The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






List of topics (scientific method)


The scientific method

Roger Bacon -- thirteenth century --Francis Bacon's New Organon

interpretations of the scientific method -- science -- philosophy of science-- history of science -- sociology of knowledge -- process --knowledge


-- methods -- causation -- investigation --

measurement -- solar day vs sidereal day. mass vs weight


Use Occam's Razor to prune the list of hypothetical explanations of the observation.-- pro:Karl Popper Falsifiability -- con:Paul Feyerabend -- statistical hypothesis testing


A prediction is a logical inference from the hypothesis — Bayesian inference is subjective use of statistical reasoning — Deductive reasoningRetrodiction


Feynman: "We can do anything we want (in theorizing). Then all we have to do is check with the experiment." Design of experiments -- placebo effect --


Test of the inference: prediction and experimentation to establish new facts. Critical examination of the hypothetical explantion: peer review by community of scholars, using Logic etc. The wave theory of light overturned by photoelectric effect. Peer review unused for cold fusion.

Departures from method

Michael Polanyi elegant beautiful Occam's Razor.

Ptolemaic system Nicolaus Copernicus Tycho Brahe Kepler Isaac Newton Galileo model

Annotated list of related issues

Empirical methods

Paradigm change

The problem of induction questions the logical basis of scientific statements.

Scientific creativity

When method goes wrong

Critique of scientific method

Use of statistics

What made the scientific method succeed?

  • Political factors
  • Economic factors
  • Other factors
    • Protection of the community of scientists who fostered the discoveries
      • The reformation, seizure of the orders led to secular communities of scholars
      • Britain was an island nation

Why didn't the scientific method arise elsewhere?

  • Greece
  • Indic civilization
  • Islamic civilization
  • China
  • Africa
  • America, North / South

Relationship to techology

Technology is subordinate to Science; Scientific discovery rests on technology.

See also


physical law -- Science policy -- Scientific Revolution -- Sociology of knowledge -- Science studies -- Conflicting theories

Last updated: 05-23-2005 05:49:16