A ramble on the scientific method

Scientific ideas are out there to be attacked by scientists. If a theory survives an attack it lives to fight another day, if not it is either thrown onto the pile of rejected ideas (phlogiston) or it is used although it is kown to be incomplete (Newtonian mechanics is known to be wrong, however it agrees with relativistic mechanics so closely for 'everyday' situations that it used regularly as the mathematics is simpler). It is also possible to alter the theory so that it survives the attack.

These attacks need to be scientific attacks (i.e. they require empirical evidence). Attacks from revealed sources such as the bible are totally unacceptable. The process of attacking an idea is to develop an experiment that will either prove the theory wrong, or let it survive to be attacked by another experiment.

It is not possible to prove a scientific idea, but scientists have a lot of confidence in ideas that have withstood a large number of attacks.


crabsallover said...

thanks for your comments on scientific method. My own blog also has some examples:
HASSERS http://hassers.blogspot.com/search/label/Scientific%20Method

and i contribute to BHA Science: http://bhascience.blogspot.com/search/label/scientific%20method

crabsallover said...

Stephen Fry says 'reason is akin to superstition.. reason must be tested, testing is the very basis of science.'