Monday, October 15, 2007
There was an interesting blog post at the LDS Science Review about the scientific method vs. spiritual revelation which asks if spiritual revelation has some of the same limitations as the scientific method does. I think it's pretty clear that spiritual revelation isn't a black and white thing, it can be a difficult process, often approaching truth gradually (line upon line) rather than just getting the full answer all at once, and it is a fact that some people have come to wrong conclusions despite faithful prayer and searching. To me the biggest difference between the two, though, is first the spheres to which they are applicable--spiritual versus physical truth--and reproducibility: scientific experiments have to be able to be independently verified to be considered valid, and while anyone can receive a spiritual witness to eternal truths, there are a lot of variables that are very difficult to quantify, so I don't consider such witnesses to be independently verifiable in the same way as scientific findings. Summary: both good, both useful, and both required for us to progress as far as we should.