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Table of Contents:
Science is a way of knowing. Science strives to be objective. Science focuses on knowledge based on
replicable experiments aimed
at eliminating the false and accepting the true. Science relies on statistics to determine what is true, and
statistics summarize trends in populations; the larger the
population, the better. To science and the scientist, anecdotal evidence is dismissed as
unreplicable; as subjective
and therefore biased.
But anecdotes and their relatives: parables, poems, myths, stories,
koans and the like, are another way of knowing. They provide us with a way of understanding individual experience
in the context of the larger society and culture. They expand our experience; show us the world in a new light, or
reinforce what we did not realize that we already knew. Parables do this by presenting a concrete and particular case whose
meaning we are left to discover ourselves. We may not succeed, but when we do, we realize that any attempt to
express the meaning in words would not be as successful as the realization
that came from example.
Copyright © December 7, 2002, Karen Strickler. All rights reserved.