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Sir Francis Bacon: Seeking To Experience

Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon was the Father of Empiricism. Credited for introducing the foundations of the scientific method that is used today, he was a brilliant scientist and philosopher, as well as a politician. Experiments and inductive reasoning became the emphasis of science after Bacon’s theoretical groundwork.

Born in 1561, on January 22, Francis Bacon would lead a life of sixty-five years: a life swaying between success and adversity, prosperity and financial woes, renown and disgrace, certainty and doubt. Yet through all the twists and turns of life, Bacon held to the Lord and continually sought Him.

In his early studies as a young teenager, Francis Bacon developed much doubt about the accepted methods of science and philosophy. His high intellect was evident, but he dropped out of Trinity College at Cambridge after just three years. He wanted more than the “science” taught there.

Bacon’s father had connections with the Queen, allowing Francis to quickly become an ambassador. However, upon his father’s death, Bacon was left without a job and returned to his education, studying law. It is known that Bacon aimed for doing three things with his life more than anything else: uncovering truth, serving his country, and serving the church. In order to further accomplish these he sought higher positions, and soon found himself as a member of parliament. This did not bring him the success that he wanted, so he continued to search the connections of family members, eventually becoming a professor. Bacon worked his way up the ladder with more prestigious positions until James I took the throne and knighted him Sir Francis Bacon in 1603. Continuing his rise politically, he would become Lord Chancellor in 1618.

Again, adversity struck. Bacon pleaded guilty for corruption, was given a large fine, and could no longer hold political office or a seat in parliament. Still in debt, he withdrew to his writing.

In the last twenty years of his life Francis Bacon wrote frequently, focusing on his scientific and philosophic intellect. His most famous work was Novum Organum Scientiarum (New Instrument of Science). This work was key in the historical development of the scientific method. It focused on inductive reasoning and experimental research, rather than the philosophical deduction that was passed down from Aristotle. He also wrote The New Atlantis, a combination of his Christian beliefs and his scientific proposals. His work called Instauratio Magna (Great Revival) was never finished, but it laid out his theory of knowledge, describing how little humans know and how humans learn.

Sir Francis Bacon pondered the truth. It was his goal to uncover as much of it as he could. He wrote, “There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power.” Using what God had given him, his mind and his hands of experiment, Bacon searched and searched. By searching, he accomplished his two other goals of service. By doing the Lord’s work, designed for Bacon, he was able to serve humans and help humanity understand the Lord’s creation to a greater extent.

Bacon became fatally ill with pneumonia after using snow to freeze meat, an idea he wanted to experiment. True to his calling, experimenting with how the world works was the eventual cause of his death. That is how Bacon lived: seeking to experience. When he sought to experience the Lord, the Lord was faithful to His servant. He allowed Francis Bacon to learn and to know: “Knowledge is the rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man’s estate.”

http://www.iep.utm.edu/bacon/   http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/131christians/scholarsandscientists/bacon.


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