What is the scientific method?

1 Answer
Oct 5, 2016

Observation: The sky turns red at evening.
Measurement: Shade of color change – progress with time.
Formulation of hypotheses: The angle of the sunlight through the atmosphere changes the perceived color.
Experiment: Observe light beams passing through different substances from different angles.


The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry is commonly based on empirical or measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.

The Oxford Dictionaries Online define the scientific method as "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

Two KEY points in this process are 1) The “Science” is never “settled”!! If you are not continuing to ask questions and accept inquiries from “opposing” viewpoints, you are NOT doing “science”! And 2) EVIDENCE and proof of hypotheses predicted before experimentation need to be demonstrated.

Thus, it is very important to recognize that while the Scientific Method – properly applied – is a very useful mechanism for physical discovery, it is NOT the only valid method of discussion, thought or debate on every subject. It cannot answer religious questions (and religion cannot answer scientific ones), and that is not its purpose. Used incorrectly, science, religion and philosophy all will result in nice-sounding but irrelevant conclusions.

Answers or solutions may not become evident quickly, if at all. The Scientific Method only gives us some assurance that we can accept the evidence that we do have, within its limitations. The touchstone of scientific theory is the validation of hypotheses about effects that have not yet been observed, as well as the explanation of previously observed phenomena. The experiments validating Einstein’s Theory of Relativity were unable to be done until 103 years after the theory’s publication!