The scientific method is a process. It is a process that anyone can follow. If you decided to do something that you could later call "science," you would have to follow the scientific method.

First, you would come up with an idea that said something about the world. Second, you would test your idea so you could determine whether the world actually works the way your idea says it will. Third, you would modify or even discard your idea if what it said about the world was not accurate enough. If you modified your original idea, you would then test the modified idea. That testing should tell you whether what your idea says about the world is the way the world actually works.

We call this science, but the scientific profession, as we know it, has only been in existence for a few hundred years. But the idea that you should test your ideas about the world to see if they actually work, is much, much older. Engineers test their ideas about the world as they build things that are supposed to work. And engineers have been around for thousands of years.

The scientific method is actually about reliability. And so is engineering. When an engineer creates something that is supposed to work, that engineer works with reliable ideas about of the world—ideas that have been tested. Those reliable ideas are an engineer's primary tools. They work.

The scientific method is used to develop ideas about the world that can be relied on. When an an engineer has an idea he/she has to ask the question, "Does it work and does it work well?" Answering that question imposes an inescapable reliability requirement. Present day engineers have to answer to the "Does it work?" reliability requirement and so did engineers from 5000 BCE. In this regard engineering has not changed. To build something that works, each engineer has to ask himself, "What ideas can I rely on where I am today, right here, right now, in the situation in which I find myself, with the problems I must deal with?"

If you are a person of ideas and you want the ideas you have to be reliable, you need to test those ideas to see if they have any relationship to the real world. What does this have to do with the Bible? In Biblical times, the specialization that we have today did not exist. In particular, the most intelligent people of this time understood what it took to engineer a thing—to get something to work and to work reliably. The people who wrote the Bible were not necessarily engineers themselves, but they understood the importance of testability.

 

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