Sayings > Ideas > Standards > Science > Scientific Method
Scientific Method

  1. Observe
    • describe some Phenomena (some thing, activity, state, or process)
      • You see but you do not observe. -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
      • Inquiry is fatal to certainty. -- Will Durant
      • Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and think what nobody else has thought.
      • Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -- Carl Sagan
      • You can observe a lot by just watching. -- Yogi Berra
  2. Hypothesize
    • come up with an Explanation for the Phenomena
      • Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, 'But how can it be like that?' because you will get 'down the drain' into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that. -- Richard Feynman
      • Insofar as the laws of mathematics are certain, they do not refer to reality; and insofar as they refer to reality, they are not certain. -- Albert Einstein
      • In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded. -- big bang theory
  3. Predict
    • Guess at what might happen if the Explanation (Hypothesis) is true
      • Everything has been thought of before, but the problem is to think of it again. -- Goethe (?)
      • You see things; and you say, 'why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'why not' -- George Shaw
      • Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to make sense.
  4. Test
    • give the Guess (Prediction) a try by doing some verifying Experiments
      • The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny ...' -- Isaac Asimov
      • In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is a big difference -- Yogi Berra(?)
      • What passes for optimism is most often the effect of an intellectual error. -- Raymond Aron, The Opium of the Intellectuals
      • If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic. -- Lewis Carroll
      • See also: Baloney Detection (part 2)
  5. Repeat
    • start over at step #1 by Observing the results of the Experiments
      • Why Repeat? To take a quote slightly out of context: "Sometimes you get something useful from it, but, that's not why we're doing it." -- Feynman
      • A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery. -- James Joyce, Ulysses
        • He knows not how to know who knows not also how to unknow. -- Sir Richard Burton
        • Repeated often enough, the lie becomes accepted as truth. To which the meticulous scientist replies: bullshit.
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