AWAKENING TO A SCIENTIFIC METHOD TAKEN FROM THE BIBLE

     We are suffering from the paralysis of analysis.”  So declared a leading Southern Baptist pastor in 1963.  What he meant was that our whole approach is based upon a present method of science which is analytical.  However, analysis is not all there is to science or the scientific method. While writing a thesis for the Master of Arts in American Social and Intellectual History, I came to realize what that minister was saying.  My thesis involved a two apparently contradictory ideas, namely, the hypothesis which was regarded as true and the null hypothesis which, in this case, was also true.

Fast forward to 2006.  I encountered a science educator who was in charge of science education for a county school system and who was working on her Ph.D. in that field at the state university.  I happened to say to her that there was a flaw in our present day scientific method.  She looked at me as if I were someone who should not be saying such things (after all I was a dumb preacher and what do they do know besides faith?).  I proceeded to inform the lady how I run into the problem in 1970-71, when I was writing my thesis.  In all the years since, I have been writing and thinking about this issue.

Slowly I began to explore the possibilities.  One of my professors at Liberty had demonstrated the fact there was a one shot case that followed the present methodology of science.  Hypothesis, experiment, null hypothesis (proven false), and the conclusion that the hypothesis was true followed by a resulting practical action.  Study Daniel chapter one, in the case of Daniel and the King’s food.

As I worked my way through the process, I came to the realization that the Bible presented another method also, one that was also synthetical, that is, a method able to consider two apparently contradictory but true realities at the same time and how that brings one into a more accurate perception of what is taking place in life.  I would use a number of terms to describe the method that developed from my struggles with the issues involved.  One is scriptural or biblical, since that is the source from which began to lay hold of the problem.  Second, This involves the intellectual aspect, that is, the use of the mind to formulate ideas that reflect situations as they truly exist.  Third, there is the hypothetical reflection, the interpretation which needs to be examined.  Next, we have the experimental, the testing of the ideas, and this involves the synthetical, the apparently contradictory ideas.  Basically, we are dealing with something that fits this digital age in which we live.  This leads, in turn, to the asymmetrical nature of ideas, and the practical application of it where and when appropriate.  More could be said, but for now we will wait on reflections of those who might be attracted to method of science which is much more appropriate for dealing with the problems that we face in a world that is changing at a speed beyond any thing experienced previously.

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