"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right;
A single experiment can prove me wrong."
In science a fact is a public persistent observation, a set of such observations, or a inference from such observations. A theory is a public parsimonious predictive model that explains the facts. Theories are never proven, they are validated, tentatively.
THEORY A statement that:
1) The problem must be stated in clear terms, and obscure words must be defined clearly. The goal sought must also be stated clearly.
2) Everything known about the problem must be studied, and all references must be acknowledged. There must be no "hidden facts," and it is not clever to "blindside" the opposition. Carefully planned observations should be made. Different methods of observation should be made when possible, and results must be checked for internal consistency and agreement with reported results
All observations must be taken seriously, until some justifiable and clearly stated reason can be found to eliminate any.
3) A "brainstorming" session, preferably with other workers familiar with the problem, should try to develop as many potential explanations (hypotheses) as possible (Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses), All hypotheses must be clearly stated. And
4), all of the hypotheses must be tested equally against the same, complete list of observations and facts. Testing may often involve making predictions on the basis of the hypotheses and testing the predictions by experiment. The Principle of Parsimony (Occam's Razor) states that the hypothesis that includes the largest number of facts and observations will be closest to the truth. Hypotheses that do not accept many facts without "special pleading" should be discarded.
Here are the five axioms or assumptions that must be made for the scientific method to function reliably. These assumptions are unprovable via the scientific method.
Scientific method can only comprehend physical reality, lacking as it does and denying the benefit of psychic intuition and gnosis that enables perception of other (non-physical) worlds and cycles of existence. Yet as far
as the physical universe goes, it provides the most comprehensive and accurate picture the human mind has been able to devise, in fact quite probably the most accurate picture the human mind can devise. (and granted there are meta-human states - e.g. post-Singularity Powers or Supramentalised beings - who can without doubt arrive at a far better picture of the physical universe, but I am talking here about the human mind.}
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page historypage modified 28 March 2000