Friday, March 16, 2018

The Scientific Method Vs. Superstition Vs. Myth Vs. Religion (Part 2)

Here's what makes the difference for me: the scientific method. Let me explain:

First what the scientific method is, as explained by Elon Musk  in the Nov. 2017 issue of Rolling Stone:
1. Ask a question.

2. Gather as much evidence as possible about it.


3. Develop axioms based on the evidence, and try to assign a probability of truth to each one.

4. Draw a conclusion based on cogency in order to determine: Are these axioms correct, are they relevant, do they necessarily lead to this conclusion, and with what probability?


5. Attempt to disprove the conclusion. Seek refutation from others to further help break your conclusion.


6. If nobody can invalidate your conclusion, then you're probably right, but you're not certainly right.
 Or, if you do better with graphical representations, here's a helpful graphic from  Scientific Buddies: 



Steps of the Scientific Method

Am I saying you can apply the scientific method to a religious question, to the question of whether God exists and, if so, what God is like and how you can interact with him/her?

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. You can---and you must---figure this out for your own self, so that you have your own "testimony" (put in quotes b/c that's what I call it, though others may call if something else).

(Quick note: Yes, I used Elon Musk --- gasp! --- as a reference, and I used a website developed to help students who are working on science fair projects. If this is offensive to any of my readers, do let me know, and I'll find some other reference, for instance, in any biology textbook published in the last 25 years, to quote, instead.)

(Another installment, coming up, about what makes my religious beliefs different from magical or superstitious beliefs)

1 comment:

Jeff Wynn said...

I LIKE quoting Elon Musk. That's a WAY cool way to do this.