Hypotheses, Theories and the Interwoven Foundation of Knowledge and Its Development
Usually there is a chain from theory to practice. If your theory is wrong or partially wrong, it opens everything up down and upstream of it to investigation. At the root of all theories is an intention on the part of an individual, which then roots back to the mind, brain and all other forces that went into the production and development of that mind and brain. Since your brain and your mind exist, we can say that whatever processes and functions that produced those things is working correctly and true. Therefore, we can start with your intentions and then work forward from that in order to see if a theory or an idea works in practice in the long and short term.
Many will say “the path to Hell is laid with good intentions.” However, what else do we have to start with other than those intentions? Intentions neither necessarily lead to the ends that they hope to accomplish. Good intentions can easily make mistakes as malevolent intentions can easily lead to net positives in our world. However, it would be interesting to see how often which set of intetions leads to which results, even in the absence and presence of full knowledge about a situation. I would hypothesize that those who have good intentions but a highly limited knowledge about a situation or a set of condition would be as likely as someone who is equally blind with negative intentions to achieve either net negative or net positive results. That would require further psychological testing though in order to confirm or deny this hypothesis, and so, we’ll have to leave it as a question to be answered for the time being through expirmentation and experience.
Without having this piece of the puzzle solved, it will be much harder to accurately deduce the effect that theory making has on the effect of developing knowledge and developing practical uses of that knowledge that we can use to improve our lives. We can, though, logically conclude that there is a feedback loop between knowledge possessed and the ability to make a viable and accurate theory and, from there, to make a viable and net positive use of that theory in our living world outside of our brain. Knowledge about the world is needed first on all levels in order to make a viable working theory that can repeatably, safely and reliably used for the sake of humanity and human well being relative to all other life and the environment of the universe. Therefore, without an accurate understanding of what’s actually present and how things relate together through correlations and causations, you will be unable to make significantly viable hypotheses and theories to test out in common reality beyond our brains, such that we can then, hopefully, live happier, fuller and more contented lives on this planet and beyond.
This then brings us to the highly complicated and interwoven thing that we can call our body of available knowledge. No human being can ever have access to the full contents of this knowledge or be able to possess the full knowledge of the entire universe. However, very much like how our eyes, though limited in what they can perceive naturally, are able to see well enough to guide us through life as we know it, so too can our possession of knowledge be said to be “good enough” to guide us through life in order to accomplish what we need and want to accomplish and to maintain that body of knowledge in its totality across the entirety of the human species and our data storage tools. It is this natural individual and collective spottiness of knowledge that leads to the necessity of all theories to either be thouroghly vetted by a multitude of people and/or possessing enough caveats to leave them open to revision, updating or deletion upon the realization of new knowledge from the world around us. Many eyes on our work helps to add to the spectrum of what can be perceived (even if some perspectives are truly inaccurate due to some defect of perception on the part of the viewer). All the same, those unnecessary perspectives can be mitigated against by having a genuinely solid theory that can withstand the barrage of falsehoods and hallucinations that can (and likely will) be thrown against it.
If a theory makes it through all of these barriers, it can be submitted as a formal hypothesis to be tested thousands of times with thousands of details checked in the world around us. This is the crucible of knowledge production, as all of the useless, inaccurate or dysfunctional stuff that was on the original theory gets burned off in this constant checking, updating and revising and editing phase of developing a new conception about the universe and our place within it.
If the hypothesis/theory survives the crucible stage, it can then be implemented and institutionalized formally until such time that the institution or mindset itself runs sour within the species, at which point, it can be abandoned and rehashed again, as it was during the crucible period to work out the new details that have either arisen naturally or as a result of some longer term dysfunction in the hypothesis/theory. Bear in mind though, that this crucible process must be as grounded in reality and functional processes in order for it to be accurate and beneficial to the new theory and to the whole of humanity and the universe in which we’re living. This then feeds back to the previously tested methods and principles which started the original theory, going back to the intention and the brain(s)/mind(s) that started the whole thing off at the beginning of the development process. If all of that checks out as it did before, it should be reused and the connection to that strengthened, like a neuron firing along a useful pathway to produce positive action. The more often something works, the more automatically it can be used without revetting it (like a neural connection), such that we can theoretically continuously evolve, adapt and shape ourselves for better living in this constantly changing environment in which we are all apart of.
There are only a limited number of actually correct answers in this universe, for all intents and purposes. Not all ideas and opinions are accurate (such as the principle and conceptions of a geo-centric universe) even though some opinions are innocuous and are of little concern for functionality (such as ones’ preference for or lack of preference for a given religion). The variety is what adds the spice to this universe, even though not all variety is going to be helpful or useful or positive for our individual and collective well being as living organisms in the universe. If we don’t embrace this more mature attitude that we may sometimes be incorrect with our thinking through no fault of our own (or sometimes, thorugh deliberate fault of our own) than we are going to have a significantly harder time living on this planet and in this universe as we continue to persist in tools and methods of living that are sub-optimal or negative for us in our totality. Then again, who ever said that we were living in an optimal universe in the first place? We could very easily just be a mistake or an instance of seemingly random happenstance that our pattern loving brains would love to get a wrap around.
All this being said, the natural laws are the natural laws. They are discovered and are only breakable if they are not actually accurate and don’t cause any harm to us in the short and the long term (which becomes the short term all too soon). It is best to adapt and conform yourself to the natural laws in policy, practice and action rather than persist in the delusion that you have control over this universe and that it cares or concerns itself with your physical and mental well being. All that you have to provide you with well being is stuff that you’ve developed on your own through millions of generations of painful trial and error to stand in opposition to the natural forces that bind us all here. The only way to remain in this world is to evolve, adapt and grow according to the conditions that present themselves for you, in accordance with your own biology, physiology and psychology. Adaptation is the name of the game. And we are all imperfect productions of this imperfect place.
What we are here for, I do not know. One has to wonder how valuable asking such questions are, especially if we keep circling back to “how to live, how to be well and how to be happy” as our root questions. Perhaps there is no higher purpose for us other than to be well amongst each other? Again, I don’t know and I don’t need that much psychologically and sociologically produced structure to be at peace in this universe. Suffice it to say is that unless you’re the sort of person who geeks out to those kinds of existential questions, it still comes down to us trying to live, trying to survive and trying to make the most out of our presence here in this universe.
How we are here? Why we are here? For what purpose, if there is one?
Best to cook up that food and let the whole thing stew in your brain for awhile. Perhaps it’ll become clearer with more knowledge and insight into this place. And, if we don’t survive as a species? I suppose we’ll just either have to wait again or not at all, depending on what happens once we are dead.
Good luck to you all.
Think about it.