The Scientific Method Reading List: Seven Reads That WILL Change Your Life

This is a selection from my latest book, Spiritual Science, which is my life’s work and all of my scholarship wrapped up like a challah loaf. I’m posting draft chapters here if you’re curious!

Note: the below reading recommendations are among some of the most insightful works I have ever read, and relate in some important way to their corresponding step in the scientific method I have outlined below. You will also note that my definition of the steps is slightly different, and in my opinion, much more robust. Enjoy!

If you ask a scientist what the best thing about science is, and their answer is anything other than the scientific method, that answer had better be uniquely insightful and thought-provoking. Indeed, the rigorous kinds of examination developed by Western civilization and its influences have facilitated a slow grind towards truth, which in turn have afforded us many modern luxuries, unbelievable creative capacities, and a genuine chance at achieving technological utopia.

The scientific method can be summarized as follows:

  1. You are humble enough to be unsure about something and willing to investigate it
  2. You establish what is currently known about the topic
  3. You develop a hypothesis about what might be true
  4. You design an experiment to test your hypothesis fairly, rigorously, and creatively
  5. You execute the experiment and collect your data
  6. You impartially and honestly examine the data to draw conclusions
  7. You share your results with others for review and replication

[1] Peterson, J.B., “Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief” (Goodreads)

[2] Peterson, J.B., “Graduate Student Success Manual” (Imgur)

[3] Kelly, K., “The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future” (Goodreads)

[4] Alone, “The Difference Between An Amateur, A Scientist, And A Genius” (

[5] Lindstrom, M., “Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends” (Goodreads)

[6] Descartes, R., “Discourse on the Method” (Goodreads)

[7] Wilson, E.O., “Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge” (Goodreads)