This is the fifth in a series of posts about formulating a biblical mindset when establishing a Christian curriculum.
The following excerpt from (pp 75-79) of RJ Rushdoony's book The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum discuses the Experimental Method - the idea of an antiseptic scientist, purged of all germs of pre-conceived ideas, arriving at scientific truth.
[I]f science is limited to the experimental method, then a great many of the sciences, such as geology, paleontology, botany, and more, are not scientific. As a result, it is now more common to speak of the scientific method, a broader and more vague term which has the aura of experimental "proof": and none of its burdens.
The scientific method is never carefully defined, but, like the term science, is somehow equated with truth. Thinkers in the sciences are prompt to assure us that science does not pretend to offer infallible truth. This seems the essence of modesty and a proper disclaimer, except that, having said this, they are still emphatic in holding that; whatever truth there is, if it can be known, it will be discovered and known through the scientific method...
It is important for us to grasp the implications of the pretensions of the scientific method. If not, because it is so deeply imbedded in our culture and books, students will unconsciously pick up this equation of science with knowledge, a dangerous and fallacious equation...
The point, I think, is clear. The scientific method, as it now exists, is in reality a religious principle which holds that truth can emerge from any area, provided it is not from the sovereign and triune God and His infallible word. The scientific method of our time masks another religion, humanism...
What such ideas have done is to mold the mind of students against God and His word. What God declares is ruled out of education as not knowledge. If the Bible is what it declares itself to be, then it is the most basic book in education. All knowledge must be organized in terms of the God of Scripture as the creator and interpreter of all reality.
The scientific method is in essence a religious method, an atheistic, humanistic methodology. Our scientific and educational method must be theological. We begin with the fact of God as creator, and the world as His handiwork. Apart from that fact, we have, not knowledge, but misinformation.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].