The term "Scientific Method" refers to a specific procedure for acquiring knowledge. It has been around since the 17th century.
Scientific Method consists of systematic observation and measurement, and the formulation, testing and modification of hypotheses.
The above is from a dictionary. The following are my personal conclusions from the above definition.
1. There is only one reality: that which is true.
2. If we THINK something is true, but it is not REALLY true, our thinking it is true doesn't make it "our" reality; it is simply something that is untrue. Remember that it was once thought "obvious" that the sun moved around the earth each day.
3. A good scientist must not allow himself to be unduly influenced by outside opinions, even if those opinions come from well known and well-respected people; even from other scientists. A good scientist will accept as fact - as truth, as reality - only things which are provable by observation, testing, measurement or by producing an unassailable formula. Even then, a good scientist would want to continue to question his conclusions.
4. When gathering information, a good scientist will ALWAYS be skeptical of the source of the information. He will ask himself, "What is the background of the person or institution who is presenting this information? Are they scientifically neutral, or do they have a personal position to defend, or an agenda to promote? Do they have anything to gain by putting out false information?"
Here are some examples of invalid sources, in my opinion.
1. In the days of widespread cigarette smoking, the tobacco industries were presenting "arguments" that smoking wasn't harmful to a smoker's health. No good scientist who was investigating the effects on the human body from smoking cigarettes would (or never should have) EVER given much weight to statements made by these obviously biased institutions and individuals. The same holds true for individuals and institutions who would obviously benefit from the reverse being true, whatever it was. Neutrality is needed for the truth to emerge.
2. In these days, much is being said about "Global Warming" or "Climate Change". A good scientist would NEVER give huge weight to statements made by oil companies or people who stand to benefit by keeping the status quo. The reverse is also true in this case as well: people who stand to realize some sort of financial or other non-altruistic benefit from proving there IS global warming, need to be suspect until their information is proven.
More to follow. I stop for the sake of brevity. I am only laying foundations today.
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