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Scientific Method


									Scientific Method
             Origin / Context
• It is a method used to understand the world, not
  a mountain of „facts‟
• Science cannot provide certain (100%) proof –
  just the „best‟ working theories
• Science is from the Latin “scientia”, which
  means knowledge
• First developed by Francis Bacon 17th C
• It is a trial and error process
• Allows us to systematically examine the
  processes behind natural phenomena, and
  make predictions and laws regarding these.
                The Stages
1. Observation: „Finding‟ something in nature that
   you want to find answers to
2. Hypothesis: An educated guess as to what is
   going on in the observable phenomenon
3. Experiment: Controlled examination of evidence
   and testing of the hypothesis
4. Verification: Results from the experiment can
   help to reinforce the hypothesis, which can
   continue to be examined and verified by others,
   or proved to be false, in which case you start
   again. This process of trying to find fault with a
   theory to make sure it is more reliable is called
     Strengths and Weaknesses
1.   Scientific Method should be     1. It is NOT objective: scientists are
     rational, and examined in a        humans with ambitions,
     controlled and objective way       personalities, and who need to
     = trustworthy                      INTERPRET data
2.   Theories are continually        2. It will NEVER give us 100%
     tested and modified, so we         proof because it is a process of
     know they are the best they        INDUCTION.
     can be                          3. It can only tell us about the
3.   It provides us with a way of       processes behind events – it
     understanding our world and        cannot give us information on the
     predicting events – with this      reason behind why things are the
     we can progress in science         way they are.
     and technology                  4. It cannot talk about anything
                                        other than physical phenomena
                                        – issues of morality, philosophy
                                        and religion are outwith scientific

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