Na­ture of dis­cov­ery

The West Australian - - LETTERS -

I would like to ex­plain to the likes of Stan Grant and Linda Bur­ney how “dis­cov­ery” works. If I go to the gold­fields look­ing for nuggets and find one, then I have dis­cov­ered the nugget.

The fact that it was there all along is ir­rel­e­vant as I was un­aware of its ex­is­tence.

Cap­tain James Cook, one of the bravest ad­ven­tur­ers who ever lived, was un­aware of the ex­is­tence of the east coast of this con­ti­nent.

There­fore, when he hap­pened upon it he “dis­cov­ered” it. The fact that peo­ple lived there is ut­terly ir­rel­e­vant.

Peter West, El­len­brook

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