Intro: Learn how to conduct the real scientific method. The scientific method is a tool employed by the scientific community to make discoveries and produce knowledge about the universe. The scientific method separates science from faith based attempts to produce real knowledge which many people attempt to advertise as scientific. To understand real science people must learn how the scientific method works, how scientists work, and why science is sometimes superior to other faith based alternatives.
The scientific method combines the interdependent relationship of inductive and deductive reasoning to feed the scientific process. Inductive reasoning includes the taking of data from human senses to produce general statements about the universe. For example, when people discovered that cold weather can freeze their physical bodies, they conclude that it is too cold to walk around naked outside. However, deductive reasoning involves people taking general principles about the universe to deduce and predict what may occur in nature. Therefore, since the scientific method involves inductive and deductive reasoning, this article shows readers why the scientific method requires a cognitive process involving observation, hypothesis, experimentation, and theory.
Step 1: Make Observations. The scientific method begins with general or technical observations. For example, when you ask questions about your observations, (such as who, what, when, where, why, and how), you have begun the scientific method because observation include description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena. Bear in mind, if you don’t have the scientific research tools, then using the scientific method may not surrender the needed answers to your questions. Additionally, your observations and questions must be based upon what you can measure with by using numbers and other means.
Step 2: Formulate a hypothesis. The scientific method requires that you formulate a scientific hypothesis for explanation of your observations of the phenomena. For example, if you are a physicist, your hypothesis often takes the form of mathematical relationships and causal mechanisms. If you are a chemist, your hypothesis may be based on chemical reactions. And, if you’re a biologist, your hypothesis may be related to natural selection and genetic mutations.
Step 3: Conduct many scientific experiments. The scientific method necessitates the execution of carefully controlled experiment because your experiment determines whether your hypothesis is true or false. It is imperative that your experiment be totally unbiased because an unfair test produces the results you want without revealing the true results of your research. Conduct a reasonable experiment by changing only one aspect of your experiment at a time while keeping all other factors the same. Make a careful analysis and assessments before, during, and after your experiment. Repeat the same experiment several times because the results from your first experiment may have produce false answers. Your experiment should be repeated by other researchers elsewhere in the scientific community where their conclusions should be similar to your original experiment. If the results of your experiment are similar elsewhere, then your scientific hypothesis has evolved into a scientific theory.
Step 4: Formulate a scientific theory. The scientific method concludes with the establishment of a scientific theory. A scientific theory is always based on observation, experimentation, and well researched scientific data, but never assumptions or beliefs. When new data arrives in the scientific community, your theory could be confirmed or discredited because scientific data is part of the scientific method, which is employed to correct or confirm theories in the scientific community. The scientific method is both rigid and flexible because it seeks the truth by making clear distinctions between hypothesis and theory. The difference between a scientific hypothesis and scientific theory is simple. For example, a scientific hypothesis is an educated guess based on your past experiences, while a theory is your explanation based upon the weight of well researched scientific data.
Related Scources: http://www.ideacenter.org/; http://www.sciencemag.com/ http://www.reasonstobelieve.org/;http://www.godandscience.com/; evolution by Leslie Alan HorvitzLife Science by Lesley A. Du Temple;Oxford Concise Science Dictionary; The Penguin Dictionary of Science.