British scientist and educator, Thomas Huxley, observed in 1860:
“My business is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonize with my aspirations. Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.”Another injunction to "be as a little child" can be found in Matthew 18:1-4:
- At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
- And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
- And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
- Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
However, so are the qualities described by Huxley, i.e., looking as the facts objectively and be willing to humbly follow the facts without preconceived ideas.
I like Huxley's version better.