Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Scientific Method Application and Examination

The process by which scientists, collectively and over time, endeavor to construct an accurate (that is, reliable, consistent and non-arbitrary) representation of the world is known as the scientific method.

We aim through the use of standard procedures and criteria to minimize those influences when developing a theory, recognizing that personal and cultural beliefs influence both our perceptions and our interpretations of natural phenomena. "Smart people (like smart lawyers) can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view" as a famous scientist once said. The scientific method attempts to minimize the influence of bias or prejudice in the experimenter when testing an hypothesis or a theory in summary.

The scientific method has four steps. The first is observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena. The second is formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. The hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation in physics. The third step involves use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments is the fourth and final step.

If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified. If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature (more on the concepts of hypothesis, model, theory and law below). the predictive power (the ability to get more out of the theory than you put in is what is key in the description of the scientific method just given is of the hypothesis or theory, as tested by experiment. It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. That a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory is always a possibility.

The scientific method can be applied in our daily lives. There circumstances in which the Scientific Method applicable and other circumstances when it is not applicable. While the scientific method is necessary in developing scientific knowledge, it is also useful in everyday problem-solving. One circumstance is when the telephone doesn’t work. The problem can be in the hand set, the cabling inside your house, the hookup outside, or in the workings of the phone company. The results might contradict your initial expectations and the process you might go through to solve this problem could involve scientific thinking.

You may question the range of situations (outside of science) in which the scientific method may be applied like any good scientist. we determine that the scientific method works best in situations where one can isolate the phenomenon of interest, by eliminating or accounting for extraneous factors, and where one can repeatedly test the system under study after making limited, controlled changes in it from what has been stated above.

Circumstances when one cannot isolate the phenomena or when one cannot repeat the measurement over and over again are also there. The results may depend in part on the history of a situation in such cases. This often occurs in social interactions between people. For example, when a lawyer makes arguments in front of a jury in court, she or he cannot try other approaches by repeating the trial over and over again in front of the same jury. In a new trial, the jury composition will be different. Even the same jury hearing a new set of arguments cannot be expected to forget what they heard before. The process of human inquiry that pervades the modern era on many levels, the scientific method is intricately associated with science. The scientific method has application in all fields of science, including biology.