Lecture 11 of Yuval Harari's online course A brief history of humankind is titled "The discovery of ignorance." In it he presents the thesis that by arriving at a land mass entirely different from the one that the then-standard geographical treatises had led him to expect, Columbus unwittingly dealt a mortal blow to all of the conventional wisdom of his time, especially that received from tradition and from ancient texts.
Harari therefore concludes that the so-called "discovery of America" was also, in a very literal sense, a discovery by Europeans of their ignorance (hence the lecture's title). Indeed, according to Harari, up until 1492, the general and unquestioned belief was that all that was worth knowing was either immediately apparent to the senses (i.e. "common sense"), or else it was contained in the traditional wisdom transmitted from one generation to the next and in canonical texts preserved since antiquity. Columbus's landing on the New World made this belief untenable, and Europeans for the first time got an inkling of the extent of their ignorance. (Of course, this realization did not happen overnight: it took generations for the implications of 1492 to be fully digested. Also, it should go without saying that none of the above should imply that Europeans were more ignorant than anybody else.)
According to Harari, there is a direct connection between the events of 1492 and the publication in 1620 of Bacon's Novum Organum Scientiarum, generally considered the first enunciation of what we now refer to as the "scientific method."
(Indeed, it is consonant with Harari's thesis that the frontispiece of Bacon's work features a galleon sailing beyond Gibraltar's Pillars of Hercules, into the ne plus ultra: a clear metaphor for the newly discovered Unknown, and for the challenge to venture into it.)
Harari's lecture was the first time I ever heard this causal link, as it were, from Columbus's 1492 to Bacon's 1620.
My question is: Is Harari the originator of this thesis, or is he quoting earlier thinkers?