Asking why question and its importance before rejecting an idea


By N. George

Worth Noting:

  • In mid1980’s a gastroenterologist from Western AustraliaDr Barry Marshall argued that ulcers were not caused by spicy foods, excess acid or stress rather bacteria. His discovery was met with scepticism and to illustrate that he was correct he underwent a gastric biopsy himself. In 2005, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his discovery.
  • By blending botany with mathematics which were seen as separate disciplines then Gregor Mendel hereditary laws findings in 1865 experimented on plants, mice and bees were ridiculed. In his findings, he demonstrated that the traits from each parent were averaged together in offspring.
  • To his critics a simple monk from a provincial town could not be in a position to understand and interpret complex scientific issues as he did. The criticism of his work did not last forever, as 16 years after his death and 35 years after he presented his findings, his laws were accepted.

Every society throughout the world have its own way of living. It has its set of rules and regulation that govern its members, whether written or unwritten. The culture is a part of the customs of the society and determine the dos and don’ts. When coming up with laws, some of these customs are incorporated while others are abandoned. The laws must be able to control the human behaviours, recognized by the society as binding and must be enforceable. Contravention of these laws attracts punishment.

The freedoms of human beings, the rights and obligations in contracts between people as well as what we cannot do are some aspects we should consider when coming up with any law.

When think about every custom, we need to dig deeper and establish the prevailing conditions that led to its establishment.

In 1773 horse riders, coachmen and people taking their vegetables to market who were carrying swords were encouraged to drive on the left-hand side of the road by the British general highways act while in1835 the British government passed the highway act that made left-hand traffic a compulsory practice.

The practice is believed to have started in ancient Rome where Romans steered their carts on the left side of the road so that they could use their right hand to whip their horses and leave the right-hand side free to enable them to effectively use weapons in case of enemy attack as most people were right-handed.

Some countries use right-hand drive as an opposition to their British colonial masters who use left-hand drive, for example USA. Napoleon a French ruler choice of driving side was right, and he advocated all his colonies to follow suit the other notable influencer of right-hand drive was Henry for an American car manufacturer who put the steering of his vehicles to the left advancing the idea of the right-hand drive.

When he observed an apple falling, renown scientist Isaac Newton asked the why question and upon research, he discovered that there is a force that is pulling the fruit from its rest position and named it the force of gravity.

A Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis who worked in maternity ward in Vienna in the mid-19th century came up with the idea of handwashing antiseptic which he argued that if it is used by doctors in obstetric clinics to disinfect their hands after autopsies, it would reduce puerperal fever mortality rates.

The medical community rejected his idea, unhappy with the conduct of his colleagues Semmelweis started to criticize his colleagues by writing open letters which led to his admission at Viennese insane asylum where he was thoroughly beaten only to die two weeks later. In some clinics where his policy was accepted and implemented, the rates of puerperal fever mortality dropped by 90 percent.

In the mid1980’s a gastroenterologist from Western Australia Dr Barry Marshall argued that ulcers were not caused by spicy foods, excess acid or stress, rather bacteria. His discovery was met with skepticism and to illustrate that he was correct he underwent a gastric biopsy himself. In 2005, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his discovery.

By blending botany with mathematics which were seen as separate disciplines then Gregor Mendel hereditary laws findings in 1865 experimented on plants, mice and bees were ridiculed. In his findings, he demonstrated that the traits from each parent were averaged together in offsprings.

To his critics, a simple monk from a provincial town could not be in a position to understand and interpret complex scientific issues as he did. The criticism of his work did not last forever, as 16 years after his death and 35 years after he presented his findings, his laws were accepted.

A look at global giants like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube you will realise that they started as insurgent which many people easily belittled only to gain much attraction with time.

Before you go ahead to discredit any new idea introduced by someone, it should be your duty to do due diligence to avoid shame and confusion in future. It is obviously simple to reject something without providing any reason for a below average minded person or anyone whose thinking is questionable.

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