The scientific method (or simply scientific method) is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. The Oxford English Dictionary says that the scientific method is: "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."
The chief characteristic which distinguishes the scientific method from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, supporting a theory when a theory's predictions are confirmed and challenging a theory when its predictions prove false. Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methods of obtaining knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses via predictions which can be derived from them. These steps must be repeatable, to guard against mistake or confusion in any particular experimenter. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many independently derived hypotheses together in a coherent, supportive structure. Theories, in turn, may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.
Scientific inquiry is generally intended to be as objective as possible in order to reduce biased interpretations of results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, giving them the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established (when data is sampled or compared to chance).
Read more about Scientific Method: Overview, Scientific Inquiry, Elements of The Scientific Method, Communication and Community, Philosophy and Sociology of Science, History, Relationship With Mathematics
Other articles related to "scientific method, scientific, method, methods":
... This led to an early scientific method being developed in the Muslim world, where significant progress in methodology was made, beginning with the experiments of Ibn al-Hayth ... The most important development of the scientific method was the use of experiments to distinguish between competing scientific theories set within a generally empirical ... have also described Ibn al-Haytham as the "first scientist" for his development of the modern scientific method ...
... Mathematical work and scientific work can inspire each other ... solving, the construction of mathematical proofs, and heuristic show that the mathematical method and the scientific method differ in detail, while nevertheless resembling each other ...
... The hypothetico-deductive model or method, first so-named by William Whewell, is a proposed description of scientific method ... According to it, scientific inquiry proceeds by formulating a hypothesis in a form that could conceivably be falsified by a test on observable data ... One example of an algorithmic statement of the hypothetico-deductive method is as follows 1 ...
... These recovered mathematical methods were later enhanced and developed by other Islamic scholars, notably by Persian scientists Al-Biruni and Abu Nasr ... Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) developed an early scientific method in his Book of Optics (1021) ... The most important development of the scientific method was the use of experiments to distinguish between competing scientific theories set within a generally empirical ...
... causality generates various related/conflicting disciplines and approaches in scientific thinking ... laws that remain constant and are static and empirical in scientific method, while a worldview of determinism generates disciplines that are governed with generative systems and ... They view the scientific method as the most reliable model for building an understanding of the world ...
Famous quotes related to scientific method:
“The most passionate, consistent, extreme and implacable enemy of the Enlightenment and ... all forms of rationalism ... was Johann Georg Hamann. His influence, direct and indirect, upon the romantic revolt against universalism and scientific method ... was considerable and perhaps crucial.”
—Isaiah Berlin (b. 1909)
“Scientific method is the way to truth, but it affords, even in
principle, no unique definition of truth. Any so-called pragmatic
definition of truth is doomed to failure equally.”
—Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)
“Traditional scientific method has always been at the very best 20-20 hindsight. Its good for seeing where youve been. Its good for testing the truth of what you think you know, but it cant tell you where you ought to go.”
—Robert M. Pirsig (b. 1928)