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The Astounding KNOWLEDGE GAP!
Plain Truth Magazine
November 1968
Volume: Vol XXXIII, No.11
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The Astounding KNOWLEDGE GAP!
Robert L Kuhn & Eugene M Walter

Incredible, but true! The world's knowledge doubled in the last ten years. But our troubles also doubled in the same ten years! Why?

   IN THIS enlightened 20th century, an astounding KNOWLEDGE GAP?
   Unbelievable! Yet it happened!
   Think of it! In one short decade, scientific and technical knowledge doubled. Yet problems and troubles also doubled. That means an ALARMING knowledge gap.
   How can this be?
   If the present rate continues, what kind of a world will you be living in, ten short years from now?

The Staggering "Explosion" in Knowledge

   Look for a moment at the increase in knowledge in historical perspective: The amount of knowledge which it took man from the birth of Jesus Christ to 1750 to acquire was doubled between 1750 and 1900 — in just 150 years. Between 1900 and 1950 man's knowledge doubled again — this time in only 50 years. And in the one short decade between 1950 and 1960 it doubled yet again!
   At the present time it is estimated to be doubling every two and one-half years. And if the present rate of increase continues, it is estimated that man's fund of knowledge will be doubling every three months by 1975!
   Such a prospect staggers the mind!
   No individual or group of individuals in the world — no library, museum, foundation, institution or society — can even remotely begin to keep up with this deluge of new information.
   Look at just one of these fields — medicine.
   On the shelves of any large medical school library you will find 6,000 different journals — scientific magazines published weekly or monthly. These journals deal exclusively with the NEW scientific facts in the biological and medical sciences.
   6,000 journals! And this for only one field of science! Even more significant is the amazing realization that almost 2,000 of these journals were not there four years ago.
   An average journal contains more than 50,000 words (100 pages, 500 words per page). This means that every month over 300,000,000 words of NEW scientific facts are published in just the biological and medical sciences alone!
   Yet — for all this explosion in medical knowledge — an increasing percentage of babies are being born with deformities! Why? Why this knowledge gap in medicine?

What KIND of Knowledge?

   No one can deny that we are witnessing a knowledge "explosion." But what kind of knowledge is this explosion producing?
   Is it the kind that tells man the way to health, to peace, to prosperity and happiness?
   Does it answer the truly BIG questions of life for him — Where man came from? What is his purpose? Why he is making such a miserable mess of things? Where he is headed?
   Is the knowledge being acquired today telling man how to solve the gigantic problems of mounting crime and social ills, the population explosion, the ominous threat of nuclear war, of economic chaos, of empty lives and religious confusion? Are the multiplied thousands of medical journals really solving the problems of physical and mental sickness and disease?
   The tragic answer to all these questions is NO.
   But WHY?
   Why is man's fantastic increase in knowledge not bringing him any closer to the answers to these BIG questions? Why do even the questions themselves seem to be confused and muddled in the minds of today's educators and thinkers? Why, in an age when knowledge is being multiplied repeatedly, are the most basic questions of human life being studiously ignored? There is a reason for our growing troubles. You need to know what that reason is!
   Take the experience of a young scientist, who seeks the answers to the purpose and meaning of his life.
   The young scientist is full of youthful idealism. He finds himself in an incomprehensible universe, and he doesn't know why. What is this universe? What is man? Is there any purpose in life — or is mankind simply a colossal cosmic joke? He burns with curiosity and the desire to know. He wants answers.
   In fact, this is one of the reasons he has chosen science as his career. "Science is a sure way to discover Truth," he reasons, "It will lead to the ultimate answers."
   But will it?

Becoming a Specialist

   The first thing the young scientist discovers is that "science" is much too broad. He must soon chose a specific "field" (before college). This will be the area that interests him most.
   Yet even this field is far too large, and so a "specialty" must be chosen. But when our young scientist gets into his specialty, he finds that he must select only a "section" of this specialty. Then he must decide what "approach" to employ. For example: theoretical or experimental.
   Next, he will have to single out an "area" of the section of the specialty of the field. Then a "sub-area" of the area. Still to be determined is what "technique" he will use to investigate this sub-area.
   And finally, our young scientist extracts a "specific problem" from the sub-area of the area of the section of the specialty of the field of science. It is these specific problems that he will be working with for the rest of his life!
   There are hardly ever more than a few thousand people at most who can even understand his specific problems. And the great majority of those who could understand it are far too deeply absorbed with their own specific problems to be concerned with the problems of other scientists.

Forgetting the Big Questions

   So something subtle — yet drastic — has happened to our young scientist. A change has occurred in his outlook on life. He no longer cares about the answers to the big questions of human existence. Usually, he isn't even concerned with the progress of his field or specialty — he is interested only in HIS sub-area and His specific problems. His life now has become nothing more than a succession of these isolated, remote, picayune specific problems. He has become subject to scientific tunnel vision.
   The PROCESS of solving these specific problems — not the results or facts learned — has become the main goal of his life. He enjoys watching himself in "creative-scientific action" more than he longs for truth. He rejoices in the self-satisfaction that he achieves by solving the most trivial "technical" problems.
   When one specific problem is solved, other problems arise. The more he learns, the more questions he has. He has created his own little world, and he is content to isolate himself in it.
   How can this process of learning lead to the answers to life? How can such knowledge produce solutions to man's big problems?
   It can't! It never has and it never will! This is what Paul meant when he said that in the latter days men would be "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (II Tim. 3:7).
   But the story doesn't end here.

The Vanity of Prestige

   Soon other factors begin to creep in. The scientist inevitably begins to compare himself with other scientists. And naturally, he wants to elevate his relative position in his local academic (or industrial) department and in the scientific community in general. The higher his position becomes, the more money he will receive for his research and the more important he will feel.
   Recognition by his scientific peers and associates is the glory of a scientist — this is what he seeks. The scientist generally doesn't care about public fame. And acclaim among the common people is actually looked down upon. But he desperately strives to develop and augment his reputation among the select group, the coterie, of his scientific colleagues. To be looked up to by other scientists — this is the overriding goal!
   Therefore the scientist must publish papers and articles — as many as possible. He cannot delay, for he must publish his results and conclusions before anyone else beats him to it. It is critical to be first with new data or concepts, for nobody remembers those who are second.
   The expression "publish or perish" is not humorous — it is the life or death issue for the scientist. This creates a tendency to publish papers even be fore the author himself is really convinced of his results or conclusions. The objective is to be FIRST — to beat the others.
   Often the competition between individual scientists (or groups of scientists) is much less than friendly. They viciously clash in academic combat, each supporting his own "pet idea" and attempting to destroy the rival's "pet idea."
   Is the search for truth the motivation? Let's not be naοve! The motivation is simply vanity!
   Is it any wonder science has bequeathed us the threat of atomic and hydrogen annihilation?

The Money Matter

   And then there is the matter of money. Modern research requires a great deal of money because scientific equipment is enormously expensive. Also, scientists need people working under them: associates, graduate students, technicians and secretaries.
   Without money a scientist is lost. In many fields, a yearly budget of $50,000 to $200,000 is not uncommon for the well-above-average scientist. For the very top people, grants in the millions of dollars are given. Naturally, the more money that an individual controls, the larger his scientific "empire" becomes — and the more his ever-expanding ego is fed. Thus the scientist must publish many papers (many before they are ready), attend the conferences and get to know the "right people" in order to convince those in authority that he needs more money.
   It is an absolute rule that there must never — ever — be any money left over from the yearly budget. If the authorities were to see money left over, they would try to grant less money for the following years — and certainly not more!
   So what happens when a scientist finds that he does have some money left over? He spends it — FAST! He frantically buys new equipment to use up his allotted funds. Then he can say that he "desperately needs" more money for the next year to carry on his vital research.
   Totally unnecessary pieces of equipment are often bought for this reason. A laboratory buys a very expensive automatic glass cleaning machine — for the three glasses that are used each week. It is not uncommon to see hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment idly standing around in hallways.

The Mature Scientist

   This is what has happened to our young idealistic scientist who sought the answer to the big questions of human existence. His original ideas and quests have long ago withered from disuse. Or have been shattered by the banalities of our modern educational system.
   Now he attempts to laugh off and ridicule these big questions of life. He is more "mature" — wiser and more astute — because he "knows" the answers are unattainable. These questions might be fun for a cocktail party — but any naοve, immature person who sincerely asks the BIG questions in the hope of finding the answers will be ridiculed and belittled. Even a casual reference to the Bible evokes, as a reflex, a haughty look, a condescending smirk, and a sarcastic comment.
   The real problems, the scientist has deceived himself, lie in what he himself is doing — investigating the most picayune specific problem, publishing reams of papers, spreading his reputation, acquiring money, and clawing his way up the ladder of "success."
   But is our scientist alone? By no means!

A Universal Snare

   The same inevitable snare that swallowed up our scientist awaits those who enter EVERY OTHER FIELD Of learning.
   A year or two of "higher" education convince most that the answers to the big questions of life are unattainable. And besides — in this day of cutthroat competition — one must dedicate himself wholly to his specialty as early as possible if he ever hopes to become a "success."
   Thus the engineer and the economist, the lawyer and the linguist, the musician and the mathematician — and all the rest — fall into the same trap of specialization, abandoning, in the process, the search for the answers to the big questions. The specific details will vary from field to field, but the basic principle and the overall effect is the same for all. And the result?
   In spite of today's tremendous increase in knowledge, the human family has more troubles than ever. It is destroying itself — physically, mentally, economically, socially and spiritually — by an appalling lack of true knowledge. "My people are destroyed for LACK OF KNOWLEDGE," says God in Hosea 4:6. The lack of true knowledge!
   What the world has today is false knowledge, misknowledge and scientific knowledge that is being put to a wrong use. When it comes to acquiring knowledge that answers the really BIG questions of life — knowledge about the purpose and meaning of life, knowledge of how to solve man's big problems and knowledge about how to live happily and abundantly — there is a tremendous "knowledge gap."
   There is only one publishing work on earth today that is filling this incredible gap. It prints the magazine you are now reading — The PLAIN TRUTH.
   But HOW does The PLAIN TRUTH fill the gap? What does it have that other publications with far greater resources in manpower, research facilities and financial backing do not have? WHY is it able to supply vital knowledge unavailable from any other source? Why does it speak with AUTHORITY?

A Unique Approach

   The PLAIN TRUTH is able to give you knowledge unobtainable elsewhere because it recognizes that the FOUNDATION of all knowledge is the Word of God — the Bible.
   The Holy Bible is the BASIS — the starting point — which supplies us with the only right approach to the acquisition of all further knowledge. In all fields. In history, education and psychology. In home economics, sociology and the health sciences. In business and commerce, in science and the arts, in law and government and in philosophy and religion.
   There is no subject for which the Bible does not give vital, beginning principles. These principles tell how to USE each specific field of study for man's good, and how to go about acquiring further useful knowledge in each field. In this sense the Bible is the basic textbook for human endeavor.
   But in another sense, the Bible is not a textbook. It does not, for example, give scientific and technical data describing how to build a bridge, a car, a radio or an airplane. It is not the purpose of the Bible to give such information. Man has been given a mind by his Creator so that he can discover these things for himself.
   At times, however, the Bible does give specific, detailed technical information. This might be a principle concerning human behavior, or an historical date or event. In such cases, the Bible is always infallibly, unerringly accurate.
   Using the Bible as a primary source, The PLAIN TRUTH imparts clear, plain, easy-to-understand, nontechnical — yet absolutely BASIC and VITAL — knowledge in every major field of human endeavor.
   The PLAIN TRUTH is an educational, world news, human interest, family magazine — a magazine of understanding. It prints information absolutely unobtainable elsewhere.

Articles on ALL Major Subjects

   Would you like to know the answer to the questions of human behavior and psychology — why human beings act the way they do?
   Would you like to know why law and government are in chaos today — and what the right approach to government is?
   Would you like to know the way to have a happy marriage and respectful, obedient children?
   Would you like to know the laws of financial success?
   Would you like to know how to be healthy?
   Would you like to know about the right kind of education?
   Do you wonder what the true values are in art, music and literature?
   And in the philosophical or religious sphere, do you know why man is on this earth, what his purpose for being here is, and what happens at death? Do you know why there is so much suffering and misery in the world today, why everything seems to be going wrong? And do you know where it all will end?
   The PLAIN TRUTH has published article after article on everyone of these subjects for over 33 years. Every single issue contains articles on several of these vital subjects.
   Yes, The PLAIN TRUTH has answered question after question that millions of people had never heard answered before. And it speaks with authority!
   The PLAIN TRUTH fills today's knowledge gap as no other magazine on earth. Will you let it fill your knowledge gap?

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Plain Truth MagazineNovember 1968Vol XXXIII, No.11
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