The method that built science
Science is no easy enterprise unless the decay in the inquisitive mind of man takes the form of a lingering revulsion against one of humanity’s most productive disciplines.
The scientific method is by all means the cornerstone in the advancement of the major as well as the minor theories and derived knowledge in the scientific world.Dating back to decades in its progression, the utilization of the scientific method has led to a number of refinements in the established principles in the domains of science as well as the refinement in the scientific method itself.In effect, the mutual benefit gained from the application of the scientific method with regards to the analysis of numerous scientific cases and to the broad investigations that underline the basic precepts and consequent principles has placed an edge over the credibility of the science.
This is in contrast to the several other means that are apart from and exclusive to the scientific enterprise in obtaining vital as well as crude information with regards to the natural and physical realm.
Hence, in order for one to be able to effectively utilize the scientific method, a look into its parts and details is essentially contributive inasmuch as it is beneficial not only to the individual employing the method but also to the community in general.
The initial step in the scientific method is commonly identified as observation which refers to the use of the sensory perception or oftentimes with the aid of specific instruments in examining the phenomena contained within the physical or natural environment. After arriving at a description of an event or a set of events or objects, a tentative and educated explanation of the observed event then proceeds. This process is oftentimes referred to as the formulation of the hypothesis which provides a partial, unofficial and unverified elucidation on the observed phenomena.
With the hypothesis already in hand, what transpires next is the actual testing of the tentative explanation. This is done through the process of experimentation with all of the necessary material and equipments utilized in order to arrive at the resulting data. The resulting data after the experiment is then gathered and recorded so as to have a list of available information that will serve as the background for the hypothesis. Before arriving at any set of final conclusion with regards to the phenomena, an interpretation of the resulting data is necessary.
This step provides the crucial link that stands between the conclusion, oftentimes coming in the form of a generalization, and the data collected from the experiment. Further, the interpretation of the data can be done in several ways, largely depending upon the type of data gathered and the domain in science under which it falls. Generally, the interpretation of the data yields the necessary bases or sets of premises that will be generalized and placed in support of the conclusion.
With all the essential data already acquired as well as the interpretations of these sets of data from the variables provided in the experiment, a generalization of all these then follows. The conclusion serves as the pinnacle of the scientific method that started from mere observation of phenomena.
Not only does the conclusion fits as the highlight of the scientific method, it also serves as the fundamental verifying statement or statements for the hypothesis, thereby granting the formulated hypothesis either with a substantiated and authenticated merit or a falsifying remark. There, too, are instances wherein the hypothesis is left hanging by the conclusion as the latter oftentimes arrives at a differing point whereas the hypothesis remains inconclusive although experimentation has already been performed.
In general, the scientific method along with its intricate steps has provided an extra muscle for the scientific community to be able to better shape its scopes and foundations. Being able to understand the underlying steps in the scientific method is an essential and useful means in arriving at a more concrete exploration of numerous phenomena and the domains in which they fall under.
Kramer, S. P. (1987). How to Think Like a Scientist: Answering Questions by the Scientific Method. New York: HarperCollins.