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 reasoning — Retrodiction
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
The problem of induction questions the logical basis of scientific statements.
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?
- Indic civilization
- Islamic civilization
- America, North / South
Relationship to techology
Technology is subordinate to Science; Scientific discovery rests on technology.
physical law -- Science policy -- Scientific Revolution -- Sociology of knowledge -- Science studies -- Conflicting theories
Last updated: 05-23-2005 05:49:16