This is such an amazing and strange book. There is an etext available and should be read.
As to your question, I'm thinking that not too much should be extrapolated from it. It is stated that the Council of Scholars has said that if something is not known by everyone, then it doesn't exist. But the ones experiencing discovery in this story are finding things that are not known to anyone, but must also admit that they exist, so the edict by the Council of Scholars must be wrong. I think at this point the ones doing discovery are realizing they are pioneers, and this statement is saying, in effect, that not everyone can be a pioneer. That quality is left to special people that can handle the knowledge and discovery that come with it.
We knew suddenly that this place was left from the Unmentionable Times. So it was true, and those Times had been, and all the wonders of those Times. Hundreds upon hundreds of years ago men knew secrets which we have lost. And we thought: "This is a foul place. They are damned who touch the things of the Unmentionable Times." But our hand which followed the track, as we crawled, clung to the iron as if it would not leave it, as if the skin of our hand were thirsty and begging of the metal some secret fluid beating in its coldness.
We…have discovered a new power of nature. And we have discovered it alone, and we are alone to know it.
It is said. Now let us be lashed for it, if we must. The Council of Scholars has said that we all know the things which exist and therefore the things which are not known by all do not exist. But we think that the Council of Scholars is blind. The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who will seek them. We know, for we have found a secret unknown to all our brothers.
[W]e think that the men of the Unmentionable Times had known our power of the sky, and these things had some relation to it. We do not know, but we shall learn. We cannot stop now, even though it frightens us that we are alone in our knowledge.
No single one can possess greater wisdom than the many Scholars who are elected by all men for their wisdom. Yet we can. We do. We have fought against saying it, but now it is said. We do not care. We forget all men, all laws and all things save our metals and our wires. So much is still to be learned! So long a road lies before us, and what care we if we must travel it alone!
A Novel by Ayn Rand
With a Preface and Notes by Richard Lawrence