@shepherless: "Actually, the scientific method starts with an observation, not a postulation. Step 2 is coming up with as many hypotheses as possible. Step 3 is the process of elimination hypotheses by testing and further observation, etc.
I mention that, because if you start with one "postulation", then you are vulnerable to carrying out an exercise in confirmation bias, not the scientific method, because (human nature being what it is) you tend to just gather the evidence in support of your postulation, and you ignore the rest."
Thank you and well stated. When I conducted my first research project paper as part of a semester long class in my undergrad, our profs configured the class in the same manner as a PhD dissertation. It was critical to start with a blank slate to avoid bias. The one thing they stressed was to start your research with a question, such as "what are the effects of intelligence on religiosity?"
The possibilities include: no impact, undetermined, a negative impact, or a positive impact. If you start your research under the premise that intelligence has a negative influence on religiosity, for example, then the results may be biased. Once completed and presented for review, the question becomes a statement: "The Effects of Intelligence on Religiosity."
That's what slays me when Perry and others post 'research' from x-tian apologists who started their project with the premise that we live on a young earth or that god created everything. It isn't research; it is confirmation bias of the worst kind, and it will never be viewed seriously by the scientific community.