Based on a recent conversation in another forum:
Once upon a time I too was a "top-down thinker," vainly imagining that if my philosophical and theological reasonings were sound, locked-up, air-tight, and "correct," then everything else "down below" would conveniently fall into place, eventually anyway since I did not have all the answers yet. "Common sense be damned!" The Biblical Inerrantist I once was would never countenance the possibility of formal contradictions in the Bible; any discrepancy I could not explain was merely "apparent." The Creationist I once was would never tolerate any interpretation of the empirical evidence that suggested evolution by natural selection, because, of course, that would not have been consistent with my understanding of God as Creator. But what if the Bible did contain discrepancies? And what if evolution by natural selection did occur? These were questions I was afraid to ask, because my top-down world, like Humpty Dumpty, might have "had a great fall." It is a menacing enterprise, at first, to retrain oneself to be a "bottom-up thinker." We suddenly discover that all of our "top-down" loyalties are on trial, and that is a frightening notion for those of us who have been conditioned to place absolute trust in the idols of our thinking.