Steps in the Scientific Method
Our best starting point is what has worked before. So we can study the history of modern science, going back to Galileo, and look at the techniques that have consistently produced scientific progress.
- Choose a subject, and make accurate observations it.
- Form a hypothesis that may explain the observations.
- Test the hypothesis by experiment, using accurate and relevant measurements, logic and, if needed, math as well, to determine if the hypothesis is contradicted.
- Revise the hypothesis and the experiment, if contradicted.
- Make an accurate record of the experiment and the evaluation, and publish them.
- Get 2 or more unaffiliated parties to replicate a successful experiment or debate it sociocratically.
- A proper debate involves two or more competent parties listing all of the known observational data categories about the subject matter and coming to agreement about all main probable facts.
- Since there are reports available from many experiments, debating theories to explain data from experiments may be our most useful involvement.
- Sociocratic process may be about the best for scientific debating.
- This involves a proponent of a theory stating all of the essential statements of the theory.
- Non-proponents propose modifications of any statements that seem to need it.
- The proponent accepts each modification, or proposes further modification.
- Either party may ask for an explanation for each modification or may offer an explanation with each proposed modification.
- Publish the hypothesis as a probable fact and a scientific discovery, if all experiments are successful.
- Use the discovery to increase control over nature for the purpose of improving the conditions of society.
Common errors that negate the Scientific Method are:
- making inaccurate observations;
- making an untestable hypothesis;
- misusing logic or math in the experiment;
- recording or publishing a false or inaccurate record or suppressing it;
- failing to replicate an experiment by unaffiliated parties or failing to debate it properly;
- publishing false or misleading statements about experiments or experimenters; and
- misusing scientific findings for the detriment of society.