Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 27, 2019

On Thinking

(4 Minute Read)


Do you ever think about thinking?

About how to think?
About whether you think correctly?
About how to improve thinking skills?

Well, it’s time to think about thinking, because there is a widespread lack of good thinking today.

Who Said This?

Here are some insightful thoughts that a famous man once wrote about thinking — back in the 1940s before he became famous. See if you can guess who said this.

Clues to his identity are sprinkled throughout the discussion of his quotes. Here are his words:

Education must also train one for quick, resolute, and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.

The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.
. . .
If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, “brethren!” Be careful, teachers!

This posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom believed education should teach students how to think. But today education does not teach people how to think. Instead, for the most part, educators seek to inculcate what to think. The whole political correctness movement is about thinking along socially and politically accepted lines of thought. Critical thinking that disagrees is simply scorned, often without giving reasons.

The warning by this man as an articulate 18-year-old has come true: today colleges produce “close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts.” These non-thinkers dominate the government, press, and universities.

Many people who idolize this 1963 Time Man of the Year do not think in the way he recommended, if they think at all.

This 1964 Nobel Prize winner had very good thoughts on thinking, but he did not always put them into practice. Despite issuing a clear call for critical thinking, this man was a theistic evolutionist. He was unable to see through the evolutionary story that human beings came from a long line of ever-more-primitive ancestors via gradual genetic mutations. He uncritically accepted the scientific propaganda promoting evolutionism. Misguidedly he wrote,

It seems quite possible to get an adequate religious view of the world in the light of emergent evolution and cosmic theism. Is it not possible for God to be working through the evolutionary process? May it not be the God is creating from eternity? Emergent evolution says essentially that in the evolutionary process there is a continuous incoming of the new. The question arises, from whence comes this emergence of new elements in the evolutionary process. The religious man answers, with a degree of assurance, that God is the source of the new emergents. In other words, God is working through the evolutionary process. As cosmic theism would say, there is an intelligent conscious mind working out its purpose through the evolutionary process. So that in the light of emergent evolution and cosmic theism we can come to an adequate religious view of the world, viz., creative evolution. Here we find creation and evolution existing together.

This posthumous recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal did not hold to foundational truths as he evaluated evolutionary claims. Despite being a preacher, he ignored the Genesis record that God created Adam from the dust of the earth in His image — not from existing creatures. He overlooked the impossibility of such complexity developing through random changes.

Who was this late orator who wrote such superb words on thinking, but who failed to implement them regarding thinking about man’s origin?

The author of these words was . . .

Author of Thoughts on Thinking

The author of these thoughts on thinking and origins was a southern preacher from Atlanta, Georgia. His remarks on thinking were taken from The Purpose of Education, an article he wrote for the January-February 1947 issue of the Maroon Tiger, the Morehouse College campus newspaper.

His words in support of theistic evolution were taken from an essay he wrote three years later for the final exam in his Christian Theology for Today class at Crozer Theological Seminary during the academic term ending in February 1950. Crozer Theological Seminary was located in Chester, Pennsylvania, the state’s oldest city.

Who was this thinker, preacher, and leader? He was Martin Luther King Jr (1929–1968).

Sudoku Puzzle
Place the numerals 1-9 in each row,
column, and 3×3 box. (Solution)

Puzzles & Games Develop Thinking Skills

Working puzzles can help develop thinking skills. I especially enjoy puzzles which require logic and analysis like Sudoku.

But I force myself to do other types of puzzles and games like crosswords, anagrams, Scrabble, and Rebus pictograms because they exercise more intuitive thinking at which I am less skilled. They can’t be solved simply by deductive analysis. They require the brain to subconsciously retrieve and coordinate information from disparate sources. Both kinds of thinking skills are important in daily life, and I like to work on keeping both types sharp.

Games like chess (see picture above) exercise both analytical thinking skills as well as intuitive, creative thinking skills. Similarly card games like bridge, hearts, and euchre require more than just logical analysis.

Practically any kind of learning, study, reading, or hobby helps with thinking skills.

Here’s an example of a Rebus puzzle in which a phrase is represented by a combination of pictures, symbols, and letters. Can you figure out what this Rebus puzzle represents? Some people consider it brain food. Try to solve the puzzle before you look at the answer below.

Pay attention to thinking accurately and correctly!
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Questions to Ponder

1. In what area is it difficult for you to “sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction,” as Martin Luther King Jr. recommended?
2. What activities are you pursuing to keep your thinking sharp?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Rebus Puzzle Answer: Roast beef sandwich.
[Row+st bee+f sand+witch]
(Click Rebus Puzzles for links to blog articles with a Rebus puzzle.)

For Christ and His Kingdom.

Read my other blog posts On Thinking for more ideas on how to think and how to improve thinking skills:
Life of the Mind
Critical Thinking in Louisiana
The Beautiful Mind
Do You Think Like an Evolutionist?
Biblical Thinking
The Most Neglected Commandment

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday February 27, 2019 A.D.

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:11)

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  1. What can you say about the flat earth theory?


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