When Isaac Asimov finally got around to extending his Foundation Trilogy he introduced Golan Trevize, a Foundationer who must search for the long lost home planet of humanity: Earth. According to Gregory Tidwell, the Trevize character is “a stand-in for Asimov”. Here is how the story goes: Trevize was selected to go to Earth by R. Daneel Olivaw because merging humanity into a vast group mind (Galaxia) was too important of a decision for a robot to make. As Tidwell notes, Trevize is depicted as having “the unique ability to achieve a state of perfect surety about things“.
Where was Asimov going with this idea of Trevize having “perfect” intuition? Tidwell makes the point that Asimov, “hinted at some genetic or evolutionary reason for the gift, but neglected to clearly share it with the readers”. However, in Foundation and Earth it is revealed that Daneel is a master genetic engineer, in fact, having learned how to imprint the Laws of Robotics into human brains.
Reading between the lines, I suspect that Daneel had genetically modified the human species long before the rise of the Foundation. Specifically, humans must have been modified to prevent them from exercising a normal capacity for creativity and invention. The Mule showed that he could modify minds and free them to attain their latent creative potential. When the Foundation was allowed to do so, new inventions like “gravitic drive” were suddenly invented after thousands of years of technological stasis in the galaxy. It is easy to suppose that Trevize was genetically engineered to be free of constraints that Daneel had imposed on other humans. Daneel’s cover story was that he wanted Trevize to make a decision that Daneel was unable to make, a decision that would determine the ultimate fate of humanity.
I don’t think it makes sense to look for a deeper account of the “perfect intuition” attributed to Trevize. In Foundation and Earth, the whole idea that Trevize must decide in favor of Galaxia is revealed to be a “cover story” for a deeper concern of Daneel. There is never really any doubt that Galaxia is the future of humanity. Daneel’s true reason for bringing Trevize to Earth (actually, the Moon) is that Daneel needs a biological brain, and it was Trevize and his “merry band” of interstellar travelers (Janov Pelorat and Blissenobiarella) that was able to obtain the needed brain for Daneel. While searching for Earth, Trevize might imagine that he has “intuition”, but he is not aware of Daneel telepathically guiding humanity according to the dictates of the laws of robotics.
It is a great source of frustration that Asimov was taken from us before he had a chance to continue the Foundation saga past Foundation and Earth. The Start of Eternity is a collaborative fan fiction exercise in exploring how to continue Asimov’s story.