Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Opus 2011-18, The Scientific Method Needs the Scientific Attitude

Every child in school is taught the scientific method.  It is a way of approaching research that was unique in the western world and let to its dominance of scientific knowledge.  It is a simple but profound process that follows certain steps.  One example might be:

State the Problem
Suggest an Hypothesis
Perform an Experiment
Evaluate the results

I teach history but I tell students that the scientific method is one of the most important things they will learn in school.  Why?  Because in modified form it can be used in any area of knowledge.  It gives a foundation for adult decisions. 

I am currently reading a biography of Albert Einstein.  One of the thoughts that struck me as I read was that the scientific method would have been useless without what I am calling the scientific attitude.  This has probably been discussed under different titles by others but I was impressed about the way Einstein sometimes showed it.

The scientific attitude is interested in advancing the knowledge of mankind more than the fame of the scientist.  It demands accurate data.  It is willing to share data and encourages people who might be considered competitors.  It knows that the final results will be better than that produced by ego and protectionist efforts.

In the book a young scientist from India, Satyendra Nath Bose, came up with a new discovery.  He sent it to Einstein for his opinion.  What often happens in science or any field of research is that the more famous person will steal the idea and go for the glory.  Instead, “he [Einstein] not only got Bose’s paper published, he also extended it with three papers of his own.””  (Isaacson, Walter, Einstein.  New York:  Simon and Schuster, 2007, p. 328)

Much of what passes as science today is just jockeying for funding and press releases.  Science never reaches a final answer because there will always be the next step.  Notice the last step of the scientific method is “repeat.”  Thus when Al Gore announced that the debate on global warming was over, it was not a scientific but a political statement.  We need to support real scientific research and do what we can to stop the political posturing that goes on in the name of science.

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.