Science, the Critical Process for Ideas

on Jan 21, 2010

Under the definition that technology is a tool that helps us advance our lives, science represents a very ancient yet still essential technology. Science is the tool of analyzing and making sense of the world. Its primary weapon is doubt. By constantly subjecting any concept [explaining some part of the world] to skepticism, we test its plausibility. What is left (but still subject to doubt) is an understanding that we can rely on more so.

The creative process is also this scientific process. The way we form ideas follows this. Every idea is subject to critique and it is the good ones that stand this test. It is imperative to have lots of ideas, including seemingly bad ones, because you never know which ones will actually be good ones. It likely takes ninety-nine bad ideas to make a good idea, but the creative (scientific) process will allow good ones to prevail.

Another place that the critical scientific process is present is in our genes. The process of natural selection (evolution) uses the ability to replicate genetic information as the critical yardstick. And while the changes that appear in genetic information are at first random, the critical process determines which changes are better. Consistent with the creative process, there are a large number of bad changes for every positive one. But it is those few positive changes that matter so dearly, as with those few good ideas, and these positive changes or ideas can only exist through having all the bad ones.

So don’t be afraid to explore thoughts that are outrageous. You never know which crazy ideas will turn out to be fantastic ones. And don’t be afraid to mess up or be wrong, because the only way to put out some good things is to put out lots of bad things.

Where else in life do you see the critical process at work?