We have heard the phrase used quite often over the past several months — follow the science. But what does that even mean?
The scientific method follows four major points, each with its own set of sub-points and procedures. When I google “scientific method,” I get articles with four steps, seven steps, 12 steps, etc. but the first step is always the same — ask a question.
I think I have that step down. My brain is always asking questions. Some of them are silly and superficial. Some are profound and beyond my ability. Those closest to me are used to the sometimes random way I think. I can start off a sentence with “You know, I was wondering…” and you can see their eyes roll.
When they begin to form sentences, most children like the “what’s that” and “why” questions. Curiosity is the origin of the scientific method, and children have a wonderful propensity for such things. Somewhere in the process of getting older, we learn to internalize those questions. Perhaps we are hesitant to be annoying, maybe the answers we get aren’t satisfying or we decide there are some things we were never meant to know.
Somewhere around middle school, the pressure to not look stupid overcomes the natural bent to ask questions and adolescence tunes out those who would give an answer our rebellious hearts do not want to confront. The worst response I can remember was the “just because.” My parents didn’t appreciate when I followed up with “My teacher says ‘because’ is not a way to end the answer.” “Because I said so” is the answer you give when you no longer want to hear the questions.
God created us to ask questions. He not only expects us to have questions, but he encourages us to ask questions. Personally, I think that is why Jesus wanted to spend time with the “little children” in Matt. 19:14 and told His disciples to let them be — let them ask their questions — “for such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 7:7 says: “Ask, and you shall receive; Seek and you will find…” but the words actually mean “ask, and keep on asking; seek, and keep on seeking.” That doesn’t sound like a “because I said so” kind of God to me!
Just about all my Bible study subjects start with a question. If you had the chance to look through my scribbles from sermons and sessions, you would find sentences marked at the beginning with a question mark. I’ll hear a statement and make a note to go look that up sometime and test its accuracy or maybe do a little more digging, so I know more than “just because.”
Asking questions and questioning God are two different animals, yet sometimes we think if we ask questions that means we are doubting God. The great thing about the scientific method is that questions are the beginning step — not the end! Once you dive into the research and identify the variables and the constants of your hypothesis, you will find God has all the answers and has been anxiously waiting for you to ask the questions!