Scientific method

"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right;
A single experiment can prove me wrong."

- Einstein

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:

Science is not "things." It is a way of thinking. Classical Scientific Method is simply a method for objectively applying logic to the solution of problems.

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.

R.N. Rogers

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.

from the Graham Kendall's external link G.L.K file collectionexternal link mirror

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.}

Science index page
Science index page

images not loading? | broken links? | suggestions? | criticism?
contact me

page history

page modified 28 March 2000