How do female pigeons know that they need to build a nest to lay their eggs in? How do male pigeons know that they must supply hundreds of twigs for the female to construct a nest? We are told it’s instinct, but instinct is defined as an ‘innate, typically fixed pattern of behaviour in animals in response to certain stimuli’. Wikipedia says instinct is genetically hard-wired behaviour that enhance our ability to cope with vital environmental contingencies, so it is in their DNA. Our innate fear of snakes is an example. A fear of snakes is understandable, but what stimulus made the male pigeons gather twigs for their lady friends?
So if it’s in our genes, but who or what put it there? Experience and survival of the fittest would account for the fear of snakes, I suppose, but why do so many people instinctively ‘know’ that Bessler’s wheel was genuine and knew it hundreds of years before he was born that such a device was possible?
We are irrepressibly optimistic, overconfident and always have an alternative design we have to try. My own optimism often gets the better of me, but I still think it is a trait that we need to maintain and nurture.
I’m sure we have each endured the scornful reaction that many people have to our belief in Bessler and we have learned to keep quiet and not discuss it with anyone outside our circle. But when the secret is revealed and has become accepted, maybe some of those who dismissed us as nuts, loonies etc, will revise their opinions of us and congratulate us on our amazing and perceptive thinking and determination.