Some groups and organizations tend to want to present research findings only when it agrees with their beliefs or is favorable to them. Militaries are often known to practice this, allowing results to be public only after they approve them. Religious groups may also attempt to deny access to their members, or prevent research findings from being made public if the findings disagree with their religious beliefs. Of course, this is not good research practice. In fact, by making findings public, it gives others the opportunity to analyze the findings and validate the procedures. Remember, many of the errors in research are due more to the interpretation of findings rather than the procedures themselves. We should also remember that any research can only tell us a small piece of knowledge and can in fact be incorrect in its design and results. Humans are imperfect in our research efforts, even though we want to pursue perfection in what we do. For these reasons, we know research is imperfect, but so are our efforts to understand scripture. For this discussion, imagine you have just conducted what you believe is a well-designed ground breaking research. You have conducted the research and analyzed your findings. You can think in generalities, or think of some specific topic area where this could happen. If your findings seemed to contradict what you believed about scripture, how would you reconcile that? It’s not as easy as saying, “I would just follow the scriptures.” First, because you could be wrong in your understanding of scripture, or you could have made some error in the research design. Second, because now that you have discovered something in your research, there is some level of obligation to present it to the public, even though you don’t like or agree with the findings. How would you reconcile this in your mind? What actions might it lead you to take? And how would you present the research to the public in light of the apparent discrepancy? Be sure to use depth of thought in your discussion and thorough (at least 250 words). Also include at least two replies to other students that contribute to the discussion (usually at least 100 words). Be respectful of other’s views even though you are free to disagree with them.
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