Recently, a very prestigious neurologist stood in a super-sized auditorium in front of other prominent scientist to give a lecture on some of his most advanced research on brain development and function. These other scientist had assembled to hear this great intellect lecture about the great many facts he had gained in all of his studies. To their surprise, this scientist stood humbly before them and exclaimed, “We know very little about brain function. If I told you that the square footage of this very large room represented the capacity of the brain to function, then I can safely tell you today that we know about this much of that information,” while holding a speck of dust in his hand. He explained how his discoveries of the inner workings of the brain had only opened more doors into further unknowns about the brain. Behind every door was a new door. He discovered more about what he didn’t know than what he thought he knew.
This happens quite often in science. We don’t know what we don’t know. And so, as we begin to look into the mysteries of life trying to discover how to cure illness, attain greater healthy and vitality, and achieve longer life, we somehow find ourselves staring into a greater mystery than we were before.
The more I learn about the human body the more I recognize how much I don’t know. I love to study it because in many ways it remains one of the mysteries of life. For some patients, that mystery is as simple as “why does my back hurt?”, while others want to know how their complex endocrine system changed as they entered the second stage of life. Sometimes I can give them an answer. Sometimes I can’t. And it is when I can’t that I am afforded the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
Not knowing sparks our curiosity and pushes us to embark on new expeditions- with new discoveries awaiting in the midst.