“Yet, did not even brilliant scientists frequently exhibit the same lack of logic back in the Twentieth Century? Did not the historians, the philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome show themselves to be the same shrewd observers as those of succeeding centuries, the same masters of the logical and slaves of the illogical?
After all, I reflected, man makes little progress within himself. Through succeeding generations he piles up those resources which he possesses outside of himself, the tools of his hands, and the warehouses of knowledge for his brain, whether they be parchment manuscripts, printed book, or electronorecordographs. For the rest he is born today, as in ancient Greece, with a blank brain, and struggles through to his grave, with a more or less beclouded understanding, and with distinct limitations to what we used to call his "think tank."
THIS particular reflection of mine proved unpopular with them, for it stabbed their vanity, and neither my prestige nor the novelty of the idea was sufficient salve. These Hans for centuries had believed and taught their children that they were a super-race, a race of destiny. Destined to Whom, for What, was not so clear to them; but nevertheless destined to "elevate" humanity to some sort of super-plane. Yet through these same centuries they had been busily engaged in the extermination of "weaklings," whom, by their very persecutions, they had turned into "super men," now rising in mighty wrath to destroy them; and in reducing themselves to the depths of softening vice and flabby moral fiber. Is it strange that they looked at me in amazed wonder when I laughed outright in the midst of some of their most serious speculations?”
The Airlords of Han, by Philip Francis Nowlan