in Physiology" (1877) http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/CE3/ElPhys.html

Albert Einstein photo

„A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
A variation on a quotation of Alexander Pope, attributed to Einstein in various recent sources, such as Marvin Minsky's The Emotion Machine (2006), p. 176 http://books.google.com/books?id=OqbMnWDKIJ4C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA176#v=onepage&q&f=false, and at the start of the 2006 pilot episode of the television series Eureka. The oldest published source located attributing this to Einstein is the 2004 book Strategic Investment: Real Options and Games by Han T. J. Smit and Lenos Trigeorgis, p. 429 http://books.google.com/books?id=pN41ZtNoqBEC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA429#v=onepage&q&f=false, and before that it was attributed to him on the internet, the earliest example found being this post from 19 May 1995 http://groups.google.com/group/bit.listserv.physhare/msg/ef186aec3bf66ba6. But long before that, the same quote appears in an advertisement for Encyclopaedia Britannica that ran in The Atlantic Monthly: Volume 216 from 1965, p. 139 http://books.google.com/books?id=TuMmAQAAIAAJ&q=%22so+is+a+lot%22#search_anchor. The ad mentioned Einstein but did not directly attribute the quote to him: "Encyclopaedia Britannica says: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot. The more you know, the more you need to know — as Albert Einstein, for one, might have told you. Great knowledge has a way of bringing with it great responsibility. The people who put the Encyclopaedia Britannica together feel the same way. After all, if most of the world had come to count on you as the best single source of complete, accurate, up-to-date information on everything, you'd want to be pretty sure you knew what you were talking about."

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Erik Naggum photo

„A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I regret that this isn't fatal.“

—  Erik Naggum Norwegian computer programmer 1965 - 2009
Re: unibyte http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/msg/d767a45084444a5a (Usenet article).

Terry Pratchett photo
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Adlai Stevenson photo

„The knowledge he has acquired with age is not the knowledge of formulas, or forms of words, but of people, places, actions — a knowledge not gained by words but by touch, sight, sound, victories, failures, sleeplessness, devotion, love — the human experiences and emotions of this earth and of oneself and other men; and perhaps, too, a little faith, and a little reverence for things you cannot see.“

—  Adlai Stevenson mid-20th-century Governor of Illinois and Ambassador to the UN 1900 - 1965
Context: What a man knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty is, for the most part, incommunicable. The laws, the aphorisms, the generalizations, the universal truths, the parables and the old saws — all of the observations about life which can be communicated handily in ready, verbal packages — are as well known to a man at twenty who has been attentive as to a man at fifty. He has been told them all, he has read them all, and he has probably repeated them all before he graduates from college; but he has not lived them all. What he knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty boils down to something like this: The knowledge he has acquired with age is not the knowledge of formulas, or forms of words, but of people, places, actions — a knowledge not gained by words but by touch, sight, sound, victories, failures, sleeplessness, devotion, love — the human experiences and emotions of this earth and of oneself and other men; and perhaps, too, a little faith, and a little reverence for things you cannot see. Address at Princeton University, "The Educated Citizen" (22 March 1954) http://infoshare1.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/mudd/online_ex/stevenson/adlai1954.html

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Alan Moore photo

„The shaman is not a priest, the shaman has no secret knowledge, he is equivalent to the hunter. He has a specific skill that is subjugated to the needs of the group. He is prepared to take drugs, go loopy, visit the underworld, bring back knowledge and tell everybody. He’s not keeping a secret knowledge.“

—  Alan Moore English writer primarily known for his work in comic books 1953
Context: The shaman is not a priest, the shaman has no secret knowledge, he is equivalent to the hunter. He has a specific skill that is subjugated to the needs of the group. He is prepared to take drugs, go loopy, visit the underworld, bring back knowledge and tell everybody. He’s not keeping a secret knowledge. Originally priests were instructors, they passed out the mysteries and revelations to the masses. Increasingly, they say ‘you don’t need to have a religious experience, we are having that for you. That’s what we are here for.” Eventually, they start saying ‘you don’t need to have a religious experience, and neither do we. We’ve got this book about some people who – a thousand years ago – had a religious experience. And if you come in on Sunday, we’ll read you a bit of that and you’ll be sorted, don’t you worry.” Effectively a portcullis has slammed down between the individual and their godhead. ‘You can’t approach your godhead except through us now. We are the only path. Our church is the only path.’ But that is every human being’s birthright, to have ingress to their godhead.

Jacques Maritain photo

„The philosopher says that God's knowledge is the measure of things, and that things are the measure of man's knowledge.“

—  Jacques Maritain French philosopher 1882 - 1973
Theonas: Conversations of a Sage (1921). Sheed & Ward, 1933, p. 77.

Isaac Bashevis Singer photo

„Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge.“

—  Isaac Bashevis Singer Polish-born Jewish-American author 1902 - 1991
The New York Times (3 December 1978)

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