Knowledge Science: Instinct or Intuition?

Knowledge Science: Instinct or Intuition?

by: Dennis L. Thomas

Instinct or Intuition?  That is a question posed on Twitter.  A truly thought provoking question.   My answer:

Based on our Knowledge Science and Engineering Course 1, I submit the following:  DNA provides our biological instinct, and the brain provides the intuition. . .

The brain (all brains), from my POV, gain knowledge from enculturation, education, life experience, and deep analytical thought. Contextual content is associated by theory. Theory connects the dots. Applied theory (practical, real world applications), has immediate value.

Intuition is a product of lessons-learned theory. People think, mostly, in patterns of thought. The brain organizes the world around it using structural, behavioral, procedural, functional, and analytic models, most having been passed down from one generation to the next.

Our social organizational and relationship values, such as our adherence to law, has been passed down for decades, centuries, millennia. Well justified theory, proven through trial and error (empirical knowledge) underlies and provides the foundation for our world experience.

Additional comments:

Brain science, as defined by Carl Sagan, an astrobiologist prominent in the 1970’s and 1980’s states in his book “Dragons of Eden (1977),” that each neuron in the brain represents the equivalent of one neural bit of knowledge.  He considered a neural bit to have a value capacity of 0=Yes 1=No.  Computers operate at the machine level in binary code: 0=True; 1=False.

Carl Sagan explains his point of view in Cosmos Episode 11: The Persistence of Memory (  An amoeba, a single cell organism, has 400 neural bits of intelligence.  It can answer the question, “Can I eat this?” (Yes or no).  “Will this eat me?  (Yes or no).

A quick overview of the brain’s neural bit power is also covered at:  Here, science has estimated that each neuron can be connected with as many as 10,000 other neurons, representing an array of patterns-of-thought, such as structural, behavioral, procedural, functional or analytic (reasoning) patterns.   Interconnecting clusters of neurons can contribute to unlimited pattern variations used to make sense of of contextual content such as facts, images, time, and more.  Combined, the steady flow of instinctual knowledge and stored theory and information in our brains equals the sum total of our states of awareness and intelligence.

Science has measured the neurons of the brain executing thought patterns.   We can observe this phenomenon for ourselves by observing our own thinking and that of others.  We don’t need science to tell us.  When you walk into a Best Buy store and ask about TVs, the sales person will start with a taxonomy question.  “What model of TV are you looking for?  What size?  What price range?  What refresh rate?  They automatically start thinking using patterns-of-thought.  Your brain automatically understands these patterns and their contextual content, and you respond in-kind.  If you don’t understand the contextual content of a pattern, you have an opportunity to learn.

As you look around the store you witness a composition (a combination of parts).  In this case, departments.  TV department, appliances, computers, cell phones, etc.  In turn, each item within these departments is the result of a combination of patterns down to a high level of detail.   Assembly includes sequences; (step-by-step processes and procedures), or sets of parts such as screws.  Sets are our most common pattern of thought.  Those pencils, those cars, trees, dogs, cats.

The patterns-of-thought that are most important to commercial, government, not-for-profit, and academic organizations are practical patterns.  These are what knowledge workers need to learn to effectively perform while doing their jobs.  IQStrategix’ IQxCloud is designed to faithfully represent these common-patterns of thought and to interrelate them into unified knowledge stores that faithfully represent the underlying intelligence of organizations.  IQxCloud knowledge base products are designed to work the way people think.