Ideologies are the evolutionary predecessors of Theories.
Ideologies are formed from beliefs whereas theories are formed from knowledge.
As humans evolved to the point of having so much time free to think about the nature of reality in prehistoric times, our explanations of the world around us were based on our beliefs, for this was many thousands of years before science would be known.
These beliefs formed the pillars of thoughts which gave cultures their distinct outlooks and identities. Known as tenets, when several of these pillars of thought are bound together as part of a large, more complex, view of the world, the resulting edifice is called an ideology.
All ideologies have a set of tenets, or pillars of beliefs, that state things about the world. These principle statements for believers always revolve around three things. The way something “was”, the way something “is”, and the way something was “should be”.
The tenets of ideologies can be based upon anything. There is no restriction on their source. They can be based on common sense or be completely fantastical imaginings. Representing peoples’ interpretations of reality before we had scientific practices, ideologies are proto theories.
Make no mistake, however, it was humans’ continually evolving attempts to explain the world through ideologies that refined our perceptions to the point we created scientific methods. From an evolutionary perspective, scientific practices were birthed from ideologies.
Unlike ideologies, theories are not formed around tenets of belief. This is what sets the two apart.
Theories are formed from an evidence-base. Using “a priori” and “a posteriori” logic, an explanation is derived. Although most theories have some degree of speculation or judgement involved, they are rooted in an evidence base, so the accuracy of theories is a gigantic leap forward from that of ideologies which can have tenets based on pure fantasy.
A colossal transformation is now underway which will take humanity into an unprecedented technologically advanced state. This evolutionary transition will not be all together peaceful, for there is a struggle between the old and the new.
As all our cultures have been based around ideologies for many thousands of years, they form structural pillars of thoughts in each culture. An ideology is made up of its tenets and the people who believe in those tenets above and beyond any other thought system. Often modern ideologies have many millions of followers who have power and influence which stems from their positions in society. Indeed a key component of most ideological followers is to insert their beliefs into culture through establishing some kind of influential power base within it.
Many people have their whole identity bound-up with their established ideological status.
So what happens when a new scientific theory contradicts the tenets of an established ideology?
There is only one thing the believers can do. If their ideology and associated influence is to continue to exist, they have to ignore and suppress the new evidence. As an ideology is built on its tenets of beliefs, which are its structural supports. If a principal tenet is proved untrue, the whole ideology is undermined and will experience collapse. It is proven to be significantly untrue and exposes its believers to embarrassment and ridicule where before they had influential status and power. Their identity is humiliated.
The ideologies in all cultures are under more pressure than ever.
Free speech accelerates scientific progress, but also the undermining of those who have established routes of control based upon disproven ideological beliefs.
Thus both free speech and scientific progress are threatening to highly ideological groups – people who will put their selfish lust for power, identity and status above the progress of humanity itself.