Scientific Learning Method

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A Scientific Learning Method is an empirical scholarly learning method (to solve a scientific learning task) which requires scientific evidence.



References

2020

  • (Wikipedia, 2020) ⇒ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/scientific_method Retrieved:2020-8-24.
    • The scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions can distort how one interprets the observation. It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; experimental and measurement-based testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings. These are principles of the scientific method, as distinguished from a definitive series of steps applicable to all scientific enterprises. Though diverse models for the scientific method are available, there is in general 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. The most conclusive testing of hypotheses comes from reasoning based on carefully controlled experimental data. Depending on how well additional tests match the predictions, the original hypothesis may require refinement, alteration, expansion or even rejection. If a particular hypothesis becomes very well supported, a general theory may be developed.[1] Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, they are frequently the same from one to another. The process of the scientific method involves making conjectures (hypotheses), deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments or empirical observations based on those predictions.[2] [3] A hypothesis is a conjecture, based on knowledge obtained while seeking answers to the question. The hypothesis might be very specific, or it might be broad. Scientists then test hypotheses by conducting experiments or studies. A scientific hypothesis must be falsifiable, implying that it is possible to identify a possible outcome of an experiment or observation that conflicts with predictions deduced from the hypothesis; otherwise, the hypothesis cannot be meaningfully tested. The purpose of an experiment is to determine whether observations agree with or conflict with the predictions derived from a hypothesis.[4] Experiments can take place anywhere from a garage to CERN's Large Hadron Collider. There are difficulties in a formulaic statement of method, however. Though the scientific method is often presented as a fixed sequence of steps, it represents rather a set of general principles. Not all steps take place in every scientific inquiry (nor to the same degree), and they are not always in the same order.


2016

  • James Blahowicz. (2016). “There Is No Scientific Method.” In: The New York Times - The Stone, JULY 4, 2016
    • QUOTE: ... I was immediately struck by the similarities between his editing process and those associated with scientific investigation and began to wonder whether there was such a thing as a scientific method. Maybe the method on which science relies exists wherever we find systematic investigation. In saying there is no scientific method, what I mean, more precisely, is that there is no distinctly scientific method. ... If scientific method is only one form of a general method employed in all human inquiry, how is it that the results of science are more reliable than what is provided by these other forms? I think the answer is that science deals with highly quantified variables and that it is the precision of its results that supplies this reliability. But make no mistake: Quantified precision is not to be confused with a superior method of thinking. ...

      ... I am not a practicing scientist. So who am I to criticize scientists’ understanding of their method? I would turn this question around. Scientific method is not itself an object of study for scientists, but it is an object of study for philosophers of science. It is not scientists who are trained specifically to provide analyses of scientific method. ...

      ... The fact that scientists skillfully practice a “method” doesn’t mean that they can articulate what that method is. The fact that I can skillfully speak English doesn’t mean I know its grammar. Artists do what they do. Art critics and theorists, who may themselves have little talent for art, may nevertheless have talent for understanding what artists do. Scientists investigate natural phenomena like galaxy formation and immune system dysfunction: but, in most cases, they do not investigate the logical method they employ in that investigation. Philosophers of science are among those who do. ...

      ... One last point: Many of those who have simply dismissed philosophy (and poetry and other nonscientific areas of inquiry and expression), including some prominent scientists, have done so without displaying any evidence that they’ve ever worked through what they’re criticizing. Scientists often react strongly when their work is criticized by those who know very little about science, often with good cause. This is a two-way street. It does not seem wise for those who are unwilling or unable to work through challenging philosophical theories (including theories of scientific method) to simply dismiss them all. Where’s the objectivity in that?

2015

  • http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/science-isnt-broken/
    • QUOTE: The scientific method is the most rigorous path to knowledge, but it’s also messy and tough. Science deserves respect exactly because it is difficult — not because it gets everything correct on the first try. The uncertainty inherent in science doesn’t mean that we can’t use it to make important policies or decisions. It just means that we should remain cautious and adopt a mindset that’s open to changing course if new data arises. We should make the best decisions we can with the current evidence and take care not to lose sight of its strength and degree of certainty. It’s no accident that every good paper includes the phrase “more study is needed” — there is always more to learn.

2012


  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method
    • QUOTE: Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.[5] To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[6] The Oxford English Dictionary says that 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."[7]

      The chief characteristic which distinguishes a scientific method of inquiry 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, 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.

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  3. See, for example, . His thought experiments disprove Aristotle's physics of falling bodies, in Two New Sciences.
  4. Karl R. Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, Routledge, 2003
  5. Template:Harvnb
  6. "[4] Rules for the study of natural philosophy", Template:Harvnb, from Book 3, The System of the World.
  7. Oxford English Dictionary - entry for scientific.

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