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Elon Musk on Knowledge


On a Reddit Q&A, the space entrepreneur Elon Musk was asked,

“Do you have any advice on learning? How are you so good at it?”

His response:

“One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.”

Evolution gives precisely this intellectual scaffolding.

As Mark Schwartz poetically wrote:

“teaching evolutionary concepts such as selection, common ancestry, phylogenetics, and tree-thinking provides an integrated, conceptual scaffold, a cognitive hat rack on which medical facts can be organized. Infusing the concepts of evolution into medical education can help students build the bridges and tunnels they need to connect and navigate what is otherwise an archipelago of basic and clinical sciences.” – excerpted from Alcock and Schwartz 2011 Evo Edu Outreach (2011) 4:574–579


Categories: Uncategorized

Joe Alcock

Emergency Physician, Educator, Researcher, interested in the microbiome, evolution, and medicine

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