Certainly in learning settings it’s nice if someone knows something to get the ball rolling, but it isn’t necessary. I’d argue (naturally) that the scientific method is essentially a set of rules for how to argue about things you don’t understand in order to understand them better.
Hard to disagree. Perhaps where we’re getting hung up is in the interesting difference between “understanding” and “knowing something about.” I’d suggest (argue? heavens, no!) that “understanding” proceeds from “knowledge,” and it’s damned near impossible to reach the former without first acquiring some of the latter.