Renaissance of science and scientific methodology…..Science can be defined simply as a system of accumulating knowledge that uses observation and experimentation to describe natural phenomena. It is an accumulated body of knowledge that humanity has gained over the years using that system. In short, science refers to any systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from it.
This definition means that the purpose of science is to develop general laws that explain how the world around us works and why things happen the way they do. How do we accomplish such a feat? That’s where the “accumulation and classification of observable facts” comes in. The practice of science involves experimentation and observation. Scientists observe the world around them and collect facts. They also design experiments that alter the circumstances they are observing, which in turn leads to the collection of more facts. These facts might eventually allow scientists to learn enough about the world around them so they can develop ideas that help us understand how the natural world works.
The problem of saying what is scientific and what is not is called the demarcation problem. Some people have claimed scientific status for beliefs and practices, such as those of astrology and creationism (the doctrine that God created the Earth a few thousand years ago). If there is anything of which science consists, it is a method or set of methods. Therefore, the study of scientific method (known as methodology of science) is at the centre of the philosophy of science.
It is usual to divide the sciences into two types, namely the natural sciences and the social sciences. Natural sciences have as their object of study the natural world and include physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology and biology; while social sciences study specifically human or social world and include psychology, sociology, anthropology and economics. The philosophical questions they raise are often quite different from those raised by the natural sciences. For the purposes of this course, the philosophy of science is the philosophy of natural science.
Renaissance of science and scientific methodology.
What distinguishes science from other forms of knowledge is its method. In science the mode of generating knowledge is referred to as the scientific method, and it is the logical and rational order of steps by which scientists come to conclusions about the world around them is referred to as the scientific method. The scientific method helps to organize thoughts and procedures so that scientists can be confident in the conclusions they reach. In this section, the focus will be to discuss the nature of the scientific method beginning with the origins of modern science in the search for a new method of inquiry to replace reliance on the authority of the Church and the pronouncements of the ancients. Our goal will be to determine whether we should believe in what science tells us or be sceptic about them.
The scientific method has four main stages. These are
- Turn that observation into hypothesis,
- Test that hypothesis with experiment,
- Draw a conclusion from that experiment about the
The first step is by observation. This is the only acceptable method of learning about a natural law and it is achieved by taking measurements (that is, gathering data). Continuous observation leads to the formulation of hypothesis.
This is the stage whereby hypothesis is formed for explanation of phenomenon. A scientific hypothesis is an idea or proposition that can be tested by observations or experiments, about the natural world. In order to be considered scientific, hypotheses are subject to scientific evaluation and must be falsifiable, which means that they are worded in such a way that they can be proven to be incorrect.
In this stage, several experiments or tests by various groups of independent researchers to prove or disprove the predictions of the hypothesis. In scientific research, it is important to know that we do not set out to ‘prove’ a hypothesis, we only test it. Not only is this more intellectually honest, but it is essential in deciding whether it is correct or not.
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