Because we can fulfill current want—whether it be for a drink of water a few moments from now, a comfortable retirement in thirty years, or peace on Earth—only in the future, we realize value only to the extent that we predict with accuracy greater than that we can achieve by pure chance both that we will feel satisfaction when we attain our ends and that we will prove our means sufficient.
Over many millennia, humans have identified a set of behaviors, which we now term a “scientific method” or “science,” by which we discover repeating patterns and use them to make successful predictions. We have included in this method questioning, observing (both with physical senses and by introspection), reasoning, predicting, testing prediction against experience, inviting others to do so, and—critically important—repeating these behaviors without end.
Whenever we ask, “What do I want?” or “How can I get it?”—that is, whenever we address questions of value—we have opportunity to practice science. By evolving to practice more competently, we may more accurately discern and more fully realize value. We may more often get what we want and be satisfied with what we get.
Despite this trend to valuescience, people around the globe still hold many, and in some cases nearly all questions of value as we describe them here beyond the purview of science. As more people more broadly and consistently apply science to these, we evolve shared culture that we make basis for cooperating to live and die well. ❧