Science moves with the spirit of an adventure characterized both by youthful arrogance and by the belief that the truth, once found, would be simple as well as pretty.
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An idea can be tested, whereas if you have no idea, nothing can be tested and you don't understand anything. The molecule that you make when you are getting sunburned or when you eat a lot of food is part of the same molecule that contains an endorphin or an opiate. No one has ever had a hypothesis about why the two are together.
I do think one success of Northern Europe, which the United States came from, was its willingness to accept innovation in business practices like Adam Smith and the whole Enlightenment. It essentially made the merchant class free instead of controlled by the king and aristocracy. That was essential.
I have an odd theory on happiness, and it bothers people. My general theory is that happiness is a reward for an animal doing what it should be doing. So if a horse runs, it feels happy. Or if you are too thin, you can't be happy, because evolution wants you to be tense and anxious, trying to wake up in the morning looking for food.
My parents made it clear that I should never display even the slightest disrespect to individuals who had the power to let me skip a half grade or move into more challenging classes. While it was all right for me to know more about a topic than my sixth-grade teacher had ever learned, questioning her facts could only lead to trouble.
The ever quickening advances of science made possible by the success of the Human Genome Project will also soon let us see the essences of mental disease. Only after we understand them at the genetic level can we rationally seek out appropriate therapies for such illnesses as schizophrenia and bipolar disease.