Everyone Loves Bacon
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
Everyone loves bacon; or maybe every scientist loves Bacon. The Bacon to which I am referring is Sir Francis Bacon, later Viscount St. Alban, 1561-1626. It is to him that we owe a debt of thanks for the introduction of an early scientific method.
Science is about discovery. Today’s scientific method requires the development of hypotheses, together with the systematic testing of the same. Bacon’s method began from a basis of empiricism. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that the Baconian method comprises of three steps.
First, a description of facts; second, a tabulation, or classification, of those facts into three categories – instances of the presence of the characteristic under investigation, instances of its absence, or instances of its presence in varying degrees; third, the rejection of whatever appears, in the light of these tables, not to be connected with the phenomenon under investigation and the determination of what is connected with it.
Bacon served as Lord Chancellor of England under King James I for three years, a few years after the publication of the King James Bible. It would be no surprise, therefore, to learn that Bacon’s philosophy was strongly influenced by the biblical atmosphere in much of the court circles at the time. In his philosophical work, The Advancement of Learning, Bacon wrote:
Let no man upon a weak conceit of sobriety or an ill-applied moderation think or maintain that a man can search too far, or be too well studied in the book of God’s word, or in the book of God’s works, divinity or philosophy.
The Bible was the guiding principle behind Bacon’s science, philosophy, and politics.
Prayer: We know, Father God, that everything has come from You. Therefore, we pray that our actions will all be guided by Scripture in every aspect of our lives. Amen.
Ref: Bacon, F. (1605), The Advancement of Learning, (Project Gutenberg), < http://www.gutenberg.org/files/5500/5500-h/5500-h.htm >, accessed 10/30/2017. Image: Public Domain, due to age
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