6th Century BC: Biblical Daniel’s Scientific Experiment

Probably few Bible scholars or scientists are aware that Daniel—the same Daniel who was cast into the lion’s den—was also a scientist. Daniel proposed (what is now recognized as) a classic experimental design: comparing the effect of a vegetable and water diet to a diet of the king’s meat and wine for 10 days.  Only centuries later did the use of controlled experiments become standard practice for testing hypotheses.

“A scientist may be defined as one who utilizes the scientific method as a means of testing hypotheses. Scientists are also trained in research methodology. Daniel, therefore, can be classified as a scientist both by training and practice. In Chapter I of his book, Daniel gives the account of his use of classical experimental design—a technique to control variables that might bias a scientific research project—in order to acquire knowledge and test a hypothesis.” (Read more: Daniel and the Classic Experimental Design by James William Treece)