I had a quick read of this page on science and discoveries this morning. I noticed a quote there:
"The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false." -Paul Johnson
I think that the 'contemporary arrogance' that shines through there for me is that held by Paul.
I agree that history is important, and in building the future you must learn from the past. But it's that kind of arrogant thinking that hampers progress, in my view. If people don't keep trying where others have repeatedly failed, how can we ever have progress?
The world has not changed. Despite our continued arrogance, we still don't have the most important answers and we still tear down those who try to find them. Ironically, this is probably because we don't have them.