Generate / Degenerate
The language group says that "two and two is four." Any speaker of the language, teaching the language to a newbie or to a foreigner, has authority. In such a case the infant never knows better than the adult.
The case naturally and legitimately generates authority.
The situation is different where a human group does not know something for sure, but must make decisions. It's guessing. If I am crossing the Sinai I may guess that I'll reach my destination by night fall. If I and my brother are crossing the Sinai, he may guess that we will not reach our destination by nightfall. (My wife may think that we won't reach it by tomorrow night fall either, his wife may think that we'll arrive in an hour, but both women know to keep silent while we're speculating. Here we have no authority, or contested authority, or a default of male authority. Maybe my brother is older, maybe he has provisional authority.)
If brother is wrong, natural authority will transfer to me. If I am wrong, natural authority will transfer to our wives: or to one of our daughters, or one of our sons.
Human experience suggests a hierarchy. Human behavior may try to alter the natural hierarchy: men see women coming, and knock them back.
In such circumstances authority degenerates, but may yet hold its place by accumulated (or stolen) power.
The peasant saw that the priest could spew magical gibberish better than he, the peasant. So the Church acquired authority. The Church said that man owns the earth, by God's authority, that man is the center of creation, that the earth is the center of the universe. The Church went further: it said that the earth is the only physical center in the physical universe.
But Galileo saw moons around Jupiter. Authority split. Galileo's observation was based on experience: he saw it. The Church's position was based on authority, degenerated authority: they said it. So, as always happens in groups so large that they're disconnected form individual's experiences, authority and evidence came into conflict: conflict direct and open.
It's continued since: by simple experience one might think that bombing gooks was killing them. But no: state authority says that raining terror is helping them: is good: Christian, if you will. Of course the free press, which wants Fortune 500 advertising, backs authority. And we have an utterly dishonest public: with no rational hope of survival.
Never mind God's punishment: neither I nor my brother nor my wife nor my brother's wife, nor our daughters, nor our sons, know how to cross a desert in a group larger than one: not once a false state has knocked down a false church.
I'd be for starting over: if we could have a habitable biosphere left. But no: it's too late. In founding FLEX (see InfoAll) I (following suit with God, Christ) offered a last chance. The state-coerced public ignored it, stole and perverted it.
Gifts stolen by knocking Santa Claus down won't satisfy enduringly.