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The Knowledge Explosion
Tomorrow's World Magazine
March 1971
Volume: Vol III, No. 03
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The Knowledge Explosion
J Orlin Grabbe   
Church of God

Born: October 8, 1947
Died: March 15, 2008
Ambassador College: 1970

Man is beset by an end-time explosion of knowledge. The Bible prophesied it. Yet the Bible also foretold that our people would suffer greatly for LACK of knowledge! What's the answer to this enigma? Read here how our knowledge — AND the lack of it — is destroying us!

   Facts. Theories. Books. Libraries. Universities. Education. Knowledge. The accumulated efforts of man's quest to know.
   Mankind knows today "about two million times as much about the universe we live in and the creatures which inhabit it as was known shortly after the death of Galileo," states Professor Solomon Diamond in his book The World of Probability.
   Mankind, Professor Diamond says, is undergoing a "knowledge explosion."
   This "knowledge explosion" is another tell-tale sign that you're living in the time of the end!
   Written in the book of Daniel — a source more up-to-date than tomorrow's newscast — some two-and-a-half millennia ago was this prophecy: "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE INCREASED" (Dan. 12:4).
   And now today we find this increase all around us. Here in the end-time, "the world's population is doubling every 35 years, but the accumulation of scientific data, which a century ago was doubling every 100 years, now is doubling every 6 years! And it promises to double every 4 years and then every 2 years, if nothing is done about it" (Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 23, 1971).
   Armies of scientists armed to the teeth with equipment are dedicating their lives toward finding new knowledge. And 90 percent of all scientists who have ever lived are alive today and, as you read this magazine, are busily involved in the maddening search for facts.
   "Science is a body of knowledge which has been estimated to be the equivalent of some 10,000,000 books on science and its applications. More important, this body of knowledge is increasing at a rate estimated to be about 1,000,000 book equivalents a year, or on the order of 100 books an hour" (Science News, Oct. 18, 1969).
   The deluge of new knowledge is so relentless that Dr. J. E. Wallen, chief of oceanography at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, says: "I spend 25 percent to 50 percent of my working time trying to keep up with what's going on."
   Piles of reports are accumulating in every area of science. The comment of a Nobel-prizewinning physicist, Dr. Emilio Segre, illustrates the extent of the problem. "On K-mesons alone," he stated, "to wade through all the papers is an impossibility."

A Flood of Facts

   One million technical reports were published in the U. S. in 1969. In the field of bio-medicine, for example, there were 7000 technical journals published. And the number of scientific journals and articles is doubling about every fifteen years.
   No one can begin to keep track of the facts. Libraries are inundated by mounds of material yet to be classified and filed. "The 'Information Explosion' Hits Our Libraries" was the title of a Reader's Digest article several years ago. A more recent news headline proclaims "The Crisis in Our Libraries" (Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 22, 1970). "There is really a Niagara of information being published," the article says, "and even the most capable librarians can't hope to keep up with it... 30,000 books were published in 1969."
   Of course not every book represents an increase in knowledge. But book production is indicative of the revolution in information. Prior to 1500, it is estimated, Europe was producing at most 1000 book-titles per year. But by 1950 it was spewing out 120,000 titles a year, and now the output of books on a world scale is around 1000 titles per DAY.
   The morass of published knowledge is literally burying itself by its sheer bulk. Millions of dollars are spent annually by scientists repeating research that someone else has already painstakingly carried out and published. "Information retrieving" — that is, finding any particular set of facts once they've been researched, published, and filed — has become extraordinarily complicated. Many administrators of the great national and university libraries are toying with the idea of abandoning the preservation of books entirely, as an obsolete form of the permanent record, and transferring the contents to microfilms and computers.

Too Much Knowledge?

   Our end-time age is bursting with knowledge.
   Too much knowledge. Reams of information about minute points — rendered useless by its very nature.
   Observes Lewis Mumford in his book The Pentagon of Power, "We are already... beginning to drown in the flood.... And as our knowledge of isolatable segments and fragments becomes infinitely refined and microscopic, our ability to interrelate the parts and to bring them to a focus in rational activities continues to disappear."
   Mr. Mumford continues, "In even the most restricted area of knowledge — let us say virus diseases in the gastrointestinal tract of elderly earthworms — it is difficult for the most conscientious scholar to keep his head above water.... The exponents of mass production of knowledge have created a hundred journals devoted only to abstracts of papers; and now a further abstract of all these abstracts has been proposed. At the terminal stage of this particular solution, all that will be left of the original scientific or scholarly paper will be a little vague noise, at most a title and a date, to indicate someone has done something somewhere — no one knows what and Heaven knows why" (pages 180-181).

'Fact' or 'Misinformation'?

   Fact-finding ever accelerates. But, there's no guarantee that these same "facts" won't be hopelessly out-of-date tomorrow. "Given further acceleration, we can conclude that knowledge will grow increasingly perishable. Today's 'fact' becomes tomorrow's 'misinformation' " (Alvin Toffler, Future Shock, page 367).
   No wonder people are confused. "Human brains are boggled by the deluge. So are file cabinets, magnetic tapes, research papers and encyclopedias — all bursting with billions of bits and pieces of information, none all-inclusive, none the first and last words on anything" So stated the Los Angeles Times on May 14, 1963. The problem has grown grossly worse in the eight years since.

A Lack of Knowledge!

   There's something missing in the world's knowledge boondoggle. The same Bible that foretold the knowledge explosion also states: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge!" (Hos. 4:6.)
   Not for lack of facts. Not for lack of scientific knowledge.
   No, our people don't lack knowledge about automated industrial processes, or atomic structure, or DNA synthesis, or internal combustion. There's plenty of that type of knowledge.
   God tells us what is missing in II Timothy 3 where He describes "the last days" — our generation — as a time man will be "ever learning, AND NEVER ABLE TO COME TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH" (verse 1,7).
   That's why our peoples are heading for destruction.
   For lack of knowledge of how to use knowledge. For lack of the knowledge of God and God's Law.
   For lack of the knowledge of why man was born — that man is to become God — which is the very reason man was created with the capacity to acquire knowledge.
   For lack of knowledge of how to go about becoming a Son of God — the truth about the process of salvation. For lack of knowledge about repentance, baptism, and God's Holy Spirit.
   For lack of the knowledge of prophecy — of Matthew 24. For lack of the understanding which prophecy gives — that national destruction is the end result of national sins.
   For lack of the knowledge of the laws of marriage, family, and child rearing. For lack of the knowledge of how to prevent juvenile delinquency, crime, and children growing up to use knowledge as heedlessly as their parents have.
   For lack of the knowledge of the Biblical, ecological and agricultural laws that guarantee an end to pollution.
   For lack of the knowledge of where God is working today and where His true Church is.
   God says He has "a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land" (Hos. 4:1).
   Man's knowledge apart from God is uncontrolled and unregulated — lawless knowledge, leading nowhere!
   Horrifying. Deadly.
   "Within the last 25 years, the Western world has moved into an age of jet planes, missiles and satellites, nuclear power and nuclear terror...."Our problem today is to harness and direct these tremendous new forces...to the new world instead of to destruction. But unless we can do this, the rapidly increasing strains and crises of the next decade may kill us ail. They will make the last 20 years look like a peaceful interlude..." (Science, Nov. 28, 1969).
   "My people [are] foolish," God says. "They have not known me... they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge'' (Jer. 4:22). Without the firm foundation of God's Law, man's knowledge is slowly, but surely, killing him!
   Man's "feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in [his] ways: and the way of peace have they not known" (Rom. 3:15-17). Eight years ago a Los Angeles Times editorial stated that "75% of the scientists and skilled technicians in this country, who at the present time are working on research and development, are doing it in the fields of space, missiles, atomic energy for military purposes and other military uses, and only 25% of them research in the field of the civilian economy" (June 24, 1963).

Ambassador Pioneers Missing Dimension

   Sir Francis Bacon said that "knowledge is power." That aphorism has summed up man's orientation for nearly 6000 years. Man had directed his knowledge — not in accordance with God's Law — but as a means to gain his own selfish ends. The result ? The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are loosed for their reckless ride of the destruction of mankind and the earth he lives on: the four horsemen of Deception, War, Famine, and Pestilence!
   Man has used his knowledge to satisfy his lusts and greed. Pollution of air, water, and soil result.
   The Eternal declares: "Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee..." (Hos. 4:6).
   And again in Isaiah, "... They regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of His hands. Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge" (Isa. 5:12-13).
   Ambassador College was founded on the principle that the Bible is the basis of knowledge. Tomorrow's World is dedicated to proliferating the knowledge of God and the Bible — the missing dimension in the world's knowledge!
   The wrong kind of knowledge can kill you! The right kind can give you full, abundant, eternal life! The choice is yours.

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Tomorrow's World MagazineMarch 1971Vol III, No. 03
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