The Scientific Method Isn’t Really All That Difficult

I am an unabashed science fan.  But what makes science so…well…awesome?  In a nutshell, it is the method by which scientists make sense of the world. It’s the most reliable method by which humanity adds truth to our ever-growing understanding of what is actually real. It’s how we learn in a way that makes the knowledge stick!

So how do scientists make it stick? Well, the only way they stand a chance is to use the scientific method.  It’s the method that allows other scientists (or anyone so inclined and so equipped with the necessary expertise) to critique, challenge, replicate, poke holes, etc. in anything new.

So with that, I’d like to present, the one, the only, the scientific method!

Step 1: Make an observation (i.e., grass grows outside)

Step 2: Ask a Question (i.e., I wonder if grass needs sunlight in order to grow)

Step 3: Do Background Research (i.e., Let me learn a bit about what other scientists say about photosynthesis)

Step 4: Construct a Hypothesis (i.e., Only light from the sun can make grass grow)

Step 5: Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment that is Repeatable using Evidence that is Falsifiable (i.e., I’ll grow two pots of grass: one outside in sunlight, and one inside under artificial light)

Step 6: Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion (i.e., hmmm, turns out grass grew in both instances – therefore I reject my hypothesis)

Step 7: Communicate Your Results (i.e., Dear world, grass does not necessarily need sunlight in order to grow)

There it is.  The scientific method.  That’s certainly a ridiculously simple example – but the point is, that’s how scientists do it regardless of what country they’re from or what language they speak.

To make the whole thing work, the results must be shared, the evidence must be falsifiable, or the experiment must be repeatable.  If those conditions are not met, then feel free to dismiss the results as opinion or fiction, with a big skeptical resounding boot to the keister.

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