Steps in Scientific Method
The scientific method is a tool that enables a person to seek out new knowledge, or correct and integrate new knowledge. It is composed of eight individual steps: which start out with defining a question, gathering information and resources, form an explanatory hypothesis, test the hypothesis by performing an experiment and collecting data in a reproducible manner, analyze the data, interpret the data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis, publish results, and ends with a retest. The steps can be grouped into four different essential elements: operation, observation, model, and utility function. The first step in the scientific method is asking a question. Questions are developed through worldviews. There are four components of a worldview that can form questions. The first component is cosmology; the explanation of the world is a worldview that is focused on where a person came from. The teleology explanation of the world is a worldview that is focused on purpose and meaning. The epistemology explanation of the world is a worldview that is focused on knowledge and truth. The last component is axiology, which says the explanation of the world is focused on morality and values. After developing a question, the next step is to gather information and resources. Previous knowledge and beliefs determine the process of gathering information. Belief is not in and of itself truth; it is an assumption of what is true. The truth perceived by a person is interpreted by the person’s belief. Each person’s worldview rests on what the person believes is “truth.” If a person’s epistemological worldview is to believe in the Bible to already be true than knowledge from the Bible can be revealed. Once a question is formed and information is gathered regarding the question, the next step is to form a testable hypothesis. A hypothesis can be tested through three different means; it can be self-evident, deduced, and/or induced. After the hypothesis has been formed and tested, the next step in the scientific method is to collect data in a reproducible manner. In order for the data to be reproducible, it must be void of errors. Errors can be caused for many reasons. The researcher who is conducting the experiment is frail, limited with knowledge, and born in a sinful world. Enthusiasm can alter the validity in the research because the researcher believes in something when there is no direct evidence. Authority can also affect the results of the experiment. Therefore, special consideration should be placed on the forces that may corrupt the experiment.
After the data has proven to be reproducible, results need to be published. Sometimes publishing the results does not occur because the research is a parachronism. The community will not accept the research regardless of the validity because it does not correlate with public knowledge. For example, Gregory Mendel demonstrated that the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants follows particular patterns, but did not receive credit for founding genetics until years later. Scientific Method in Seeking Knowledge and Truth
The Bible has remained in question concerning historical truth. Many people have tried to validate the truth of the Bible but have fallen short. There are multiple reasons why those people who were trying to validate the Bible fell short from their search. The proper use of the scientific method, worldview experiences, preexisting beliefs, and grace are all determining attributes that will allow a person to seek truth in the Bible. The scientific method is valuable in the search for truth in scripture. However, sometimes people fall short from seeking out truth from the Bible because they are looking through a wrong worldview lens. A worldview is “a set of beliefs about the most important issues in life…a conceptual scheme by which we consciously or...
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