Charles Johnson sent a comment below and I thought I shoud include my response here:
“This page is a work in progess and not completly filled in. I am preparing a very short explanation about the scientific method for those who have not taken many or any college science courses where they would be using this basic information in a K-12 setting. I could see on people’s faces that my explanation was not clear, wo I will get this completed today or tomorrow and paste it at this location. I will also discuss it in class and with any student who is still unclear. Ben Steins movie Expelled goes into detail explaining this is a way everyone can understand, but I want to make certain everyone understands. Good understanding promotes good writing. Thanks for your message. Jan Kollitz”
Outline of scientific method
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to scientific method:
Scientific method – body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. It is based on observable, empirical, reproducible, measurable evidence, and subject to the laws of reasoning.
1 Nature of scientific method
2 Elements of scientific method
3 History of scientific method
3.2 What made the scientific method succeed?
3.3 Why didn’t the scientific method arise elsewhere?
4 Scientific method concepts
4.1 Empirical methods
4.2 Paradigm change
4.3 Problem of induction
4.4 Scientific creativity
4.5 When method goes wrong
4.6 Critique of scientific method
4.7 Use of statistics
4.8 Relationship of scientific method to technology
4.9 Departures from method
5 Persons influential in the development of scientific method
6 See also
7 External links
Nature of scientific method
Three models of theory change.png
In the Middle Ages
In the Renaissance
Main article: Scientific method
Philosophy of science
Sociology of knowledge
Elements of scientific method
Main article: Research
Main article: Observation
Solar time vs Sidereal time
Mass vs Weight
Main article: Hypothesis
Use Occam’s razor to prune the list of hypothetical explanations of the observation.
pro:Karl Popper Falsifiability
Statistical hypothesis testing
Prediction – logical inference from a hypothesis
Bayesian inference – subjective use of statistical reasoning
Main article: Experiment
Feynman: “We can do anything we want (in theorizing). Then all we have to do is check with the experiment.”
Design of experiments
Self-experimentation in medicine
Test of the inference: prediction and experimentation to establish new facts. Critical examination of the hypothetical explanation:
Peer review by community of scholars, using logic, etc. The wave–particle duality overturned by photoelectric effect.
Peer review unused for cold fusion also the Analysis of the Experiment.
Medical peer review
History of scientific method
History of science
Frontispiece of the “Rudolphine Tables” published by Johannes Kepler in 1627
Theories and sociology
Romanticism in science
Symbol list class.svg Timelines
Folder Hexagonal Icon.svg Category
Main articles: History of scientific method, Timeline of the history of scientific method, and History of science
Ibn al-Haytham’s Book of Optics
Avicenna’s The Canon of Medicine
Roger Bacon’s Opus Majus
Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum
What made the scientific method succeed?
Economic factors, such as the technological advances produced by scientists
Effectiveness of the scientific method at producing new knowledge
Rediscovery of knowledge from ancient Greek, Arabic and other texts by Europeans, such as during the medieval Latin translation movement and later from the Byzantine Empire after the Fall of Constantinople
Invention of the printing press facilitated knowledge sharing
Protection of the community of scientists who fostered the discoveries
The Protestant Reformation led to secular communities of scholars
Britain was an island nation which enjoyed a long period without invasion or major social upheaval
The American Revolution challenged the existing social order (absolutist monarchies, divine right of kings)
Why didn’t the scientific method arise elsewhere?
Scientific method concepts
Main article: Empirical methods
Paradigm, the most unpopular word in English.
Thomas Samuel Kuhn started a new paradigm by telling us about paradigms.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is Kuhn’s book.
Problem of induction
The problem of induction questions the logical basis of scientific statements.
Inductive reasoning appears to lie at the core of scientific method, yet also appears to be invalid.
David Hume was the person who first pointed out the problem of induction.
Karl Popper offered one solution, Falsifiability
Linus Pauling “How do I do it? I have a lot of ideas, and throw out the bad ones”.
Isaac Newton’s moon and apple.
Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz’s benzene-ring.
When method goes wrong
Critique of scientific method
Paul Feyerabend argued that the search for a definitive scientific method was misplaced, and even counterproductive.
Imre Lakatos attempted to bridge the gap between Popper and Kuhn.
Sociology of scientific knowledge
Use of statistics
Uncomfortable science, due to statistician John Tukey: Inference from a limited sample of data, where further samples influenced by the same causality, a finite natural phenomenon for which it is difficult to overcome the problem of using a common sample of data for both exploratory data analysis and confirmatory data analysis. Statistical bias through testing hypotheses suggested by the data. Prediction interval.
Relationship of scientific method to technology
Technology is subordinate to Science; Scientific discovery rests on technology.
Science and technology studies
Theories of technology
Departures from method
Persons influential in the development of scientific method
Charles Sanders Peirce
Philosophy of mathematics
Post-processual archaeology is a methodological curiosity from Archaeology.
Sociology of knowledge