The man who has everything figured out is probably a fool. College examinations notwithstanding, it takes a very smart fella to say “I don’t know the answer!”
At the close of Act One, Drummond reassures Rachel that she need not worry about Bert’s confused state. These lines emphasize Drummond’s belief that intellectual curiosity—which inherently involves uncertainty—is essential to an individual’s growth. To Drummond, absolute values close people’s minds to the truth, for they restrict people’s investigation of problems that might call such values into question. Drummond feels that the human mind demands that any given issue be approached from all possible angles. He rejects a literal interpretation of the Bible as a solution that is reached too easily. Through his questions to Brady, Drummond later proves that such an incessantly literal interpretation of the Bible necessarily contradicts itself. Drummond resists the church because it rigidly dictates the moral behavior of small-town America and forces its members to accept its terms without question. Drummond’s ideas, on the other hand, proceed not from answers but from unknowns.