Our neurological structures are made mainly for survival; curiosity (a main tool for living) and its satisfaction are deeply inserted, by evolutionary genetics, into our central nervous system because of the need to find solutions to make sure survival. You can react in a rush moment like you never thought before, in order of the life maintenance, and until later think about the efficacy of your instinctive reaction. So our brain works to find solutions to the daily challenges of life, like most of the living species do so.
Because we have large frontal lobes that allow us the capability to see our selves, and furthermore, to see our selves in the future, we are programmed to learn about the experience and to apply the knowledge in future situations, in order to maintain an integrated living system. As we learn, we tend to constitute, within our central and peripheral nervous systems, neurological pathways; when we do this, means that we have learned something; and as we practice, the neurological pathway is reinforced.
Just think about the difficulties that you found the first time you operated a car and the easy way you can do it right now, even talking, singing or drinking and eating while driving; you can also think about the first time your dog learned to protect it self from the rain. Once the easy way has been found, there is no doubt that it will be the mode of response in the next occasion. It is qualified by the brain as a “good way to respond to the environment” because it allowed us to survive. It will be repeated until a new learning experience will arrive.
The solutions that we found in our environment are not always in the same profile that the laws of the nature; the solutions (responses) can function in a particular time and environment, but they are not necessary true; and I am not talking about the ethics or morality intrinsic in the behavior, because it depends upon the particular culture involved. I mean only that, the fact of obtain easy solutions to our troubles or easy answers about our nature, it well can be functional, is not always realistic according the laws of the nature that govern our environment and our selves. It means that we can work an entire long-life period with an idea that produces well being to our selves, but maybe it can go against the nature of things, against the natural laws.
To illustrate this in one simple example, think for a moment in the widespread use of internal combustion motors, being our priority the functionality of the transportation while we leave a secondary plane the effects over the environment and as a consequence, over us. The short-sight point of view is a demonstration of an easy answer to solve our problems; unfortunately is deeply inserted in the way the brain works.
When we are talking about find answers regarding our own nature (inquiry about the natural laws that govern our selves and our environment), the same neurological process happens. So in the questions to find an order to understand our environment the inquiry occurs, because it is the way the brain works (frontal lobes), but unfortunately a major role is frequently played by the neurological law of the less effort and the use of the previously formed neurological pathways during the learning process. So to find “easy” or uncomplicated answers to these deep questions regarding our existence, is by far, much more frequent that a systematic work in search of the comprehension of the nature.
For thousands of years (according to Anthropologist since Neanderthals), humankind has search for the answer of natural commandments. Aristotle pointed that every man wants to know. So, the human spirit makes admirable efforts to find the nature of things, but sometimes these efforts become more pathetic than realistic. Frequently this human spirit has found the answers in myths.
This species, in an effort to answer its inquiries, has been working for a long time with the neurological law of the less effort, applying imagination, intuition, but unfortunately in less measure, the knowledge. This is almost the rule when we are trying to calm the anxiety caused by our origins and to the things that happen in our lives.
Myths shape an important portion of many cultures and are deeply attached to many traditions and religions, some of them extinct and some other active. The myth is “hold to the bone” because of our neurological way of work. They solve in an easy way (the neurological law of the less effort) our questions to our nature and the order of our environment. They are inserted, in well established neurological pathways, conformed during the learning process and maintained so for to use them when needed.
Fortunately, this species has found during its walking in this world, some exceptional people. People with a systematic way of think and act, that do not find shelter in myths and do not care if they do not find a pleasant or nice answer to their inquiries; they just want to get a truly answer and so they observe a “cold” method, were the passions and the desires are placed side apart, and the method, without feelings, is privileged by it self. Scientifics have been working in humankind long before the description of the scientific method.
Thanks to these brilliant minds, we currently know much more about the natural laws that govern us and our environment. They did not edict the natural laws, they only found and describe them; they have had the capacity of extract them from the nature. Frequently in science, when the scientist finally reach an answer, it is very far away from the one desired, and furthermore, sometimes the answer leads to more questions than answers, but is this magnificent spirit of never surrender to search, and never surrender to the own passions, who has given light to humankind about the natural laws that govern the living organisms and the non-living things.
Even that we have learned a lot about the nature of things, in particular during the last two centuries, millions of humans, still have a concept of the universe that goes against the non-refutable test described by the science. ¿How this is possible? We find the answer in the particular way of work of the nervous system; so, the trick is inside the human mind, and not in the nature. The brain works so, at the end of the day, because of the evolutionary genetics.
The easy way tell us that what we know is completely truthful, even that we realize that it can not resist a proof of validity. The easy way, tell us that if we have survived with our own ideas about the nature of things for a life-time period, then it must be true, or at least very near to the true. If a method has been worked for us, then it is essentially useful, so our own mind tell us that it is true. Useful is easily confounded with truthful by the tricky human mind.
Many philosophical views of the world, should be taken as a part of the history of philosophy; they were very interesting explanations in their construction of theories but currently, the science has demolish some of them (e.g. a geocentric universe). But instead of this, many of them are still alive, and many more born daily worldwide. They use for their explanations the common world, the habit, the convention, the archetypes and the comfortable appearance.
This is tranquilizer, but is a route that uses the brain in the way of the “easy mode”. So, many people knows that their theory has been demolish by scientific knowledge, but even so they are still attached to it, because it is comfortable, it avoids the work of obtain knowledge and do not disturb the previously constructed neurological pathways.
I ask my self regarding this,how can I believe in something that has been tested as been not true? It does not mean that I have found a fact that it is completely true, but at least I know that the concept is a lie (e.g. we can calculate by scientific techniques the age of the earth in an approximate number; so we are complete sure that it has not 5,000 years of age). The scientist must have the enough humility to avoid saying that he is completely correct, so is preferable to say “I know this, but maybe I am wrong”.
The scientists have the conviction that the universe is rational, or at least intelligible. Science thinks that the universe does not correspond to the reveled beliefs and to what priests of many cultures said and say. Science thinks that the universe has a sense and it can be understandable by the human intelligence. We own this to the founders of the concept of natural laws. Science is a slow-motion product of the polemic reason, and is built from its own inquiries.
It is supported by the open character of adventure that allows it to deny its own structures of think and belief. The truth found by the science is almost in all times a mistake that has been rectified; a byproduct that gives more questions than answers. The science has had in its core profound divergences; it is a continuous process, it is not quiet, it is not a simple accumulation of knowledge. It is life it self!
It is expensive to think like scientist, not only because of the work involved in avoiding going through the easy way. It is an entire process with a mixture of objectivity and rigor with no feelings; a process protected from passion during the method (the hard work to exclude false information). The feelings involved in the process are allowed only during the inquiry and until the time that conclusion has emerged. It is an expensive price to obtain a little knowledge about the natural laws.
But maybe the highest price can be the knowledge that our brain capacity and our existence are too small and to short to know everything we want to know. I mean, the heavy price to be sure, by the scientific facts, that we will live and die with more doubts that knowledge. But believe to me, I prefer to live and die with the realistic conviction of my limited knowledge and the self concern of my doubts, that with a complete explanation of the universe, that might be tranquilizer, but not suitable to proof.
As a counterpart, what really worth about this challenge is the satisfaction a way of living, loving the knowledge and the work to obtain it, taking away the myths from our minds allowing us to work in a better understanding of the natural laws. It helps to understand and respect the statutes of the universe, the life, the environment, the human spirit, the ethics, the morality, the goodness, the evil, the health and the disease, the cure and consolation, the death as a indivisible part of the life.
It helps us to work for change the things what we can change, but also to humbly accept what we are not able to change. It is a realistic mode to improve our quality of life, and the quality of live of the living organisms around us; a way to respect and understand that we are part of the things that surround us, and so, the weak frontiers between us and our environment.
Scientific knowledge is a priceless tool for a better management of the things that simply happens in life. It is a mandatory duty of life to educate to the next generations, in the route of avoiding going into the easy way.