In 1492, Columbus accidentally stumbled upon the Caribbean. But he didn't know that. He thought it was India. He DIED thinking it was India. He just didn't know.
In the middle ages, the people thought the world was, 6/7 water: a chunk of land with salty puddles in it. They just didn't know.
Before Copernicus, everyone thought the sun revolved around the earth. It was clearly moving around us. They were pissed at Copernicus's crazy new theory. They just didn't know.
And that was the fun of it. No one. Really. Knew.
Columbus, Copernicus, and just the ordinary people saw the world as one giant mystery waiting to be solved.
Is the earth really flat?
Who made everything?
What if the Earth were the thing revolving instead of the sun?
How do I know I'm really alive?
How do you cure the measles?
Why are babies attached to their mothers?
Questions. Endless, exciting, bewildering, dangerous, difficult questions. Who knows? No one? Alright then, I'll find out.
Just imagine. A world where you just. don't. know. Everything is new, exciting, mysterious. Like being a child, only better because you can grow up and things are still just that exciting.
Now come back. To our world, our time.
"No, it's round. Duh."
"'Science' says no one made everything, okay? Drop it."
*eyeroll* "The earth IS revolving. And so are the other seven planets."
"Hook yourself to a heart monitor if you're so concerned about whether or not you're living."
"Gah, I don't know, just get the vaccine. It doesn't matter."
"Just Google it, will you?"
We know everything now. We have Science, the Internet, and all the philosophers before us to figure things out. We've got it from here. It's all old news.
And I find that deeply troubling.
I think science is really important. It's good that we've figured things out and have vaccines and treatments. It's good that we've come so far. It wouldn't be right for us to sit around and NOT figure things out.
But...it's a little sad at the same time. All the wonder, the bright-eyed questions and thousands of little mysteries every day...they're gone. We've solved the mystery. Cracked the case. Finished the puzzle. We think there are no more questions. No more mysteries. We've resigned ourselves to contented boredom.
We've lost the beauty of Wonder and the joy of Discovery. I can't even imagine a world where people Just Don't Know. I would want to get out and discover things, find the answers, think my very own thoughts.
There's no way to go back to ignorance, and I'm not saying we should. I'm just saying....well, I guess I'm just saying. We live in a World of Lost Mysteries, and to me it's sort of a beautifully orchestrated tragedy.