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Jump to navigation Jump to search “Scientific research” redirects here. For the publisher, see Scientific Research Publishing. For a broader coverage of this topic, see Research. Model of DNA with David Deutsch, proponent of invariant scientific explanations. The scientific method is an empirical method of knowledge acquisition which has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. Though there are diverse models for the scientific method available, in general there is a continuous process that includes observations about the natural world.
People are naturally inquisitive, so they often come up with questions about things they see or hear, and they often develop ideas or hypotheses about why things are the way they are. The best hypotheses lead to predictions that can be tested in various ways. Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, they are frequently the same from one to another. The purpose of an experiment is to determine whether observations agree with or conflict with the predictions derived from a hypothesis. Experiments can take place anywhere from a garage to CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. As regards his method, Aristotle is recognized as the inventor of scientific method because of his refined analysis of logical implications contained in demonstrative discourse, which goes well beyond natural logic and does not owe anything to the ones who philosophized before him.
A polymath, considered by some to be the father of modern scientific methodology, due to his emphasis on experimental data and reproducibility of its results. Kepler shows his keen logical sense in detailing the whole process by which he finally arrived at the true orbit. This is the greatest piece of Retroductive reasoning ever performed. According to Albert Einstein, “All knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it. Propositions arrived at by purely logical means are completely empty as regards reality.
The term “scientific method” did not come into wide use until the 19th century, when other modern scientific terminologies began to emerge such as “scientist” and “pseudoscience” and significant transformation of science was taking place. The term “scientific method” came to be used prominently in the twentieth century, with no scientific authorities over its meaning despite it popping up in textbooks and dictionaries. The DNA example below is a synopsis of this method. The scientific method is the process by which science is carried out.
The ubiquitous element in the model of the scientific method is empiricism, or more precisely, epistemologic sensualism. This is in opposition to stringent forms of rationalism: the scientific method embodies that reason alone cannot solve a particular scientific problem. The question can refer to the explanation of a specific observation, as in “Why is the sky blue? How can I design a drug to cure this particular disease? This stage frequently involves finding and evaluating evidence from previous experiments, personal scientific observations or assertions, as well as the work of other scientists.
A hypothesis is a conjecture, based on knowledge obtained while formulating the question, that may explain any given behavior. This step involves determining the logical consequences of the hypothesis. One or more predictions are then selected for further testing. This is an investigation of whether the real world behaves as predicted by the hypothesis.
The purpose of an experiment is to determine whether observations of the real world agree with or conflict with the predictions derived from a hypothesis. This involves determining what the results of the experiment show and deciding on the next actions to take. The predictions of the hypothesis are compared to those of the null hypothesis, to determine which is better able to explain the data. In cases where an experiment is repeated many times, a statistical analysis such as a chi-squared test may be required. Hypothesis: Linus Pauling, Francis Crick and James D. Watson hypothesized that DNA had a helical structure.
Prediction: If DNA had a helical structure, its X-ray diffraction pattern would be X-shaped. Experiment: Rosalind Franklin crystallized pure DNA and performed X-ray diffraction to produce photo 51. Analysis: When Watson saw the detailed diffraction pattern, he immediately recognized it as a helix. The discovery became the starting point for many further studies involving the genetic material, such as the field of molecular genetics, and it was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962. Each step of the example is examined in more detail later in the article.