“A little learning is a dangerous thing”

In an essay by Alexander Pope (1709) he famously wrote, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.”  This statement opens an argument that those with inadequate information may only understand the most evident causes, leading them to an unbalanced comprehension.  Naive assessments or perceptions, although lacking knowledge of all the necessary information, might inadvertently accomplish a certain degree of balance. Professionals, on the other hand, have an extensive grasp of both comprehensible and obscured foundations (Raghunathan, 2022).  During his employment at a hospital, author John Cook (2020) gained personal experiences where limited knowledge raised apprehensions about cancer or other scenarios where patients created major anxieties for themselves due to incomplete information that ultimately required an additional explanation from a medical professional. 

Modern technology allows any person to quickly find information, both truthful and false, on any conceivable topic online and oftentimes gives the reader a false sense of expertise. Gaining this little bit of knowledge can also lead to arrogance and pride in situations where humility and sincerity are desired (Fudge, 2021).  

The Bible also cautions Christians against relying solely on their own thinking.  In Proverbs 28:26 it says, “Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe” (Holy Bible: New Living Translation, 2008). This emphasizes how important it is for Christians to not only gain knowledge but also seek wisdom and full understanding.  This ultimately helps to reduce the risks while taking full advantage of true knowledge.  By discovering the full and true knowledge, we can ultimately make informed decisions that minimize risks.


Cook, J. (2020). Why a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. John D. Cook | Applied Mathematics Consulting. https://www.johndcook.com/blog/2020/10/04/why-a-little-knowledge-is-a-dangerous-thing/

Fudge, R. R. (2021, April 24). A dangerous thing. Thomasville Times-Enterprise. https://www.timesenterprise.com/news/lifestyles/a-dangerous-thing/article_c6a43766-a541-11eb-aeed-a3960b9b508f.html

Holy Bible: New Living Translation. (2008). Tyndale House.

Pope, A. (1709). An Essay on Criticism. Poetry Foundation. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/69379/an-essay-on-criticism

Raghunathan, V. (2022). If a little learning is a dangerous thing, how about too much knowledge? Times of India. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/Outraged/if-a-little-learning-is-a-dangerous-thing-how-about-too-much-knowledge/