The Scientific Method

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A Troubled Man
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:24 am

The Scientific Method

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Post by A Troubled Man »

The scientific method is the process by which scientists, collectively and over time, endeavor to construct an accurate, reliable, consistent and non-arbitrary representation of the world.

Recognizing that personal and cultural beliefs influence both our perceptions and our interpretations of natural phenomena, we aim through the use of standard procedures and criteria to minimize those influences when developing a theory.

The scientific method has four steps:

1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.

3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.

4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

The expectation for formulating a hypothesis is to follow these steps accordingly, although the last step, performing experiments may very well be the most difficult and impractical, although many theories have a number of alternatives to validate or falsify them.

For example, the speed of light can be measured using a microwave oven.

Please remember, falsifiability is tantamount for a hypothesis to be credible.

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