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Theory Constricts Understanding

Alexander James Inglis opens his book “Principles of Secondary Education” by declaring his “attempt to make a systematic analysis of the factors and principles involved in a constructive theory of secondary education.” The dictionary defines a scientific theory as “a coherent group of propositions formulated to explain a group of facts or phenomena in the natural world and repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation.” A theory is assumed to be truth because it is putatively assumed by the field of authoritative experts, until proven otherwise. How to overcome this rigor-mortis of beliefs?

Claudius Ptolemy theorized in his astrological work “Almagest” that each planet in our solar system revolves around the earth and the earth was the center of the universe. This geocentric model was based on two spheres of motion, deferent (“bearing off or away”) and epicycle (“small circle moving on or around another circle”). This line of thought began in Babylon; but was standardized by Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD. Ptolemy died in 170. This theory was accepted by western and Islamic astronomers. The Muslims began to question its validity in the 10th century. It lasted longer in Europe because the Catholic church viewed disbelievers as heretics worthy of burning. Nicolaus Copernicus placed our Sun at the center of the Universe in his book “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres” just before his death in 1543 and escaped burning.

Ptolemy’s theory lasted about 1,300 years, even though Aristarchus of Samos promoted Copernicus’ theory eighteen centuries earlier or 500 years before Ptolemy. Theories fail to evolve because people look for approval from others to confirm their intelligence. Beliefs beget beliefs.

Today, we live under the influence of the “cult of bumping particles” according to Theoria Aphophasis or the “cult of Einstein” according to Eric Dollard, who many consider the modern-day Tesla. Einstein theorized gravity as a distortion of space due to the presences of matter or energy. The emerging theory sees all matter as energy with magnetic (concentric circles of flux around a body) and dielectric (conjugate flux lines connected to zero-point energy at the center of a body) forces. Gravity represents dielectric acceleration to the center or the zero-point-of-energy of a body.

The point of these two examples is to demonstrate that everything we conceive is a theory based on knowledge and understanding at that specific point in time in the search for truth. Authorities do not know truth. They know what they have been taught or allowed to investigate. All advancement occurs at the margin, serving to confirm what is already believed. Original thinkers are derided for their impertinence. It takes wisdom to accept a better theory. All answers come from the heart using intuition and imagination. Eventually, universal truth emerges. “Learned ignorance” occults this process.