The Cognitive Revolution allowed for large-scale cooperation because it allowed humans to imagine. This skill of imagination created systems that enabled groups that were too big to work together effectively before to come together into larger gatherings. It gave rise to collective ideas, such as the value of shells, unique rocks, gold and eventually currency. It enabled religions, customs, cultures and histories to be shared and remembered. It allowed individuals to interact with other individuals using only social cues as opposed to years of relationship building and personal experience. All of these constructs are imagined orders, things that don’t physically exist, like God, the Church, the State, and the economy, yet they have very real impacts on the way we live our lives. Beyond these are ideas like human rights, racial hierarchies, and environmentalism, anyone of us could say that we believe in one or more of these things and that they influence the way we live our lives. Furthermore, they influence the ways we treat each other, if I for example, believe in racial hierarchies, and you believe in human rights this is likely to put us at odds with one another, yet both are still imagined orders.
Imagined orders are a prerequisite for the human study of science. The laws and facts studied by science are by no means imagined and they rule over the very real world interactions we have with our environment. However, even if humans failed to recognize gravity it would still have its effect on us and our surroundings. If we never realized that the sun is a massive ball of hydrogen and helium experiencing nuclear fission that we on the round earth rotate around with a slight axial tilt causing the seasons, we would still experience the snow of winter and wildfires of summer. The human study of science, unlike the facts uncovered by it, is an imagined order. Our tendency to explain what we do not understand, and our obsession with finding the correct answer comes from the imagined order of human knowledge. There is not any physical interactions that humans have with the understanding of the way our world works other than the ones that humans have created to understand the world.