Alliance for Mystical Pragmatics

Alliance for Mystical Pragmatics

Harmonizing Evolutionary Convergence

Glossary Menus

unanswered questions

One purpose of science is to answer questions to solve practical problems. Of course, in Reality, there are no unanswered questions or unsolved problems because these duals are never separate from each other in indivisible Wholeness.

But before Life carried me to evolution’s Omega Point, curiosity sent me on a quest to answer many unanswered questions, necessary to solve what I could see were both personal and social problems. For curiosity is cognate with cure ‘recovery from disease’ and to cure ‘heal’.

Such an endeavour has been quite a challenge, for Imre Lakatos said that scientific research programmes have a hard core of theories that cannot be questioned, which are immune to revision. So anyone questioning the assumptions of science would be ostracized, ejected from the group, like bullies attacking ‘vulnerable misfits’ in the school playground or the immune response of the body rejecting a life-saving heart transplant.

For myself, having been born near London in the middle of the Second World War, the first question I asked myself as a seven-year-old was why do people spend so much effort fighting each other while they long so much for love and peace?

I then realized as an adolescent that I could not answer this unanswered question while science and religion were at war with each other. Even my beloved mathematics could not solve this problem, as I discovered at university in the early 1960s.

After graduating with the minimum pass degree at the ‘second time of asking’, I began seeking answers to my questions in business, first as a mathematician-programmer and then as a systems engineer. For, why are computers good at arithmetic but rather poor at pattern recognition, while with humans the situation is the other way round?

Answering this question has led me to develop the Method that is needed to answer the most critical unanswered question in science: What is causing scientists and technologists, aided and abetted by computer technology, to drive the pace of scientific discovery and technological development at unprecedented exponential rates of acceleration?


Unanswered derives from un-, from PIE base *ne- ‘not’, and Middle English andswere, from Old English ondswere, from and- ‘against’, from PIE base *ant-, root of anti-, and -swaru ‘affirmation, swearing’, from swerian ‘to swear’, from PIE base *swer- ‘to speak, talk’. The original meaning of answer, as a noun, was ‘rebutting a charge or accusation’, coming to mean ‘solution of a problem’ around 1300.

Unanswered, as an adjective, from the verb to answer, is thus cognate with both meanings of un-, with different PIE roots, thus containing a double negative.  Removing both of these, we can say that to ‘unanswer’ means to ‘to speak out’, from the Source.

Question derives from questioun ‘philosophical or theological problem’ before 1200, from Anglo-French questiun, from Old French questïon ‘question, difficulty, problem; legal inquest’, and directly from Latin quaestionem (nominative quaestio) ‘a seeking, questioning, inquiry, examining, judicial investigation’, noun of action from past-participle stem of quaerere ‘ask, seek, search for’, probably ultimately from PIE root *kʷo-, although this is not universally agreed.

Common ancestor(s):