"the best prophet of the future is the past."what does this quote mean?

I think it means that people make the same mistakes, histories repeat itself, and if it's happened before in the past it's likely to happen again in the future.
It means that more times than not, a person's future behavior can be predicted by their past behavior and that the past has a tendency to repeat itself.
Past mistakes have a way of repeating themselves. So what it is saying is that if you don't want mistakes to happen, think about what you did before and don't make the same mistake.
it means that history repeats itself or that a person never changes and does the same mistakes/acts the same.
for the record: I don't agree
I'm a lover of good Sci-Fi because it does give us an idea of what's coming. Good Sci-Fi is written by people who are brainy enough to analyze the past and present to forecast the future.

Your quote means exactly that. Study the past and you'll find the future.

If Hitler had studied the past, he would not have gone into Russia in the middle of winter as Napoleon had already shown was not a good idea.

If the US had studied the past, we would not have gotten involved in Vietnam where the French had already gotten the hell beat out of them. Of course, in this case, ego was also involved. We are so much better than the wimpy Frenchies...

If Bush had studied the Vietnam War, we wouldn't be in Iraq. Etc, etc.

Hope that helps.
You don't know where your going if you don't know where you've been

You can learn a lot from the past about how to react in the future because history tends to repeat itself.
it means ... the past tells us what our future will be lyk... something like that.,.

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