Alexi Perkins Posted about 1 year ago Does the lack of accuracy outweigh the benefits of truly understanding the information? In my opinion, the short answer is "absolutely." But here's a longer answer. You mention the phrase "truly understanding the information," as if what DeWitt is advocating is somehow the opposite of true understanding--false understanding? But what is true understanding? DeWitt was talking about viral replication in the video, and there are probably only five or six people in the entire world who "truly" understand viral replication, and by that I mean there are only five or six people in the world (who are likely professors at major research universities like MIT and Caltech) who know every single tiny detail of how viruses work. This is what George Lockwood was getting at I think with his comment about models. For even those very knowledgeable professors, every single day the researchers in their labs discover new information about viruses, so in order to continue to "truly" understand the information, every single day they have to check in on the new discoveries from the day before. The point is that we can't possibly expect every 13 year-old who's learning about viruses to understand everything that the MIT professor knows about. That's a fair thing to say, right? That it's OK to say that a 13 year-old "truly" understands viruses without making them memorize 100 books worth of content and spend 25 years in a research lab? So doctors deal with viruses all the time. But they probably know only a fraction of the information about viruses the MIT expert professor knows, and they focus on what's important--how viruses spread between people and how to treat people who are sick with viruses. Nurses know even less. Students who are studying to start med school know less than the doctors and nurses. The point is, at each level there is an appropriate amount you need to know to "truly understand" a topic. For 13 year-olds, that's very elementary. For a doctor, it's more. For a Caltech researcher, that's a ton. And everywhere in between.