The Nature of Scientific Inquiry, Part 1

My particular view of the world has always been shaded by a certain degree of analysis and contemplation. From childhood onward, I constantly sought knowledge in some fashion or another, and largely, that has not changed. The difference now is found in my perspective. Whereas before I was ravenously seeking new insights from secular sources and absorbing every new piece of information the “trusted” scientific community released, now I have discernment and, dare I say, a degree of wisdom in such things.

It took time for me to learn that not all that is labeled “truth” deserves that designation. Furthermore, concerning a great deal of the “new” information fed to the masses, or new discoveries which shed light on old questions or the fresh interpretations of stale material, the majority of it seems – to unclouded eyes – as false excitement over largely baseless concepts. I have no doubt now that we as a society are led, perhaps even forced, to believe that we know more than we actually do, when in fact much of our world remains more mysterious and unknown than most dare to imagine…

Fake News
Sound Familiar?


We as a culture have accomplished great things throughout our history. Consider the advancements we have seen in just this past century, with the development of automobiles, flight, the space program, computing, robotics, molecular biology; the list goes on. It seems that mankind is capable of any greatness it seeks if it is willing to work for it. That said, it must be acknowledged – much to the disappointment of some – that we are not gods and we do not possess all the knowledge in all fields. We are thus always capable of learning more, working harder, adding to and refining what knowledge we already possess.

Oftentimes however we stand in our own way.

We have always been seekers of knowledge, our kind. Some of us make it our explicit goal in life, to distill ultimate truth from our knowledge, to learn about the existence and conditions of our universe. Such a passion comes with a duty to sharing that truth, and it should always be anchored to a particular concept: As we establish facts in our search for answers we should unconditionally eliminate outdated models and paradigms, swapping old beliefs in favor of new ones, for false knowledge is worthless in regard to the truth. It must be foundational to our endeavors as a society that we replace the compromised information with that which appears better, more justifiable in light of the full weight of the available evidence. It is undeniably a simple concept

Unfortunately, this is not the standard protocol in many venues of research, from secular institutions to theological ones. As humans, we find comfort in the established and security in the words of authority. It’s natural for us to want to doggedly hold on to that which we know. Regrettably, this effort to retain such decrepit paradigms, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is as foul as attempting to retain the corpse of a dead man as though he were yet alive! It’s messy, loathsome work and it is obvious to any who look closely. Many researchers position the supernatural against that of the material, overwhelmingly rejecting any and all evidence – no matter how compelling it may be – that supports anything other than that accepted by the authorities at large. As authors Janet & Colin Bord put it:

Science is an attempt to categorize and assimilate the knowledge which they do obtain about their environment. It is the rationalists’ means of holding at bay a natural fear of the unknown. Unfortunately science is now limited by the basic materialism of its adopted viewpoint and any individual who, however unwittingly, attempts to enlarge the boundaries of accepted knowledge by introducing facts which cannot be accommodated within a rational materialistic framework is immediately discredited and attacked by the accepted authorities and indeed by all ‘right-thinking’ men.”¹

“The Nature of Scientific Inquiry” continues next time…

References:

  1. Bord, Janet & Colin, “Alien Animals”, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg 1981, pg 17

 


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