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In learning we have two drives, to find truth and to avoid error. These rarely do come in conflict, and even more rarely do they come into any major kind of conflict, but there still are times that we have to decide whether we consider it to be more important to find truths or to avoid errors. Religion, for instance.

Let us imagine that a time traveler arrives from some distant point in the future and teaches me five facts which are not currently known to the world. Four of these facts can be explained with current scientific knowledge, and when they are t... (read more)