Tuesday, June 17, 2008

10 - The Scientific Method Made Easy by Potholer54

Brilliant 10 minute introduction to The Scientific Method.
  • Galileo - how do objects fall?
  • Aristotle - discussion and logic
  • The Ten Commandments (or Golden Rules) of the Scientific Method
  1. Thou shalt base thy conclusion on evidence
    • cf. Courts of Law
  2. Thou shalt measure objectively, not guess subjectively
  3. Thou shalt back up they statements with evidence
    • claiming a fact doesn't make it a fact
  4. Thou shalt use large sample numbers
  5. Thy tests shalt be blind
  6. Thy tests shalt have controls
  7. Thou shalt cite thy sources of information
  8. Thy sources of information must be reliable, verifiable and backed by evidence.
  9. Opinion is not fact
  10. Thou shalt not bear false witness (don't cheat)

The Scientific Procedure (Scientific Method)
  1. Problem
  2. Hypothesis
    • hunch about the solution to a problem
  3. Prediction
    • what should happen to this natural phenomenum under certain circumstances
  4. Test
    • experiment
    • measurement
    • test hypothesis
    • follow 10 Golden Rules of the Scientific Method
    • if prediction is correct - submit for publication
  5. Peer Review
    • collegues (peers) review her paper - does it follow The Scientific Method?
  6. Publication
  7. Replication
    • other experimenters will try to replicate results
    • are experiments and observations repeatable?
  8. Falsification
    • a hypothesis has to be falsifiable otherwise it cannot be tested
  9. Theory
    • cannot say a theory has been proved
      • proof is a mathematical concept
    • consistent with observable evidence
      • cf Cartography - maps
      • mistakes are always eventually corrected
        • bad science over time is always found out
    • good science actually works
      • children are taught science that is supported by testing, verification and supported by evidence
Are scientists biased and presuppose evolution and an ancient universe?
  • cf. is radioactive decay presuppsed?
  • early scientists assumed that biblical theories were correct - evidence showed that these theories were not correct
Are scientists not looking for evidence of creation or the flood?
  • many Christian & Muslim scientists - none have found evidence for a deity
Do scientists only accept the natural not the supernatural?
  • science starts with something that happens then works out why it happened.
    • cf. fairy rings, rainbow
      • thought to be supernatural - now known to be natural


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