The Scientific Method is a Set of Techniques Used by the Scientific Community to Investigate Natural Phenomena by Providing an Objective Framework in Which to Make Scientific Inquiry and Analyze the Data t | Argument | Scientific Method

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The scientific method is a set of techniques used by the scientific community to investigate natural phenomena by providing an objective framework in which to make scientific inquiry and analyze the data to reach a conclusion about that inquiry. Steps of the Scientific Method The goals of the scientific method are uniform, but the method itself is not necessarily formalized among all branches of science. It is most generally expressed as a series of discrete steps, although the exact number and
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  The scientific method is a set of techniques used by the scientific community toinvestigate natural phenomena by providing an objective framework in which tomake scientific inquiry and analyze the data to reach a conclusion about thatinquiry. Steps of the Scientific Method The goals of the scientific method are uniform, but the method itself is notnecessarily formalized among all branches of science. It is most generallyexpressed as a series of discrete steps, although the exact number and nature of the steps varies depending upon the source. The scientific method is not arecipe, but rather an ongoing cycle that is meant to be applied with intelligence,imagination, and creativity. Frequently, some of these steps will take placesimultaneously, in a different order, or be repeated as the experiment is refined,but this is the most general and intuitive sequence: 1. Ask a question – determine a natural phenomenon (or group of phenomena) that you are curious about and would like to explain or learn more about, then ask a specific question to focus your inquiry. 2. Research the topic – this step involves learning as much aboutthe phenomenon as you can, including by studying the previousstudies of others in the area. 3. Formulate a hypothesis  – using the knowledge you have gained,formulate a hypothesis about a cause or effect of the phenomenon, or the relationship of the phenomenon to some other phenomenon. 4. Test the hypothesis  – plan and carry out a procedure for testingthe hypothesis (an experiment) by gathering data. 5. Analyze the data – use proper mathematical analysis to see if theresults of the experiment support or refute the hypothesis.If the data does not support the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified andre-tested. Frequently, the results of the experiment are compiled in the form of a  lab report (for typical classroom work) or a paper (in the case of publishableacademic research). It is also common for the results of the experiment toprovide an opportunity for more questions about the same phenomenon or related phenomena, which begins the process of inquiry over again with a newquestion. Key Elements of the Scientific Method The goal of the scientific method is to get results that accurately represent thephysical processes taking place in the phenomenon. To that end, it emphasizesa number of traits to insure that the results it gets are valid to the natural world. ã objective – the scientific method intends to remove personal and culturalbiases by focusing on objective testing procedures. ã consistent – the laws of reasoning should be used to make hypothesesthat are consistent with broader, currently known scientific laws; even inrare cases where the hypothesis is that one of the broader laws isincorrect or incomplete, the hypothesis should be composed to challengeonly one such law at a time. ã observable – the hypothesis presented should allow for experiments withobservable and measurable results. ã pertinent – all steps of the process should be focused on describing andexplaining observed phenomena. ã parsimonious – only a limited number of assumptions and hypotheticalentities should be proposed in a given theory, as stated inOccam's Razor .  ã falsifiable – the hypothesis should be something which can be provenincorrect by observable data within the experiment, or else the experimentis not useful in supporting the hypothesis. (This aspect was mostprominently illuminated by the philosopher of science Karl Popper.) ã reproducible – the test should be able to be reproduced by other observers with trials that extend indefinitely into the future.  It is useful to keep these traits in mind whendeveloping a hypothesisandtesting procedure.   Conclusion Hopefully this introduction to the scientific method has provided you with an ideaof the significant effort that scientists go to in order to make sure their work is freefrom bias, inconsistencies, and unnecessary complications, as well as theparamount feat of creating a theoretical structure that accurately describes thenatural world. When doing your own work in physics, it is useful to reflectregularly on the ways in which that work exemplifies the principles of thescientific method.http://physics.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/a/scimethod.htm   According to traditional logic, arguments can be either inductive or deductive.Sometimes, it is difficult to determine which category an argument might be in.However, there are some key concepts that give clues as to which type theargument is. Generally speaking, deductive arguments are ones wherein theconclusion validly follows from the premises. The most important form of adeductive argument is that of the syllogism.In deductive argumentation, the conclusion is a proposition that follows fromother propositions. This means that the conclusion is supported by the other propositions, called premises. It is incorrect to suggest, however, that thissupport is weak. Rather, the conclusion must be affirmed if the premises are true;it is impossible for the premises to be true and for the conclusion to be false. Thepurpose of the premises is to establish the truth of the conclusion.For example:All humans are mortal.John Smith is human.Therefore, John Smith is moral.This example is a simple valid deductive argument because the conclusion isnecessarily drawn from the premises. If the truth of the premises is admitted,then the conclusion must also be admitted as true.Some statements that look like the above example are not necessarily validdeductive arguments. Valid ones follow certain rules of reasoning.For example:Some dogs are ill-behaved.All dogs are animals.Therefore, all animals are ill-behaved.
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